After discovering the cost of buying a ready made manual Pick & Place Machine was over £5,000 and an automatic one well over £20,000 we decided to try to make our own manual pick and place system with a motorised component pen.
We sourced some linear rails from ebay and other bearings from a local model shop and built a frame which is 80cm x 50cm.
The longer linear rails were trimmed to fit and bolted to the new base which is made from square tube aluminium.
A arm was machined from 10mm and 6mm aluminium sheet and uses RC car bearings for all the pivots. One end is fixed to the hand rest and the other will have a pen holder and motor assembly with vacuum valve fitted.
The arm was test fitted with a small clamp to the temporary arm rest to check the range of motion available. The end plates were fitted using cable ties to find the best position.
Top view of the arm rest and pen arm. The surface mount component dispenser tray is on the left of the photo.
The machine so far, next job is to make a better arm rest and fit the pen arm in place. Then start work on the vacuum pen and associated controls.
Total cost so far is around £200 with most of that being the cost of the linear rails and bearing blocks.