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This is a spin-off of [madness]'s ComputaPen (see link)
Picture a handheld penlike device with a hose coming out the back of it. This hose has a few sub-hoses.
One dispenses solder paste.
One dispenses conductive trace.
One is a compressed air (?) line connected to a pick-and-place SMD robot
with the "place" bit disabled/removed. With your left (or non-dominant) hand you select component type and value from a keypad. The robot selects the correct component from its array of SMD reels, and poots it down the hose on a blast of compressed air. At the end of its journey, it is caught in the surface mount tweezer soldering iron head at the tip of the tool. You place it, then hit the heat button to fix it in place.
There's also a sucker to remove erroneously placed components, and an etch/eraser head to rub out mistakenly placed tracks.
This would allow quick and spontaneous exploration of new circuit ideas.
An overhead projector could project an image of the circuit you are working on down onto your work surface in 1:1 scale, if you're working to a pre-designed idea. Adding vision recognition and a bit of expert system magic could allow the system to suggest new track paths and component values if you're just freeforming.
Works for tiny resistors, LEDs, etc. Not sure what to do for larger components, ICs etc, but I'm open to suggestions.
[madness], all is [madness] [BunsenHoneydew, Jul 08 2006]
Surface mount assembly techniques
wikipedia's entry [BunsenHoneydew, Jul 09 2006]
AR Workbench by [Ted Yapo]
A project that's somewhat related, in that it uses computer vision and a projector to help you assemble and test electronics [notexactly, Jan 05 2019]
||this is actually a pretty cool idea. the
execution is iffy, but if you could get it to
work, this would be great for prototyping
and for small projects that you want to be
able to assemble by hand.
||I thought of a variant which could be slightly more bakeable, and handle ICs as well.
||A standard pick-and-place robot, integrated with the workbench projection system and the solder paste and circuit trace heads from the original idea.
||A position sensing stylus or some such with which the user marks out his design in a fairly standard (perhaps modified with a plugin) electronics CAD program, projected onto the target, and interlocks in the robot so that it doesn't solder things onto your hand.
||The user could test little bits of the circuit in the CADs simulation, then hit "make" when they're satisfied.
||Wildly expensive, and right now I'm struggling to see how this is better than doing up a design in the simulator till it appears to work, then squirting it across to the assembler (yours or someone else's).
||i think that this would be more fun than a
simulated environment. also, it's satisfying
to be able to have your creation to come
together in front of you. instant
gratification versus having to wait for an