Ok, time to stir up this backwater and get your creative hats on!
There are lots of DIY pick and place machine around, these tend to be one-offs for private purposes. Some of them very good, but apart from teaser videos on youtube, no detailed plans are available. Machines which have made to market are relatively expensive (e.g. [buildyourcnc.com]). They tend to come from CNC background, so heavy metal, with Mach3 or EMC, bespoke machined components.
I've seen some really simple systems, one guy using Repetier host (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emGQ80bTtBs&list=UUPw_8uMdPFrSkW8e4MuBlZQ&index=1) which inspired me to try to build a simple system which re-uses existing reprap technology where possible. We want to use off the shelf components, or printed parts.
There also the OpenPnP project [openpnp.github.io] which I hope will provide some host software.
I think one of the reasons a lot of DIY pick and place projects start but don't finish is they set the goals to high. Trying to reproduce a commercial system and also make it many times cheaper just doesn't work. So for me, keep it simple is the mantra. For hobby uses, one-offs, rapid prototypes we must make compromises to reduce cost. Overall cost I am putting at £500 ($800), i.e. similar price to reprap printer.
This bears some resemblance to Danh Trinh's machine, that is largely coincidental. I was actually trying to blend a Darwin type frame with Mendel X carriage. I did think about providing an add-on for any Reprap printer, this would limit the component feeders to cut strips, since the table moves.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2013 12:07PM by bobc.
I have been working on a light weight pick and place head, and have come up with the following [www.youtube.com]
It uses two servos for movement, I might replace one or both with a small stepper. The linear slide is a problem, it is hard to find anything off the shelf that is cheap, accurate and lightweight. I am looking to experiment with drawer slides, or mechanism from a DVD drive.
Possibly, PLA bearings on small diameter smooth rod might be an option.