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CA$ 88,255 pledged of CA$ 140,000 goal
backers
By Chipsetter
CA$ 88,255 pledged of CA$ 140,000 goal
backers

About this project

Few aspects of circuit board development are as tedious as placing electronics components by hand. Contractors can assemble small batches, but who has 2-4 weeks and $1000 to spend on each design cycle? 

The Chipsetter ONE is the first pick-and-place machine built to satisfy the needs of today’s electronics developers. Fast setup, accurate placement, and affordability make the Chipsetter ONE the tool to help developers overcome the final barrier to rapid circuit assembly. It’s time to take control of your assembly, and get to market faster.

 Our Story

We began this project after assembling many, many circuit boards over the past 10 years. Shrinking SMT device sizes, combined with new access to affordable prototype PCB fabrication services meant we were developing more circuit boards than ever, and constantly experiencing the pain of manual assembly. Our survey of available solutions revealed existing desktop equipment was either too expensive, or unreliable. We needed something better, and we knew all of the electronics developers just like us needed it too. So we decided to do something about it.

Inspired by desktop 3D printing, we set out to create a useful and affordable tool. We knew that to be useful it would need to actually save you time and effort. To do that, our solution would have to be very reliable, and we would have to solve the setup time problem.

While other solutions have moved away from single tape feeders in favour of arrays of tape slots, many users have complained at how difficult this has made it to set up and change over jobs. We decided to pursue an economical feeder solution, which required our team to design an economical removable electronic feeder system from the ground up. It is our intention to enable owners of the Chipsetter ONE to own a sufficient number of feeders to put an end to time wasted swapping tape between feeders during a change-over. Chipsetter Tape Feeders can be easily loaded and unloaded from the Chipsetter ONE, making mechanical and electrical connections in one swift motion.

Circuit Boards Assembled on the Chipsetter ONE
Circuit Boards Assembled on the Chipsetter ONE

 Supporters

"Right now, if you’re looking at pick and place machines, I’d highly suggest checking out the Chipsetter [ONE]. It works, and with forty feeders it’s cheaper and more capable than the lowest priced ‘pro’ machines." — Hackaday

How To Build Circuit Boards Using the Chipsetter ONE

1. Insert feeders

2. Apply solder paste to your circuit board

3. Secure PCB in the Chipsetter ONE's clamps

4. Import manufacturing data, and the machine will take care of the rest.

The Chipsetter ONE will then pick up your components...

...the camera vision system will correct for any misalignment...

 ...and your components will be placed on your circuit board.

5. Reflow the circuit board in your reflow oven...

 ...and it's ready to go!

How It Compares

Cost Effective - When developing a rapidly evolving design, the Chipsetter ONE in-house solution is both time and cost effective. Factoring in setup and per unit build costs, it’s not uncommon to spend upwards of $1,000 and 2-4 weeks through a PCB contract assembly service. The cost of the Chipsetter ONE can be recovered in approximately 5 development cycles, which may be encountered in the development of a single product.

How fast is it? - While high production volume machines are specified in ‘components per hour’ (CPH), small batch assembly jobs are dominated by setup time, change-over speed, software ease of use, and the need for operator intervention. The following scenario highlights the importance of fast setup time for small jobs:

Time Comparison to Build Boards

15 Boards in total

40 Components per board (600 components in total)

15 Unique components (15 Feeders required)

 So wait, the CPH is lower, but it’s actually faster? In many short-run scenarios, yes. Despite a 40% lower CPH, in this scenario the Chipsetter ONE completes the job in 50% of the time.

Fast Setup (Low-Cost Feeders) - To solve the setup time problem we had to go back and re-think feeders. We know that loading and unloading tape from tape-and-reel feeders takes a long time. Our solution was an economical feeder design that uses mass-produced parts, and a microprocessor to store information. The resulting solution allows you to own one feeder per reel in your inventory, making swapping reels in and out of feeders a thing of the past.

