The future of small scale manufacturing of circuits that use SMT (Surface Mount Technology) components is now in our hands with this project. The objective of SMT Forge is to create an affordable, under $5,000, and customizable circuit assembly machine, with a much smaller form factor compared to industrial machines. This is targeted towards a previously untapped consumer base which comprises of tech startups, school and university labs, home/garage electronics workshops, and hobbyists around the world. It is an automated pick and place machine with some added features.
SMT Forge = PCB milling + Pick & Place +Solder Paste Dispensing + Reflow Soldering
SMT Forge has decided on many of their electrical components and drafted a 3-D model of their design. They have moved into the troubleshooting and building phase of their project. They are testing the parts they have selected and acquired, as well as starting the build of the reflow oven and the chemical chamber. They will continue working on the frame, axils and the majority of the soldering mechanism. They will also be testing smaller sub-assemblies in the design. For Spring semester, the team will be testing and refining the whole machine.
They plan to begin their manufacturing process Tuesday, November 7th. They are in need of dedicated members who are willing to put in multiple hours a week, as well as extra hours spent on research outside of meeting times.
Opportunities for students involved in this project include:
Computer vision and image processing
Mechanical design and CAD/SolidWorks design
Machining, 3-D printing, and hardware assembly
PCB design, power circuitry, micro-controllers & closed loop motor control
Modifying an open source pick and place software called Open PnP to suit our project requirements
Venkata Gurrala - Mechanical Lead
Arghya Das – Electrical Lead