Shapeoko and Pick and Place – Part 2

This is part 2 in the development of a pick-and-place machine for electronics assembly.  Part 1 is available here.

The new head

head2The new head is much more simplistic than the old version.  This version uses a stepper motor with a hollow shaft instead of a tube with a GT2 pulley on it.

In the CAD model to the left you can see the Shapeoko spindle mount plate in black.  The main mount for the head is shown in a semi-transparent grey with the stepper motor and mounts for two cameras.

At the bottom you can see an adapter that converts the stepper motor shaft into a tapered fitting for the pick and place tip.  The blue disk in the center is a magnet that holds the taper and head assembly.  This allows the machine to be able to adjust the tip depending on the part being placed.

head2photoHere you can see what everything looks like on the machine today:

We also mounted an upward going Z-axis limit switch that’s screwed in to the spindle mounting plate.  This will kill the power to the motor drivers if we accidentally command the machine to kill itself.

The brass fitting in the vacuum line allows the motor to turn the nozzle continuously without turning the plastic tubing going to the vacuum.

The new feeder

The new feeder swaps out the solenoid and pawl for a thin, pancake stepper motor.  The stepper motor advances the paper tape of parts with precision control.  This model also includes a small reel in front to collect the clear film that keeps the parts in there little holes.  This is driven by a small DC hobby motor, but we’ve also made it to where a second stepper motor could replace this DC motor if it doesn’t work in this design.


I just got the circuit boards for the control board in earlier this week, so I’ll make those up tomorrow.  But for now you can see a video about the construction and initial testing on the new feeder:


2 thoughts on “Shapeoko and Pick and Place – Part 2”

    1. Two cameras at right-angles makes the visual alignment process very easy. You just have to get the pick-up tip/part over the desired pad in both views and keep things lined up as you go down.

Comments are closed.