Fast Setup (Software)  - Our low-cost feeders are a snap to attach anywhere on the machine, but how does the machine know where they are? Cameras! Our built-in camera system automatically detects feeder locations, sparing the operator from hours of tedious manual setup.

No need for manual programming - There’s no manual placement programming here! Our software handles everything you need to build your boards. Once feeders are loaded, simply import your manufacturing data (Centroid and BOM files in .csv format) from your favorite EDA tool, and the Chipsetter ONE will take care of the rest.

Closed Loop Vision System - Bottom Camera
Closed Loop Vision System - Bottom Camera

Accurate Placement 

The Chipsetter ONE features two built-in cameras to ensure accurate placement of components as small as 0402s. A top-down camera inspects and corrects any misalignment in the circuit board, while the bottom-up camera inspects and corrects any misalignment of held components. 

Assembled by hand:

Circuit Board Assembled by Hand (25 Mins)
Circuit Board Assembled by Hand (25 Mins)

 Assembled on the Chipsetter ONE:

Circuit Board Assembled by Chipsetter ONE (6 mins)
Circuit Board Assembled by Chipsetter ONE (6 mins)

 

Here is a demo of the Chipsetter ONE building give away boards for New York Maker Faire 2016.

Tech Specs

  • Placement speed: Up to 1250 component placements per hour.
  • Minimal Setup time: Control software uses built-in cameras to automate system setup. 
  • Placement accuracy: 30 microns repeatability. 
  • Vision System: Board fiducial and Component alignment. 
  • Part sizes: Handles components down to 0402. 
  • Board sizes: Up to 13.5” x 10” of usable placement area. 
  • Pickup Heads: Two pickup heads for increased placement speed.
  • Nozzle rack: 8-position auto tool changer. 
  • Tape and Reel Feeders: Removable electronic feeders enable pickup of tape and reel packaged components in 8mm, 12mm and 16mm reel widths. 
  • Feeder capacity: Up to 40 8mm Tape and Reel Feeders. 
  • Trays: Accepts JEDEC and custom trays. 
  • Cut Tape Trays: Accepts components in sections of cut tape. 
  • Tube Feeder: Accepts components in tube packages. 
  • Machine size: 34” wide x 28” deep x 21 ½” high. 
  • Assembly Data: Control software reads BOM and centroid data from CSV format files, and communicates with the machine via standard USB interface.

Feeders

Several custom designed feeders allow the Chipsetter ONE to handle all conventional component packages including; reel tape, small sections of cut tape, components in tubes, and loose components in custom trays.

Two Custom Cut Tape Feeders and a Tray Feeder
Two Custom Cut Tape Feeders and a Tray Feeder

 

8mm Tape Feeder (Left) Vibrating Tube Feeder (Right)
8mm Tape Feeder (Left) Vibrating Tube Feeder (Right)

 

Picking up Components from Tape Feeder
Picking up Components from Tape Feeder

 

Picking up Large Components from Tray Feeder
Picking up Large Components from Tray Feeder

 

Rewards

*Chipsetter ONE Prices are in Listed USD
*Chipsetter ONE Prices are in Listed USD

 How to Purchase Additional Feeders

Additional feeders will be made available to purchase for Chipsetter ONE backers through our backer management system. 8mm, 12mm and 16mm Tape Feeders will be sold in packs of 5 for $399USD, 20% off $499USD MSRP, Save $100USD. One size per pack.

T-Shirt and Name Badge Pledge Rewards
T-Shirt and Name Badge Pledge Rewards

 

Production Timeline

 

The Team

 

How we got Here

 

 

 

 

 

     

Risks and challenges

Engineering

The Chipsetter ONE is a tightly integrated combination of mechanical, electrical and software components. To ensure our engineering success, we have assembled a team of highly capable engineers who are very passionate about this project, and we have produced a working version of the product using the the same production methods that will be used to fulfill the campaign rewards.

