Author Topic: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine  (Read 14719 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« on: September 28, 2016, 12:29:48 pm »
$5K PnP, quite a few backers already, and I'm surprised at that price point.
Looks like it has real feeders, but seems a bit slow in the video.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chipsetter/chipsetter-one-a-desktop-pick-and-place-machine
 

Offline batteksystem

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 12:47:21 pm »
Look like it don't have OCR and cannot recognise fuicidal mark, my opinion is that it can only do small scale project, but not really a mass production unit.

Online Kean

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 12:48:55 pm »
I bought/backed them a coffee.  They're going to need it!
 

Online Kean

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2016, 12:56:09 pm »
Look like it don't have OCR and cannot recognise fuicidal mark, my opinion is that it can only do small scale project, but not really a mass production unit.

OCR?  Maybe not, but I'm pretty sure it will be able to recognise fiducials:
Quote
A top-down camera inspects and corrects any misalignment in the circuit board

And yes, it is clearly only being promoted for small scale projects, not for mass production.  It is reasonably slow, but their selling points are accuracy and low setup time (presumably compared to manual or other low cost PnP).  If it was available today I might have seriously considered it, but no way am I gambling that much $$$ for something that I *may* get in 9 months.
 

Offline MicroBlocks

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2016, 01:27:05 pm »
Nice to see some desktop solution coming on the market.
Will not back it up because it is 4000US$ to high to put on the line.
Once it is available and reviews are available i will make sure to have a look at it again.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2016, 01:33:24 pm »
If it was available today I might have seriously considered it, but no way am I gambling that much $$$ for something that I *may* get in 9 months.

That's the problem with big ticket items on Kickstarter, it's a lot of money to gamble.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2016, 02:39:29 pm »
If it was available today I might have seriously considered it, but no way am I gambling that much $$$ for something that I *may* get in 9 months.

That's the problem with big ticket items on Kickstarter, it's a lot of money to gamble.
Exactly.
More so when you can get pretty much the same functionality at a similar price right now from China. I'm surprised they got that many backers so far, but probably still marginal whether they'll fund.
Some  of their claims on speed are rather dubious - can't see how their setup will be any quicker than a similar machine. And no sign of their software.
Their claim of "one-click import" is plain bullshit - that only happens once you've set up all your libraries to match vision data, feeder orientations etc.
I wonder how many of their obviously 3d-printed parts will be come mouldings - 3D Printed feeders are unlikely to be durable enough.
 

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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 10:40:48 pm »
I wouldn't back this project and, IMO, anyone who does is insane or likes betting on double zero in roulette. 

I have been in the electronics game for a long time and I "built" my first PnP machine... hell, I think it was back in 2004?  2003?  I used an off-the-shelf X/Y/Z table.  Figured it would be easy.  It was really hard.  Feeders were probably the hardest part.  And that was using readily available Mach-3 CNC software and a purpose-built CNC platform. 

This project gives zero details on their software or their feeders or their mechanical system or their motion control system or - well, anything really.  There are a LOT of aspects to picking and placing, and they all have to be achieved just right and in harmony to get a PnP machine working right.  They don't give any support to any of their claims, really. 

I would say there is about a 99.9999999% chance that the creators of this project are members here - and the incredible lack of detail is inexcusable.  Especially when they are asking people to give them thousands and thousands of dollars.  I really don't want to hear "well, if you have questions, just ask".  This is a pitch, and leaving such detail out of a sales pitch is inexcusable.  Especially to the type of audience who needs such a machine. 
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 11:44:56 pm »
I think they are at NY Maker Faire this weekend - anyone going ?
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Offline Xenoamor

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2016, 12:21:00 pm »
USD 4700...

We've got one pretty similar to this. The software is terrible but the machine is well built, accurate and fast
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2016, 12:32:05 pm »
USD 4700...
We've got one pretty similar to this. The software is terrible but the machine is well built, accurate and fast

Probably a good niche business to write some decent software for it and promote it an/or sell as a package?
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2016, 02:45:46 pm »
USD 4700...
We've got one pretty similar to this. The software is terrible but the machine is well built, accurate and fast

Probably a good niche business to write some decent software for it and promote it an/or sell as a package?

