Magazines To Get Your SMD Components Organized!

Magazines To Get Your SMD Components Organized!

So you started making your own PCBs at home? Maybe your doing only one at a time. Maybe 10 or even 20? Or maybe you started your own tindie store
to sell your great ideas. No matter what, at one point you’ll end up
having such a box full of components. And the workflow is just terrible. You finally found that 10k Ohms resistor? Put it right back into the bag or you’ll end
up having unlabelled components all over the place. That drove me crazy! So I came up with this. These are little magazines. You label them, fill em up and store em in
your shelf. When your starting a small production run
simply grab the components you need and click em onto the rail. I even color coded them. Capacitors are blue, resistors are black and
ICs, Diodes etc. are in gray. Finding components and picking and placing
them is a breeze and you’re rushing through your PCBs in no
time. —– The original idea to store SMT strips like
that came from Maxint. I found this on thingiverse and it immediatly
cought my attention. Although I found this to be nice design I
kinda had a few modifications in my mind. So I booted up Fusion 360 and designed my
own variant. I knew that I might want to store larger components
so I made it a bit bigger. Also I wanted that little plastic covering
to be redirected backwards so it does not interfere when picking components. I went through a couple of design iterations
and played around with the overall shape, size and thickness. (describe the features of the entire thing) A few prototypes later I was happy with how
it peeled the tape. It seemd to pick up the plastic covering just
fine and also you are able to advance the tape with one hand. Great! Actually thats a pretty usable device already. But I figured it would be mandatory to kinda
mount this to the desk so things don’t fall over all the time. So I printed another version with a clamping
lever. It’s spring loaded and pivoting around a screw. While assebmling I’ve printed a prototype
of the mounting rail to test the fit and overall feel of how these two attach. The layer of foam is there to give it some
backpressure against the rail. This adds rigidity and also makes this feel
a whole lot nicer. There is a fair amount of slack. That is by design. Its nessecary to accomodate for 3D Printing
tolerances but more important… its there so you can easily engage both parts without
having to fiddle around. You just kinda push it in there and it guides
n snaps itself in place. — My design felt quite right
and could not resist in getting forward with this project so I started producing a whole
bunch in different colors. — Besides color coding according to the component
type you might also want to note other things like its value, voltage or other useful infos. I chose to go with a standard label printer. But there is a problem. That label will not stick to the surface of
the 3D printed parts. I even tried reinforcing the label with some
sticky tape. But it will still peel off after a short amount
of time. Why is that so? Lets take a look under a microscope. This is a closeup of the 3D printed surface
where you can clearly see the layers. The problem is that the roundness of the layers
basically leave no surface area for the sticky tape to grab on to. — In fact. Let me show you. Here’s that part where you can see the tape
and the layers. Doesn’t look like a strong bond.. doenst it? My first attempt to fix this was sanding. I took some 240 grit sand paper and gave it
a few swipes. Although the labels did stick pretty good
the surface didn’t look very good at all. Then I tried something else. My second attempt was to apply some acetone
to the parts. I know what your thinking… acetone is actually
used on ABS rather than PLA like in my case.. But it still has an effect. It seems to have flattened the surface a bit
and also the part feels a bit sticky and not so glossy. But as you can see the PLA starts degrading
and after a couple of days the tape eventually looses contact… again. So It took yet another approach to figure
things out. I bought a water based clear coating and applied
that to the part. I then added a second layer after 30 minutes
of drying and let that part cure over night. And now you can see how the coating has filled
the gaps and smoothened out the layers leaving a much better surface. Its not perfect but it is a lot better. The printed label sticks pretty well and that
is good enough for me. If you have a different approach to this please
leave a comment! I’m curious to know. — Lets finally tackle the last piece which is
the mounting rail. I made these steel pieces and painted them
to keep things nice and clean. Although this step is not strictly nessecary
I highly recommend adding some weight to give the entire setup some rigidity. If you do not have the tools to prepare a
piece of steel like that you could simply glue in some spare washers,
nuts or basically anything you have on hand. Next I took some 10 millimeter foam I salvaged
from a delivered parcel, markt it and cut it to size. After securing it with a little bit of hot
glue I added some felt pads so it sits on the bench even nicer. — You want to get started and make these for
your self? I have detailled instructions on Thingiverse
on how to do so. Everything is free for you to download. I even included multiple STL files to cover
most common SMT strip dimensions. But if you need a special size simply open
the Fusion 360 project and tweak the user parameters yourself. You’ll find everything you need in the video
description. These magazins might not be for everyone. Sure it takes some time to print all of these
but if you ask me its just a great addition to the shop. If you build them for yourself I’d be more
than happy to see them on twitter. I hope you liked the video. If you did please give it a thumbs up. Thank you. I’m happy with the mechanism to peel the tape. It loaded the strip nicely, you can feed it
with one hand and the plastic strip always faces away from you. (then guide through the production process
including assembly, labelling and rail preparation) Done!