Supply Chain & Manufacturing

The team at Chipsetter has been busy developing relationships with suppliers, and testing component suitability. We are continuously evaluating alternative suppliers to minimize supply chain risk. Our manufacturing plans are flexible to meet Kickstarter demand. While we hope Kickstarter demand will allow us to experience economies of scale in terms of manufacturing, we also have a plan for the alternative scenario.

Assembly and Quality control

To ensure the quality and performance of this automated equipment, Chipsetter will perform the final assembly and testing of each machine, which will include building a circuit board on each machine before it is shipped. We know this stage of the process often reveals problems that become very disruptive if not addressed immediately, therefore we have committed to performing this work ourselves allowing us to resolve issues promptly.

Software

Chipsetter is committed to delivering a satisfying software experience. Our current software used by our development team contains all required functional elements to operate, however it requires a redesign of the user interface before it will be ready to ship. With the resources provided by a successful campaign, we are confident in our ability to perform this task.

Team

It required a fantastic group of skilled and motivated team members to design and build the Chipsetter ONE, and we know we will need to grow our team to fulfill our campaign rewards. We are actively looking for new team members to fill roles ranging from Engineering to HR. If you share our passion for democratizing access to innovation, please visit our website or contact us at careers@chipsetter.com

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    Buy the team coffee!

    Every little bit of caffeine helps. Your pledge will help keep our team working at full speed.

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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $19

    Our Eternal Gratitude

    Your name will appear on the back of the Chipsetter ONE control circuit board, and in the "Special Thanks to our Kickstarter Backers" section of our software.

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    T-Shirt Backer

    Show your support in style with this limited edition T-Shirt.

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    Pledge CA$ 49 or more About $37

    LED Name Badge Backer

    One name badge to rule them all. This LED name badge pins to your shirt putting an end to identity crises. Use our software to reprogram it over USB in the event that you change your name. Includes 1 CR2032 Coin Cell Battery. Does not include USB cable.

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    Pledge CA$ 4,679 or more About $3,552

    Early Bird [Batch 1]

    40% OFF $5,999 USD MSRP (save $2,400 USD)

    Package Ships with:
    1 x Chipsetter ONE
    5 x 8mm Reel Feeders
    1 x 12mm Reel Feeder
    1 x 16mm Reel Feeder
    2 x Cut Tape Feeders
    1 x Vibrating Feeder
    8 x Nozzles
    1 x USB cable
    1 x Power cable (US Type B Plug)

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    Pledge CA$ 5,199 or more About $3,947

    [Batch 2]

    33% OFF $5,999 USD MSRP (save $2,000 USD)

    Package Ships with:
    1 x Chipsetter ONE
    5 x 8mm Reel Feeders
    1 x 12mm Reel Feeder
    1 x 16mm Reel Feeder
    2 x Cut Tape Feeders
    1 x Vibrating Feeder
    8 x Nozzles
    1 x USB cable
    1 x Power cable (US Type B Plug)

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    Limited 4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5,849 or more About $4,441

    [Batch 3]

    25% OFF $5,999 USD MSRP (save $1,500 USD)

    Package Ships with:
    1 x Chipsetter ONE
    5 x 8mm Reel Feeders
    1 x 12mm Reel Feeder
    1 x 16mm Reel Feeder
    2 x Cut Tape Feeders
    1 x Vibrating Feeder
    8 x Nozzles
    1 x USB cable
    1 x Power cable (US Type B Plug)

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    Pledge CA$ 6,629 or more About $5,033

    I CAN'T WAIT [Batch 1]

    15% OFF $5,999 USD MSRP (save $1,000 USD)

    Package Ships with:
    1 x Chipsetter ONE
    5 x 8mm Reel Feeders
    1 x 12mm Reel Feeder
    1 x 16mm Reel Feeder
    2 x Cut Tape Feeders
    1 x Vibrating Feeder
    8 x Nozzles
    1 x USB cable
    1 x Power cable (US Type B Plug)

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Funding period

- (30 days)