OpenPnP is probably the answer here. There is probably a small business opportunity for someone offering porting and support.
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Offline suku

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2016, 10:25:48 am »
if I told by boss to gamble 5k on something like this he'd laugh... But once they are on the market, and we have decent feedback from users then it's a whole different story... If it actually works and i can buy it and they ship it the next day then 5k is not bad at all, but this is the typical project that shouldn't be on kickstarter in my opinion.
 

Online Kean

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2016, 10:40:24 am »
but this is the typical project that shouldn't be on kickstarter in my opinion.

I'm not sure about that.  I understand you wouldn't back it, and neither will I (other than at the $5 level).  But clearly there are 10 people willing to pledge/gamble that much money, and they probably have an idea of the risks as someone wanting a PnP isn't your average inexperienced consumer.  They are all early birds mind you, and it is possible they may pull out before it ends, if it even reaches the goal.

If this is a way for a new company to fund getting a product to market so others can later buy it under normal commercial terms, then isn't that a good thing.  Of course, if they've seriously misrepresented anything, then that could be a problem.  And it is somewhat doubtful whether they will be competitive when/if they do finally come to market in 12+ months.
 

Offline Xenoamor

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2016, 12:29:33 pm »
USD 4700...
We've got one pretty similar to this. The software is terrible but the machine is well built, accurate and fast

Probably a good niche business to write some decent software for it and promote it an/or sell as a package?

If anyone's interested it's the Borey pick and place machines. The image recognition side and the structure of the pick and place files required are the real issues
There is certainly a market for what you speak of. Especially considering the cost of equivalent made machines in the western world

I'm not sure how universal it is but I feel this applies to a lot of chinese industrial equipment. We've got a range of things like CNC machines and reflow ovens that are great hardware but really lacking in the software department. I think a lot of china seem to work exclusivly on windows XP. Everything we seem to get is built and targetted for it
 

Offline alan-chipsetter

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2016, 06:53:33 pm »
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your feedback, we are very interested to hear it.

Sorry for the delay in replying, we’ve been busy recovering from Maker Faire NYC, and much of the discussion here has also been addressed on the OpenPnP google group https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/openpnp/cMF9gNxmSV8

Dave - Thanks for discussing us on the AmpHour. We were thrilled that you would consider us reasonable. We know you have seen desktop pnp attempts before, and that you’re waiting for someone to do it right. We caught up with Chris at the Maker Faire, and he says we changed his mind about it. If you have an opportunity to follow up with him on the next podcast we would really appreciate it.

Re: Vision, we have top and bottom vision for picking up fiducials and aligning components.
Feeders will be injection molded from ESD safe plastic.
Corporate666: You’re right, there are many aspects to picking and placing. Rather than a wall of text, we thought our audience would appreciate a video. Our software is a working prototype that needs a new UI, but it seems that holding it back has been hurting us, so we will be making a video of it for an upcoming KS update. Our mechanical system is a stepper motor/belt drive cartesian system as one would expect, and we can achieve a 50-30 micron repeatability. We feel like we have given ample detail on commonly asked questions, but if you have further questions we would be more than happy to answer them.

We have also announced our decision to release our communications protocol to enable compatibility with 3rd party software like OpenPnP.

The common idea expressed here seems to be that a $4K USD Kickstarter pledge seems to risky given the increasing number of late/never delivered campaigns.
Our best response to this is a detailed manufacturing fulfilment plan that describes the status of each sub-assembly. We will be posting that in our next KS update.
We want our potential backers to understand that we are ready to manufacture, and that we waited to launch our campaign until we had arrived at this milestone.
If you have any suggestions that we can do to help with this we would love to hear them.

Please continue to offer your feedback, and any ask questions you have.

Cheers,
Alan
 

Offline Smallsmt

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2016, 03:39:50 pm »
USD 4700...
We've got one pretty similar to this. The software is terrible but the machine is well built, accurate and fast

Probably a good niche business to write some decent software for it and promote it an/or sell as a package?
We have soon a software package working on different machines by writing a new machine controller DLL.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2016, 02:00:48 am »
Corporate666: You’re right, there are many aspects to picking and placing. Rather than a wall of text, we thought our audience would appreciate a video. Our software is a working prototype that needs a new UI, but it seems that holding it back has been hurting us, so we will be making a video of it for an upcoming KS update. Our mechanical system is a stepper motor/belt drive cartesian system as one would expect, and we can achieve a 50-30 micron repeatability. We feel like we have given ample detail on commonly asked questions, but if you have further questions we would be more than happy to answer them.


