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TVM802A Pick & Place Plastic Tape Support

I have a TVM802A China SMD Pick & Place machine. This thing works great for the price. It has a few draw backs compared to a higher end machine. One of which is the feeders. It uses a pin, via a coil, to advance the tape components. This seems to work fine for paper tape devices, but it DOES NOT work well for plastic tape devices! The pin fires and the tape defects, so it does not drag the tape to index the next part.

So I designed a solution in Sketchup that supports the plastic tape, at the holes, so it indexes every time! I have been testing this for 2 years-ish. And it still works, every time!

I designed 3 types for 8MM, 12MM and 16MM tape widths. (that is all this machine does) The device is attached to the feeder rail with a small piece of 3M tape to keep it in place. Then the machine works as normal. As the pin goes down to index the tape, the support keeps the tape from deflecting. They are made from PA12 Nylon, 3D printed on a HP MJF printer.

This is a great solution for thin ICs or small parts. But it does not work well for tall devices. Such as a coil inductor.

If you need some, I have a few for sale in My Store.


3D Systems Cube 3 Wiper Holster

I bought a second 3D systems Cube 3 printer, and it was missing the wiper holster (and wiper). I was able to make my own wipers, from silicone sheet, seen here. I did find some holsters on Thingiverse, but they had support built in. They said they were printable on the Cube 3…but they never turned out well.

So I took the STL and removed all the supports. Did some measurements on the OEM holster, and made a few small changes to the STL. The goal was to have it printed on a FormLabs 2 printer, but I ended up having some made on a HP 4200 MJF printer. It turned out great!

Since I had to buy a bunch to make it cost worthy, I will be selling the extras in my store.

Here is the link to my Thingiverse account if you want to download the holster STL:


PCB Delta 3D printer Effector

Since starting 3D printed many years ago, I always improve my equipment for the best possible prints I can. My first printer was a Delta style, and it is still my favorite. I own 4 printers now, 2 delta and 2 XY.

In an effort to make the best printes it was time to update my main Big Boy Delta. I wanted to go with a magnetic arm setup. The guy I got the arms from say they are precision made to within 50um (.05mm) of each other.

Now I needed an effector to connect the arms to. Also need to connect my linear slides to the arms as well. I looked for a solution. I can across some made for PCB material. I thought that would be killer. But my design was way different then theirs. So I would have to make my own.

Since the effector was a PCB, I decided to put LEDs on the bottom to help see the work. I use a BLTouch for bed leveling. My SmoothieBoard 5V regulator for not put our 100% 5V. So I added a 5V regulator to the effector too since I already have 12V running to it for the hotend fan.

Then I needed a holder for the E3D v6 hotend and a built in holder for the BLTouch. I designed one in Sketchup and printed it before installing the new effector.


DIY Fermentation Chiller UPDATE

Update for the DIY Fermentation Automatic Temp Controller:

Turns out you cannot buy a stopper with a 1″ hole in it. LOL

So, I guess I will have to make my own. <sigh>

I ordered some #10 stopper and some 1″ OD stainless steel pipe. Cut off a small portion of pipe and turned the ID into a inner bevel. Then used a 1″ flap wheel to make it smooth.

I put the new cutter, which is basically a “cork bore”, into my DIY air powered grommet press. Using a chunk of cutting board below it, I pressed the stainless pipe through the stopper.

Seems to have worked like a champ!


I was not 100% happy with the way the plug cutter cut. So I put it back into the lathe and made the edge ever sharper! I also printed a holder for the stopper to help keep its shape. While cutting with the old cutter, i noticed that it would deform when pressed, as you can see in the photo above. So the printed part now keeps the stopper from deforming while pressing. It is made with 5 inner and outer shells with 80% honey comb infill.

Only way I can think to make the cutter better is to add a shank to spin it while pressing. Could be done on a large floor drill press. But alas I have no way to weld stainless steel.

NOW it seems to have worked like a champ!


DIY Beer Fermentation Automatic Temp Control (Chiller)

I recently got back into home beer brewing. But I noticed that I had a problem with fermentation temp control with the gear I had on hand. One of the keys to good beer it fermentation at 68-70° F.

