Author Topic: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.  (Read 25201 times)

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Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2014, 10:28:11 pm »
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@PCBGRIP just a couple notes on the videos:
Thanks for the ratio and title tip.

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the (?royalty free) music gets a bit wearing
Truth be told, I find myself reaching for the mute button too  :)

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what will the thermal expansion of the various pieces have to say about this
The extrusion is made of of 6063 AL with a coefficient of expansion of 25.6µm/m °C.  Assuming a room temperature of 20°C and a maximum temperature in the oven of 260°C, the the extrusion will expand approximately 0.09mm. 

The stainless steel rod has a coefficient of expansion of 17.3µm/m °C.  Obviously the length of the rod will play a factor in the overall expansion, but lets assume there is 100mm of rod between the two extrusions to keep the math simple.  The rod would expand approximately 0.42mm.

Lets assume the FR4 has coefficient of expansion of 15µm/m °C.  Assuming a 100mm board width, the board will expand approximately 0.32mm.

So stainless expansion - FR4 expansion - extrusion expansion = 0.42-0.32-0.09=0.01mm.  Shouldn't be a problem.

Given that the coefficient of thermal expansion of the FR4 and stainless is close, I do not foresee any issues with expansion.

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how much componentless edge keepout do I need to hold a PCB in the OpenBeam

If you are using a 1.6mm thick board, you need about 1.0mm of clear space on the edge that is in the OpenBeam.  We have something we call 'standoffs'.   In the video where we show the stencil being used, the PCB is held by these standoffs.  The standoffs do two things:  (i) allow PCBs of the same shape to be placed in exactly the same position (necessary of repetitive stenciling) and (ii) provide more clearance between the OpenBeam and PCB edge.  The standoffs are 1mm thick stainless and have a 1mm "shelf" that the PCB sits in.  So when standoffs are used, only 1 square mm in each corner is required to hold the board.  There is a 2mm thick spacer that goes in between the OpenBeam and the stand off.  We used a spacer as sometimes components (like connectors) may get hung over the edge of the PCB.  It is on our to do list to make another video showing in more detail the standoff/spacer.  Be forewarned that the same music will most likely be used - you may want to reach for the mute button too :)



 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2014, 11:41:05 pm »
I think the application as probe holder is a good idea and I'm looking forward to use pcbgrib for that. But I think the 3D printed probe holder is just the half way: it is a press fit, so everyone has to design the holder exactly maching his probes.

But I have regular scope probes, a high voltage scope probe, a high speed active fet probe, multimeter probes, pogopins,... - a whole bunch of holders for me to design, print and test. I don't have a 3D printer yet, so good business for Shapeways and the like.

So why not add a spring loaded clamp with a rubber insert, a hole for the rod in the back and a thumbscrew to fix the rod. The rubber insert leaves a hole for round objects like probes, but because of the rubber and the force of the spring you don't need an exact match for clamp and probe.

Or a twofold design: two parts with rubber insert half-holes. Both parts are screwed together to hold a probe. One part has a hole for the rods of pcbgrip and a thumbscrew to fix the rod. This design could be smaller than a spring based design because by screwing it together you can create more force to hold the probe.

I'm not a mechanical engineer and English is not my native tounge - so I hope you understand what I mean. If not and you are interested, I can try to draw a sketch.

I think this would make a good addon for a strech goal.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2014, 12:34:39 am »
The scope probe we have designed is 10mm high and has a diameter to fit the Rigol probe. Two questions:

1) would a holder that is 10mm higher work for your probes (if yes, please provide models, etc); and
2) what are the diameters of the probes that you have where you might want to attached the clamps?  Diameters would be needed to the nearest tenth of a mm.

I know what you mean in terms of design.  A few pictures of you probes would be useful.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 02:55:34 am by PCBGRIP »
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2014, 09:09:29 pm »
is 10mm high and has a diameter to fit the Rigol probe. Two questions:

1) would a holder that is 10mm higher

You mean 10mm high, not 10mm higher than 10mm, right?