I don't see how you can feel you have given ample detail.  You are asking people to give you $4k of their money and all you provided was a few minutes of video.   At the time I made my post, you had added some detail in the comments (I see you have since added more), but you are using all proprietary parts and designs with nothing open sourced or off-the-shelf assemblies.  You aren't even using standard G-code.

That makes device an *incredibly* risky proposition.  A backer is not only gambling on your ability to develop the software with the funds collected, but also to produce the units (assuming you're truthful that the hardware is 100% developed), and then also to exist as an ongoing concern as a business for spare parts and feeders and software updates.  If any of that fails to happen, the unit is a paperweight. 

I also think your numbers are unworkable.  We manufacture commercial products using off-the-shelf components that are all individually UL/CE certified and fall under a rapid-approval program that UL/ETL have adopted for the specific market we're in.  It's $10k per product for approval.  Your product would require substantially more testing at substantially more cost, and add in the cost of FCC testing?  Approvals alone would eat up half of your $100k budget at least.  And the cost of injection molds for your feeders are going to eat up substantially more of your total $100k budget. 

Then you mention in the KS campaign your 30 micron placement repeatable accuracy.  I can see just from the picture of your board placed with the device that you're nowhere near that.  How are you measuring this claim?  Here you say 30-50 microns.  Are you guaranteeing that a customer using this device will be able to place parts on a board with sub 50 micron repeatability, and if the unit cannot do that, it would be considered a defect that would be fixed at no cost under warranty? 

You give no detail on your feeders, other than claiming they are three times faster to setup than any other desktop system.  Feeders are the most difficult part of picking and placing, and this is a bold claim.  I would expect that whatever breakthrough you have developed would be something you would want to brag about as it would be the major selling point to most potential buyers experienced with PnP machines.  I don't see any detail on your feeders at all.  I am curious what makes them so quick to set up?  How are they actuated?  What life cycle testing have you done on them?  Are they rebuildable?  What is the cycle error rate?  The tape is wobbly in the KS page.. how come?  Are they separate units for paper and plastic tape? 

And the same with the software.  You claim it is 6 times faster than other systems, but there is zero detail on it anywhere in the video.  You say it just needs a new UI, but if you have function without a pretty face on it, why not explain what function is possesses that allows it to be 6 times faster than the alternatives?   


I realize it sucks when someone craps on your product - but I would very much like to see a low budget PnP machine succeed.  However, in order to be successful, I think such a machine must:

1) Use open source software
 and/or
2) Support G-code
3) Use as many off-the-shelf parts as possible, especially on the electronics side (things like motor drivers, vision)
4) And the holy grail of PnP is feeders.  That is the problem that needs solved.  The best PnP design would use an open-source feeder that was simple, reliable, used as many off-the-shelf parts as possible, and whatever parts were custom would probably consist of a 2D machined aluminum plate so that there were no up-front tooling costs required and it would use off-the-shelf bearings, wheels, pulleys and such to operate. 

I think the business opportunity is being the first people to solve the feeder issue and put together the above parts together in a plug-and-play system that works out of the box and has support from a US company and good software with a good interface and good availability of parts.

My .02.
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Offline l0wside

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2016, 10:28:23 am »
I have put the data which I could find into my PnP overview at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s9YmD-L69UXG5paMiz0pwO06J9nptdcopGrSa_s9t_E

A number of questions remains open: maximum component size and height (can you place 10mm capacitors?), tray capability, and SW (do you need an external PC to run, which I suppose, or is the machine running on its own once it has been programmed?). Please use the comment function, which is publicly availably, I will then update the data.

The key feature of the machine seems to me that changing parts is a matter of seconds as the machine auto-detects the new feeder, its position, and the part it provides. This makes the limitation to 40 feeders a lot more bearable.
Still, I have no real clue how the machine would place five FPGA samples that came in a JEDEC tray.
 
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Offline george graves

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2016, 11:05:35 am »
Love the idea, and the product does look slick!  Hat off to you and your crew. (besides some 3d printed parts that I assume could be improved upon)

As someone else said, the feeders and software are the two killer parts.  OpenPNP is about 90% there for being a real solution to a DIY PNP, and their "reference machine" is only like $917 USD in parts - it's on my wish list!

