Weeny solder bot

25 Sep 2023 15:59 #281600 by iforce2d
Weeny solder bot was created by iforce2d
Just wanted to show off this little through-hole soldering machine I made, goes by the name 'Weeny' because the whole thing fits in the size of an A4 sheet of paper. It's running on a RaspberryPi ZeroW using my 'weenyPRU' realtime unit that targets the STM32F103C8 (aka blue pill) microcontroller. The firmware and LinuxCNC component was based on Remora, but has been heavily modified to suit my needs and the capability of the lowly F103C8. 

All the parts were made on my big router, also running LinuxCNC of course. I built the router a couple years ago when I knew almost nothing about LinuxCNC so it's a very basic setup, but I learned so much doing this solder bot that I finally understand it all much better now. I was able to set up a decent physical control interface using halui which seemed far out of reach a couple years ago.

I designed the PRU board to keep the wiring tidy, but this could also be done with a regular blue pill, if you enjoy dealing with a huge ball of spaghetti wiring. Here is some info on the board: github.com/iforce2d/weenyPRU
My first PCB design had some errors so right now I'm waiting on delivery of the second version, after I confirm everything is ok I'll add the PCB files to the github page. Here is a video I made that looks at the PRU board:

There is some more discussion about the PRU in the forums here:

Since the PRU is not much more than a blue pill, it's quite cheap. I paid US$42 for 5 boards from JLCPCB (that's with no pins or connectors of course, just the SMD parts), so that's about $8 each, and with a RPi Zero being $20 or less this is a really cheap way to get started with LinuxCNC. The PiZero is ungodly slow to run the GUI at the same time though, which is why I'm running everything 'headless'. Since this solder bot does the same job over and over, I can get away with not using the GUI, but if you did want a GUI you'd need at least a RPi3 to not go crazy.

Apart from the physical halui controls, my linuxcnc-gcode-server is helpful to run everything headless. This lets me enable, home, load programs, run MDI commands etc over a telnet connection. You can find more info on that here: github.com/iforce2d/linuxcnc-gcode-server
And a video demo of that: 

The following user(s) said Thank You: tommylight, Aciera, snowgoer540, JPL

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03 Oct 2023 08:30 #282137 by andypugh
Replied by andypugh on topic Weeny solder bot

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03 Oct 2023 23:54 #282227 by cakeslob
Replied by cakeslob on topic Weeny solder bot
didnt see you posted it here, I saw it posted on hackaday this weekend. lookin pretty good.

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04 Oct 2023 20:57 #282314 by tommylight
Replied by tommylight on topic Weeny solder bot
And get a thinner tip on that soldering iron! :)

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