10mm height would work with all my probes. Here are the diameters:

Scope probe: 9,3mm
High voltage probe: 11,7mm or 6,4mm (two possible positions I could clamp at)
Multimeter needle probes: 10,3mm
Pogopin adapters: 10,9mm

The active fet probe has a rectangular case. This is a custom build, so don't worry about it.

So I'd say too different for a press fit design, but enough similarity for a spring loaded or screw-in design with some rubber inserts.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 09:14:46 pm by electronic_eel »
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2014, 09:25:06 pm »
BTW, here is another application for pcbgrip:

pcb holder for a preheating station. A much better replacement for something like this:
http://www.aoyue.com/en/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=468
This model costs about 130 EUR, but isn't half as versatile.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2014, 04:42:32 am »
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you mean 10mm high, not 10mm higher than 10mm, right?

Yes, you are correct.

I've started to think about a clamp design to hold various probes.  I think it would be useful too.  However,  our first priority is delivering on the items we have already promised as part of the Kickstarter.  We are also working on a few things for stretch goals too.  To manage expectations, I doubt we would be able to offer a probe clamp as part of this Kickstarter.  I don't want to rush design, prototyping, testing, samples, etc and also risk delivering on time.  However, I truly believe that some type of generic probe clamp would be useful and it is something we will work on.

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BTW, here is another application for pcbgrip:
Thanks for pointing this out.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2014, 09:16:01 pm »
I've started to think about a clamp design to hold various probes.  I think it would be useful too.  However,  our first priority is delivering on the items we have already promised as part of the Kickstarter.
Thanks for keeping your focus. I'd have probably just dived into designing the new idea before finishing the current project...
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2014, 08:07:07 pm »
Hi Jason,

me again, thinking about new uses for PCBGRIP:

You show how PCBGRIP helps to rotate pcbs upside/downside which is very helpful when soldering THT parts. But when hand soldering SMT parts, the pcb lays level on one side and I often need to rotate it by 90° or 180°: I tin the right pad first, iron in right hand. Then I put the part, e.g. a smd resistor, onto the pads, holding it with tweezers in my left hand. Then I solder the right pad. Then I turn the pcb by 180° degrees, the left and unsoldered pad is now on my right side. Then I solder the left pad. Of course I solder multiple parts before turning the pcb, but still I need to turn often.

So how can PCBGRIP be best adapted for this usecase?

Can you completely unscrew the big golden thumbscrew on the back of the hinge asy? You could then drill a hole into the base and mount the hinge asy there backside down through the thread normally used by the thumbscrew.

What do you think would be the best way to mount the Openbeams to hold the pcb? The pcb must be in the center of the turntable, otherwise you'd have to shift the whole thing on your table to get a good working position. You'd have to move other gear like microscope, solder fume extractor etc. too.

Maybe one Openbeam fixed to the hinge asy and then two Openbeams on top which hold the pcb. You'd need an easy way to move the beams like with your joining plate, but when the beams are not on the same level, but on top of each other. Any idea?
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2014, 03:15:26 am »
Hi,

The big golden thumbscrew is brass with  M8 x 0.75 threads.  0.75 thread pitch was chosen to maximize the surface contact between the male and female threads.  The M8 x 0.75 thumb screws will not be long enough to go through the cast iron base and into the hinge assembly, but you could use a regular M8x0.75 bolt for that or you could attach the hinge assembly to a thinner base using the brass thumbscrew.

The OpenBeam attaches to the hinge assembly with standard M3 hardware.  The easiest way of doing what I thing you are describing is shown in the rendering below (not a picture, but a computer generated rendering - we are currently having the tooling made to produce the flat springs).  The flat springs we recently announced could be used on a single piece of OpenBeam to support the PCB.  There will be 4 flat springs in each kit.  The flat springs will give just over 11.0mm of clearance between the bottom of the PCB and OpenBeam, in case you have components on both sides of the board.  Also attached is a picture of a flat spring we mocked up shown holding an old motherboard.

This is one way to do it.  The way you suggested would work too.  There is a company in The Netherlands (http://www.makerbeam.eu) that carries OpenBeam.  OpenBeam is also available through various other online suppliers, including in the United States, Canada, and Africa.  So it is easy to get OpenBeam if you want to have multiple lengths.  It is fairly easy to cut if you wanted.