I think it would be worth getting in early on, much like 3d printing or home-brewed computers - some times getting in early on the DIY version give you an bonus education that helps later on, even when the machines get easier/cheaper to make. And when you build a tool, you know how to fix it.  That's a big plus.  Down side is time of course.

For example I went with a Chinese made laser cutter, at that price point the software was good enough, and the machine was less then it would cost of make my own (even though I had started collecting parts) - I can't help but to see desktop PNPs going the same way.

I would love to see a cutaway of your feeder design.  As that's really the only part that interested me.  A Cartesian robot with steppers, even a dual pick up head is the easy part.

BTW Dave - what happened to that PNP that was given to you?  Is it just sitting in a corner?   :-\


Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2016, 06:39:58 am »
USD 4700...
We've got one pretty similar to this. The software is terrible but the machine is well built, accurate and fast

Probably a good niche business to write some decent software for it and promote it an/or sell as a package?

Theres a great project going well called OpenPNP, and its being used for all sorts of hardware.. its free, and open. . what more do you want.
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 

Online Koen

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2016, 01:45:13 pm »
Good questions Corporate666. I'd just like to make the point he expressed 0.03-0.05mm repeatability, not accuracy. Repeatability is measured by doing the same cycle in the same conditions over a certain lapse of time and should naturally tend to 0.00mm.

http://blog.robotiq.com/bid/72766/What-are-Accuracy-and-Repeatability-in-Industrial-Robots

 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2016, 08:34:55 pm »
Good questions Corporate666. I'd just like to make the point he expressed 0.03-0.05mm repeatability, not accuracy. Repeatability is measured by doing the same cycle in the same conditions over a certain lapse of time and should naturally tend to 0.00mm.

http://blog.robotiq.com/bid/72766/What-are-Accuracy-and-Repeatability-in-Industrial-Robots



You are correct, of course, however on the KS page they say in the specs "Placement accuracy: 30 microns repeatability".  As a mechanical engineer by education, this somewhat makes my brain squirm, but I know what they are trying to say.

One of the problems I have with all of these companies and creators developing 3D printers or any other motion systems is the ever-more ridiculous claims about how precise their machines are.  I've heard numbers like 5 microns or 10 microns.  In my business we own and operate "real" CNC machines and in many of our parts are often machined with tolerances of 0.0001 (2.5 microns).  This is a standard tolerance for a press or interference fit or for a bearing bore, etc.  I know how difficult it is to maintain such a tolerance... it requires a well built and well maintained machine with ball screws and precision encoders and precision drives, and you have to account for thermal growth of the machine - even in a temperature controlled shop, being in sunlight will throw off such tolerances.  And you gotta check it with the right equipment - gage pins and bore mics and such.

Anyway, when some 3D printer manufacturer on KS talkes about their 5 micron or 10 micron abilities... using ACME screws and belt drives, it's bullshit.  Especially when they are then squirting out a blob of melted plastic. 

In terms of PnP... it matters in terms of really fine pitch components, especially BGA and QFN.  And most especially when you get into rotational errors.  If the placement isn't "dead nuts accurate", then it can really be a problem.    I am not saying these guys are lying - but the claim of 30-50 microns is impressive.  Very impressive.  I don't think my Quads can achieve that and they use ballscrews and a better/more rigid overall setup with a more 'advanced' nozzle system that would have less flex.  So I am skeptical of the claim.  And my feeling towards claims is the only ones that matter are those that the manufacturer is willing to stand behind.

So if they will consider a machine that isn't placing parts repeatably in the same location within 50 microns to be suffering a problem that is covered under warranty, then my hat is off to them and I am curious how they have achieved this level of performance.  If it's just a calculated number based on stepper resolution combined with gearing, then it is a worthless metric in the real world and users may be in for a rude awakening when they go to place fine pitch QFNs or BGA's or such and the machine can't do it - hence the query about whether it would be a warranty issue.

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Online Koen

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Re: Chipsetter ONE: A desktop pick-and-place machine
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2016, 08:49:07 pm »
We agree. I made a similar rant here about DIY CNC builders claiming extravagant figures without even a dial gauge in the toolbox. Anyway, this is always a valuable indicator of the manufacturer's knowledge and truthfulness.
 
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