A lot of the beer community seems to wrap the fermenter in a thermal blanket, and chill it with a cooler of ice water. Seems like a lot of steps to me. I then found a device that seems to use a Pelteir with an aluminum rod to regulate the temp of the beer….but it is $350! OUCH! Kind of pricey for “home brew”.

So I decided to make my own. I have played with Pelteirs in the past. Went to amazon and ordered a 12VDC Peltier and heat sink combo, along with a 12VDC digital temp controller. The found a aluminum rod on Ebay, even had a 5/16 tapped hole in the end! All for under $50. I designed a case for the thole thing in Fusion 360, then 3D printed it…13 HOUR PRINT. I also replaced the controllers screw terminals with removable screw terminals.

Once I got all my parts in, I had to modify the heat sink to work with aluminum rod. Then did some tests with the new set up in a 2Gal water cooler jug. Which will be my new fermenter! This should help keep the beer at a more steady rate. So no need to wrap a carboy in a thermal blanket! The tests keep the water within 1° F of the target, which was set to 67° F. While the beer is fermenting, it may have to work a little harder to maintain due to the heat generated by the yeast. That test yet to come.

I am planing on making my own PIC based controller with some features that the DIY  and commercially available one does not currently have.

Cheers! 🍻


3D Systems Cube Gen 3 Rubber Wiper

I bought a cube 3 printer a while ago, very easy to use. So recently I found a refurb on eBay pretty cheap. It did not come with any filament or accessories, including the wipers and wiper holster. I looked online to see if I could buy the rubber wiper blade. I recall seeing them a few years ago, and they were not cheap! But I couldn’t find any.

So I 3D printed the holster and ordered some silicone 1/16″ mat to laser cut my own wiper!

If you would like to buy some, I will be selling them in my store. Here


ULINE Heat Sealer Strap

I bought 2 brand new ULINE poly bag heat sealers. Both of them came with an extruded plastic strap to keep the handle closed when not in use.
Somehow my kids managed to lose both of them…ARGGG!

So I designed a new one in Sketchup. Super basic design. Printed with ABS with an infill of 50%.

You can find the STL file on my Thingiverse profile:


Swing Out Peg Board

Needed some peg board above my workbench for tools and junk. But the electrical panel is in the way. So I used some aluminum Tslot materiel and made a frame for some peg board. I got some plastic beg board materiel from 80/20 Inc. and it fits great in the aluminum slot. Then mounted the frame on some hinges, to the wall. The peg board can now swing out and still have access to the panel.



DYI Plywood Cutting Panel Saw

While doing a kitchen remodel in my new home, I did not want cheap partial board cabinets. Real wood cabinets were WAY to costly! So I set out to make my own cabinets.

Got a great deal on 3/4″ Birch plywood at Lowes, it was 1/2 off! But I could not cut it all at the store, far too many cuts. After looking at pricing on panels saws, that was out of the question. So I did a DIY search for one. Found tons of information on making your own. So I borrowed bits from the various versions I found and made my own!

It can rip and cross cut ply wood up to 1″ thick. Even cuts nice and true! I designed the saw holder in Sketchup and laser cut it from 3/8″ acrylic. I used Tslot aluminum, with liner slides for the motion.


FrisBeer Drinking Game

Someone introduced me to this game. And it is HELLA fun! FrisBeer also known as “Polish Horseshoes”. Basically 2 teams take turns throwing a frisbee at opposite teams beer bottle sitting on a pole. Has lots of fun rules, or you can make your own “house rules”. The guys who showed it to me had a 3d printed bottle, with a harbor freight flash light inside. We also used a lighted frisbee. But the bottles he made were not very bright…. so I made my own with a custom LED PCB.

I downloaded a 3D file for a beer bottle, made it 2 sections to house the LEDs and battery. Made the battery compartment for a 9v, with a working battery door and on/off switch! Printed out 2 complete sets with a translucent ABS. The 2 sections are a slip fit male and female. I used some hot glue to keep them together. The main part of the bottle was the absolute max my printer height could do.

I had the PCBs made by, using their CAD software. It was the fastest turn around I could get, I was going on a trip and wanted to take this with me. Since they do not offer routing with the bare boards level, I centered a .250″ hole and chucked it up in my mini lathe and cut them round with a carbide bit.

Quick trip to Lowes and made the stands out of PVC pipe. I did not glue them together, this way it could be adjusted is the ground is not level.