I am really looking forward to see how our backers start using PCBGRIP.  There are lots of great ideas, like yours, that we haven't even thought of yet!

 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2014, 09:00:43 pm »
Thanks for your answer and rendering.

I didn't think about the springs. They are most probably the easiest solution.

BTW, will the springs just work with 1.5/1.6mm pcb thinkness? Or did you try thinner pcbs, like 1mm or 0.8mm, too?
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2014, 01:42:18 am »
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BTW, will the springs just work with 1.5/1.6mm pcb thinkness? Or did you try thinner pcbs, like 1mm or 0.8mm, too?

The flat springs will work with all board thickness, up to ~2.5mm.
 

Offline rthorntn

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2014, 01:16:57 am »
All the bits and bobs are confusing :)

I already have openbeam, and I don't want the base, is there a way to just get the few bits that I would need to hold a PCB in place?
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2014, 01:29:46 am »
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is there a way to just get the few bits that I would need to hold a PCB in place?

Once we get the Kickstarter rewards taken care of and delivered, we plan on making individual parts available, in addition to kits.  There are two rewards that we added to the Kickstarter for kits that have everything except the OpenBeam.  I realize that you don't want the base, but wasn't sure if you saw those rewards for those who already have OpenBeam.

If you want us to notify you once the online store is up in running please PM me your email and I will add you to a contact list.

Thank you for the interest.
 

Offline scientist

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2014, 04:24:11 am »
I dunno if all of that hardware is really necessary. A table and some tweezers, or at most a piece of tape will suffice for me.
 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #64 on: February 06, 2014, 03:02:54 am »
Ok so I got the opportunity to meet up with PCBGRIP last week for a bit of a hands/eyes on the product. I walked away impressed, both by the product, and by PCBGRIP himself. He's obviously put a lot of thought into it, and was quick to address any concerns I had with a solution.

I'll start off with the look and feel. The machining looks to be excellent, with a good finish [ignoring the places where the prototype had been altered after the fact for experimentation... it is a prototype after-all] The anodizing is good and clean as well, though I did note some wear from all the handling the prototype has obviously been through. One possible improvement would be hard anodizing to make a more durable finish. Having said that, this is a tool, and the cosmetics don't matter after the package is opened, what counts is the functionality. But it is a pretty sexy piece of kit when it's new.

As for the functionality, it works as advertised. The rigidity is plenty sufficient for soldering, but there is some flex to the assembly. [I wouldn't say the flex is any worse than what I get on my panavise] The biggest problem I had was in loading the PCB, the length of the holding extrusions is so long that they tend to open up at the far end, allowing the PCB to pop out. This can be overcome by closing the far end with another extrusion, or making use of some of the rods and bolts that are part of the kit. It also may be that with some of the improvements in the hardware, planned for the production parts, this will be reduced as well. but nonetheless, it did make loading the PCB a little finicky. Having said that, I would imagine that after spending a little time with it I'd get the technique down pat, and be able to load and unload the PCB pretty quick. The flat spring that PCBGRIP recently announced and added to the kit also likely makes this a non-issue.

The armatures and attachments are great and provide a fair amount of holding force... but it can take a bit to get it set up.

The stencil attachment is really just a clamp to hold the stencil in place once positioned. You still need to manually position it for each board. Though I imagine it wouldn't be all that hard to rig it up for light production.

Bottom line, I think it's a great product for one-off/prototype type production. With some practice and work, I'm sure it could be used for light production as well.

[I know there were probably some other questions that I missed, so feel free to ask... my life is in a bit of turmoil right now, which is why it took me so long to post something about this, but I will try to be responsive over the next few days as the clock on the campaign runs down]



 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #65 on: February 06, 2014, 12:26:50 pm »
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the length of the holding extrusions is so long that they tend to open up at the far end
As CanadianAvenger pointed out, we have addressed this by (i) designing the tri-nut which will be stainless steel, and (ii) our plans to include some larger diameter thumbscrews in the kits to make it easier to torque down the then joining plates and hold the extrusions in place.  The combination of these two means the extrusions are quite rigid once the thumbscrews are tightened.

