TwinTeeth: The PCB mini-factory

Diyouware TwinTeeth, an open-source PCB mini-factory : It includes the following functions: UV Laser photoengraving on sensitive film or presensitized boards using an ultraviolet laser. Drilling vias and holes using any mini-rotary tool like Dremel® or Proxxon® Dispensing solder paste with precision on SMD PCB pads Plotting circuits with a permanent pen-maker (if you prefer […]

Aperture scripting: Panelize and manipulate Gerber files

  Doub has announced the release of the Aperture scripting, a set of Lua libraries to manipulate PCB data files. He writes: At the core of my Gerber Viewer (that you’ve made quite popular, thank you all), there’s always been a set of Lua libraries to load the Gerber and Excellon files, and I’ve privately […]

ThrAxis DIY CNC mill

Eric has posted details on his build of a CNC mill from scratch. The ThrAxis (Three-Axis) is a vertical milling machine made mostly from materials from hardware stores. The spindle is a Harbor Freight rotary tool and the motors and controllers are surplus and eBay finds. We made it during lots of late evenings using […]

Simple soldering iron driver (SSID) with Arduino PID control

Carlazar posted pictures of his simple soldering iron driver (SSID) with Arduino PID control in the project log forum: Main features are: – Any thermocouple type irons. – Additional control mode: On-Off controller (besides PID PWM). – External power supply: Some standard Notebook power supply DC 19V, 4.74A. – Small dimensions: It fits into 90mm […]

Experience with the TM240A pick and place

Chuck of LinearLogiX writes: We bought the TM240A and found it works pretty good for our needs. A couple items I found was that using the SMD type tant caps on a reel, I had to actually Grind the side to open width so the plastic holder would fit. As you can see in the pictures it would […]

WORKSHOP VIDEO #55: Infrared reflow oven Qinsi QS-5100

After you’ve dispensed solder paste it’s time to reflow all that solder. This is where the reflow oven comes in. It seems like reflow hot plates are a more popular choice in most small shops because they’re smaller, cheaper, and it’s easier to monitor the reflow process. A reflow oven is a lot more convenient […]

WORKSHOP VIDEO #54: 983A/986A Solder paste dispenser

Without a doubt the solder paste dispenser is a cool tool. Compressed air hisses and solenoids crackle while precise amounts of solder paste extrude into beautiful droplets on a PCB. A few minutes with a paste dispenser saves $15-$25 (or more) on stencils, a life saver if you want to pick and place a one-off […]

Workshop Update for January 31st, 2013

We received tools and tested the reflow oven and hot plate. Added a tools section to the forum, you can get the PDF versoin of the reflow oven manual there. The workshop video of the tool unboxing was made. We purchased an air-compressor for the solder paste dispenser, and got to clear almost all back […]

Tips and tricks on how to tidy up your bench

If you’re like us then your desk is always a total mess of microcontroller programmers, prototype PCBs, wires, tools, etc… This article covers a few tips and tricks on how to tidy up your workspace. While the article is written for heavier tools and equipment than what we use, there are some cool universal tips […]

WORKSHOP VIDEO #53: Unboxing reflow oven, hot plate, and test rig

Unboxing a shipment of tools we sent back from hua qiang bei electronics market in Shenzhen, China. We got a test rig which will help us standardize manufacture testing for our boards. We got two tools for solderpaste reflowing, one is a digitally controlled hot plate, and the other is a reflow oven with programmable […]