DIY manual SMD pick and place machine for $20

I’ve shot this video over several days a few weeks ago and finally had some time to put it together. Kind of rough cut but I think it proves the point that you can build a very effective pick and place aid tool without spending a fortune. This has already saved me tons of time assembling Moteinos and other SMD projects. I highly recommend something like this as opposed to a tweezers plus microscope/magnifier, it’s very quick and easy to get used to. This tool combined with my home-made SMD metal stencils are a huge improvement over manual solder paste dispensing and hand placing SMD components with tweezers. I also tape the SMD component strips to a piece of cardboard with double sided sticky tape, to avoid having to dump components on the table and then spend time turning and aligning all those that are upside down and in all directions. That also really helps with polarized components.

And a timelapse:

3 thoughts on “DIY manual SMD pick and place machine for $20

  1. Great work, this video helped me a lot! I’ll be building one of these!

  2. Thanks for the demo.

    Just a thought on the air pump modification. Note that this is not my idea. I saw the concept … but not the details … mentioned on another forum, but can not remember where.

    I bought the 10 gallon version of the pump. There is a white pump\valve\black rubber gizmo on the top of the air chamber. The gizmo is attached to a spring and magnet which is the part that vibrates. If you use a pair of pliers you can pull the spring and magnet assembly out of the rubber fulcrum and at the same time slide the white pump\valve\gizmo assembly off the top of the air chamber. Be careful to not lose the two O-rings that are on the bottom of the white plastic, between the white plastic and the air chamber.

    Now just rotate the white pump\valve 180 degrees in the black rubber gizmo. This will put the “intake valve” in the pump over is the “output port hole” of the air chamber and the “output valve” over the “input port hole” of the air chamber.

    Reassemble, taking care to make sure you do not lose or crimp the O-rings.

    Then just attach your hose to what was the output port on the air pump.

    Food for thought,

Comments are closed.