Here is a picture of a prototype of the larger diameter thumbscrew:


pic.twitter.com/bvdX0HxEsy

Prior to the flat spring (flat springs will now be included with the kits), once the extrusion spacing was set, there was no real lateral force holding in the PCB.  As CanadianAvenger has pointed out we have specifically addressed this by designing and including the flat spring.  The flat spring provides lateral force, making the alignment of the extrusion less important.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #66 on: February 06, 2014, 05:38:51 pm »
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the length of the holding extrusions is so long that they tend to open up at the far end
As CanadianAvenger pointed out, we have addressed this by (i) designing the tri-nut which will be stainless steel,
ah, so the tri-nut does not only ease sliding the joining plates, but also helps distributing the force of the thumbscrew over a larger area in the OpenBeam, right?

Wouldn't it then make sense to have the tri-nuts not only in the OpenBeam connected to the hinge, but also the two OpenBeams pointing forward and holding the pcb? You wrote on the kickstarter page that you'll include 1 tri-nut per joining plate. You'd need two tri-nuts per joining plate then.
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2014, 01:33:48 am »
The primary purpose of the tri-nut is to make it easier to slide the extrusion.  When I met with CanadianAvenger, one of the OpenBeam extrusions was being held with the prototype tri-nut I machined.  I did a poor job tapping the M3x0.5 threads in the prototype tri-nut, which was my fault.  This meant that the I couldn't tighten the joining plate down completely and it moved slightly.  When I met with CanadianAvenger, this is what caused the extrusion to "tend to open up at the end".

I am very confident that the production tri-niut, which will be stainless steel, will have high quality threads, and will hold the OpenBeam very firmly.  For the two OpenBeam lengths that are 'pointing' towards the user, regular M3 nuts slid into the OpenBeam will hold those firmly.  Only 1 tri-nut will be included per joining plate. I am very confident that 1 tri-nut per joining plate and regular M3 nuts will be more than enough to hold the extrusions firmly in place.  As indicted in the previous post, we will be including some larger diameter thumbscrews to make it easier to torque down the joining plate.  With these items and changes, the extrusion won't move.
 

Offline elex_enthusiast

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2014, 02:53:19 am »
PCBGRIP is a must tool indeed :-+..im quite impressed seeing the videos on kickstarter and it makes want to own one, but how? ???.. my question is will it be available to asian countries once it is mass produced? i hope so...
aahh bad english
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2014, 12:56:28 pm »
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it makes want to own one, but how?

The Kickstarter is still live for the next 2 days and ships globally. 

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will it be available to asian countries once it is mass produced?

Yes it will, but our priority is to fulfill the rewards for those who backed the Kickstarter first. 

Thanks for the interest!
 

Offline Icchan

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2014, 11:20:07 pm »
Aaa... I missed this one...
We really wanted these for our hacker space and I wanted one for my work...

I hope I can still get one after this :)

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2014, 11:23:54 pm »
Sign up at www.pcbgrip.com and we'll let you know when our website is up and running!  Thanks for the interest!
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #72 on: February 24, 2014, 01:07:26 pm »
Sign up at www.pcbgrip.com and we'll let you know when our website is up and running!  Thanks for the interest!

Signed up! Good on ya for getting the funding!  Good lock!
 

Offline PCBGRIP

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2014, 03:11:04 am »
Those who backed the Kickstarter get email notification of updates once they are posted.  For those who missed the Kickstarter, we just posted an update:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2065435222/pcbgrip-electronics-assembly-system/posts/786971.
 

Offline fubar.gr

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Re: PCBGRIP: Making it easier to assemble electronics.
« Reply #74 on: October 02, 2014, 03:19:47 pm »
I just received my PCBGRIP (KIT 700) and made a quick demonstration video about it:



Some more photos here:
http://fubar.gr/pcbgrip-review/

It had no problem holding the PSU board.
I also tested it with a full ATX motherboard, CPU heatsink included. No problems whatsoever. Solid as a rock  :-+


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