78 thoughts on “Magazines To Get Your SMD Components Organized!

  • Two parts, plus a spring, plus a screw, that reminded me of these types of mechanisms:

    Have you considered printing the whole thing (including the spring) in one part?

  • It would be nice to see a version with a fully 3d printed compliant mechanism on the latching system instead of the more conventional screw + spring. Curious about the durability and the added benefit of easier manufacturing and assembly !

  • This is an awesome idea! I would make a few modifications to make this even better. First, I would make the dispensers sized to fit in a small parts cabinet drawer, which are popular for organizing electronic components. You can probably fit several of then in a single drawer, organized by part and value. Second, I would add a built-in cutter blade that cuts off the length you need by pressing on tab. It would work like those old film splicers. With those modifications, this could become a very viable product.

  • Thank you for the quality video. I think it's great to see it. What is your job? I'm really curious. I'd like to do this kind of work later

  • Nice project, I just did a video on a free to use electronics parts inventory web site which I have been building, might be of interest to you or your audience, I have been getting good response from my audience:

  • Hi Robin, very nice design and a great video as well. They look well suited for the paper resistor strips as well. BTW: I often use PVC glue with PLA prints. It can be used for repairs but also for smoothing or for filling a transparent hole to let a LED shine through.
    Thank you for mentioning me and the original design. I didn't know of your channel, but Unexpected Maker notified me and so I just subscribed. Noticed that I have some catching up to do, watching your other videos, but I'm already looking forward to see more great things!

  • Loved the video, and will definitely make some to test. For the labeling I would stick the label to a piece of card and build two grooves into the print which it would hold the card. This would allow it to be changed more easily in the future.

  • Brilliant idea. I have only one thing to complain about. I do a lot of manual assembly. Sometimes 100s of boards at the time with 100+ components each. The way components are stored they are way off the table too high. Your arm would start to hurt after few hours of picking the components from this high. But this is excellent idea. I'll do a respin of your design with the tape sticking from the bottom of the case….

  • Look for plastic filler (kunststoffspachtel in german) from presto on Amazon, that stuff is pretty good to smooth out prints and its pretty robust after curing.

  • Hi Robin, thanks for the great video. What tool are you using to pick up the SMD components? Can you recommend the specific model you are using? Thank you in advance.

  • Amazing idea! I too am drowning under little ESD bags and have to search through hundreds of them each time I place a component, so I'm totally considering building that.

  • strange my labels stick fine to my prints, but my label printer is a Brother pt-h110. but you might be able to get rid of the ruff surface after sanding with a heat gun to slightly remlt it. or maybe soften the surface a lil before sticking/pushing the tape? o rjust design something the tape slides into.

  • Its really cool to get such a great feedback from you guys. Thanks!
    Sharing the video on Twitter (@robin7331), Facebook or other media really helps spreading this project.

    UPDATE: The version with the compliant mechanism design is now released. You can choose between both versions. Their both compatible with the rail. No screws, no springs no assembly.  😊

  • Pretty cool, definitely will use something similar. I personally don't like tolerances for the front notch, far to loose. Proper dimensions should work better and not need the foam. Also just design a window/slot to slide the label into from front, rear, or side.

