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Automatic Component Tape Cutter For When Your Electronics Kit Hits The Big Time | Hackaday

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Even for the simplest products, mass production can be a huge challenge. For example, you may find yourself spending a lot of time manually calculating and cutting strips of tape to match the DIY electronics kit sold on Tindie. [Tom Keddie] was in a similar position not long ago and established his own


[Tom] posted a video of his old machine after another Twitter user asked for help (watch it after a break), and he found that he had a lot of strips to cut. The frame of the machine is made of 20×20 aluminum profiles and laser-cut plexiglass. Using a 3D printed sprocket, the tape is pulled from the reel by a stepper motor, and it is fixed by a Lego wheel and tension spring. The second idler pulley with tensioner is used to guide the tape through the two photointerrupters, which can count the holes in the opaque tape or the components in the transparent tape. The cutter itself is an Exacto blade, mounted on a wooden block in the form of a guillotine, driven by another stepper motor and a screw as a lead screw. Everything is of course controlled by Arduino. Although it is no longer used, [Tom] said it worked very well that day.

Inexpensive laser cutting, 3D printing, and the advent of components such as aluminum extrusion and stepper motors have indeed enabled anyone to add some automation to production in the home workshop. You won't be surprised

, But we have also seen similar machines


. Let us hear about your production hack in the comments, or if you have recorded it, please give us a hint!


A few years ago, I built a machine to perform this operation and provided you with a quick video that might give you some ideas.

-Tom Cody (@tom_keddie)

This is definitely useful!

We use the "old fashioned" method, measuring the workbench and pencil with a tape measure. This is how it works.

Quickly figure out the pocket spacing on the tape part. You will find the pitch or pitch is 4, 8, 12 or 16 mm.

Next, you mark a vertical line on the left side of the workbench and perform some mathematical operations. For example, the count of 100 parts with 8 mm pitch is 800 mm, which is 31.5 inches. Therefore, to calculate 100 blocks of 8mm pitch parts, you will mark the second row 31.5 on the right. For 12mm and 16mm pitch parts, you will count in units of 50 and 25.

The rest is easy. You install the spool holder on the right side and pull out the tape. Therefore, for 530 parts with 8mm spacing, you have to stretch 5 through two lines, and then calculate the last 30.

A few years ago, I did something similar for the Blinkenrocket kit assembly.

It can cut tape and use markings to color-code parts.

Der Zerhacker appeared on hackaday.

But to this day, I still cannot cut clear plastic packaging because I rely on optical sensors to detect the holes in the strips for perfect alignment.

Now, this featured machine uses 2 sensors.

Like me, one is for the holes and the second is for the actual face value on the transparent packaging.

Now, I have seen this. In the next few days, I will upgrade den Zerhacker with a second optical detector.

Thanks to hackaday for posting similar projects.

This has inspired many people.

Hey hey! I will link it to the main text. Love Der Zerhacker.

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