    And more than likely I'll just use a simple trapezoidal friction fit to mount them instead of the spring and latch.

  • For the label issue, better glue might help. For the Brother p-touch series of label printers, you can get "extra strenght adhesive" label rolls. I used those in our datacenter because regular ones tended to fall off after a while on a hot server.

  • Nice idea. Definitely will make some of these for the workbench. Could you let us know what software you were using? I have not seen that before, and looks like a nice clean way to reference parts to placement location.

  • Hi mate you're project was so simple and you made it so perfect thanks a lot for your contribution to this world 😀

  • How would It be to use compliant mecanisms for the clamp as well as for the base … Print everything in one piece and no screws, springs or foam required.

  • Really awesome idea. As regards to the clear coat top coat. you could use something like clear coat for nail varnish. This is also called top coat for nail varnish.

  • 2 part epoxy, contact cement, heat , also nothing permanent from Pla ( long term use, i use pla for fast prototyping ) rest is amazing

  • Did you consider designing a slot into the magazine so you can slip a piece of paper in with the details of the SMD stored in it?

  • This should be a product. Im sure thousands of hobbiests and small companies have that problem and would love to just buy these things.
    (honestly Im considering to get a Printer just for those)

  • Em wouldn't it be even simpler to leave cavity in holder with hole on side and for weight use like sand or for more weight to use lead wights from fishing supplies and after filling just print small plug?

  • DUDE YOU ARE A FREAKIN GENIUS. I love it – it's so elegant. I'm sharing the pain of ESD component bags and loose unmarked components.

  • Hello there !! Very nice design. As for , You can try to iron the sticky tape with clothes iron in order to flaten the surface and at the same time let the label stick together!! If you try this let me know !!

    p.s. Try not to apply heat with the iron for too much time.

  • Amazing, now thats a really useful thing to have when making small batches of pcb`s or even just storage really compact

  • You can use ethyl acetate as an alternative to acetone for PLA. It works in much the same way as acetone does for ABS. In the past I've sprayed a fine mist of ethyl acetate onto a PLA part to give it a smooth, glossy finish, and I've also used it to remove PLA that had fused onto my 3D printer's PEI sheet (not sure exactly why it fused; I was using Polyalchemy Elixir PLA, printing a 0.08mm layers, with a 0.15mm nozzle, and I think my first layer was too low… every print I tried with those settings resulted in the first layer fusing to the bed and I had to use ethyl acetate to partially-dissolve the PLA to get rid of it…)

    I'm not sure what the safety profile of ethyl acetate is, so you might want to check that first :p I get the impression it's slightly more unpleasant than acetone, but I don't know for sure. I also don't know how easy it is to get in various countries. I bought it easily on eBay UK – though it was a fair bit more expensive than IPA or acetone…

    This is a great project, though – congrats 🙂 I'm using A5-size "sample books" from AliExpress for resistors, capacitors, diodes, inductors; and EEVblog uSleeves in an A4 folder for any ICs that I don't have in tubes – the tubes get Velcroed to a small strip of wood (previously used as packing material in some Ikea furniture!) that I've stuck to the cupboard doors behind my desk 🙂 I'll have to think about how I could best use this idea!

  • This is really cool, great job!
    I'm thinking that brushing on some XTC 3D (epoxy smoothing coating for 3D prints) might work really well for the labels

  • Great and very usefull idea!!!
    But i have a question, not about idea, what model of oven You use for soldering SMD components?

  • Brutally awesome! Considering the ridiculous headache I go through pretty much weekly, I feel like a fool for not thinking in such an astounding solution. Thanks for sharing man; great project!

  • A clear window would also be nice on those. Another idea id to use velcro to stick the base on place when needed, maybe also magnets? there are many possibilities =)

  • Brother you are awesome… Great great idea.. no one thought of this before so beautifully. Keep it up,👏👏 impressed.
    You are kind enough to share project files also 👍 ……thanks
    Btw you got a new subscriber just now 😃

  • Not really a pretty solution, but double sided foam tape is really good for rough surfaces. I also have a feeling that plain-old paper labels/stickers would adhere a lot better than tape from a label printer.

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