Mar 20, 2015

TwinTeeth home manufacturing PCB factory mulitool with 3d printer

There are more and more home manufacturing tools and TwinTeeth is one of the more developed I saw.
It is a multitool reversed Delta machine mainly orientated towards PCB manufacturing but it can serve as 3d printer also. It is fully open sourced with plans so you can easily build it yourself or customize it to your needs. True ability for distributed manufacturing.

It has following functions and exchangeable tool options:
  • UV Laser photoengraving on sensitive film or pre-sensitized boards using an ultraviolet laser.
  • Drilling vias and holes using any mini-rotary tool like Dremel® or Proxxon®.
  • Dispensing solder paste with precision on SMD PCB pads.
  • Plotting circuits with a permanent pen-maker
  • 3D printing knobs, casings, front-panels, even print circuits with conductive filament, or make circuits supports.
  • Milling/Carving soft materials or etching PCB copper with a v-bit (if you prefer this etching method).
TwinTeet core inverse Delta and replaceable toolheads in front of it

Here is a video of it in action:

TwinTeeth technical specifications from the project page:
  • Working area (X,Y,Z): 70x80x60mm reduced considerably to an “Arduino™ shield-size” because it's preferred to do something small but precise. Users rarely create big circuit boards and reducing the working area has some benefits: the robot is cheaper, more precise, more robust, smaller and more manageable. However, it’s scalable, so you can make it bigger if you want.
  • Motion: TwinTeeth is powered by three Nema 17 motors, lead-screws and anti-backlash nuts.
  • Speed: it can go as fast as 1200-1500mm/min.
  • Code: it supports G-Code, postscript and BMP files. Eagle CadSoft can export to postscript format very easily. Support BMP files means than in addition to PCBs it can also print and etch photos on copper, alu or bronze.
  • Laser: using the same PHR-803T optical pickup than DiyouPCB with a wavelength of 405nm.
  • Rastering: the robot draws the PCB circuits in rastering mode in a similar way any paper printer does: moving the laser (or the bed in our case) from one side of the printer to the other.
  • Resolution: In rastering mode it's printing at 600DPI resolution. The laser beam spot is approx. 0.04 wide when is focused. Incredibly thin! Theorically mechanical precision is 0.94um.
  • Auto bed-levelling – it keeps the bed flat with a tolerance of less than 0.01mm while the robot is moving. It’s very important to improve printing quality and provide precision.
  • Auto-Focus: - small focus differences on the PCB surface affect printing quality so implemented a robust focusing system which takes some points on the PCB and extrapolates the results with a bilinear equation. With that info the robot adjusts the focus automatically while printing.
  • Infrared focusing: the auto-focus system uses an infrared laser to avoid film blurring. Films or presensitized boards are only sensible to ultraviolet light.
  • Electronics – using the well known combination of Arduino™ Mega + RAMPS 1.4 + A4988 Motor Drivers. Improved the Pickup Driver Circuit developed for DiyouPCB and now it includes new features.
  • Precision fixture bed – it is very important to keep the PCB fixed to the bed while the robot is moving. Also, when printing two-sided PCBs you have to be sure that both sides are correctly aligned. TwinTeeth includes a precision aluminium fixture bed and dowel pins which allow correct fixing and positioning of the PCBs. A stencil is also included which helps to drill the PCB’s 4-positions holes.
  • Camera – included a small USB camera because it is difficult to see tiny details on high-density PCBs. The camera is also useful to set the home position which is very important to obtain accuracy.
  • 3D Printing:  FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) with 1.75mm PLA/ABS and a 0.35mm extrusion nozzle. Printing quality is similar to any 3D printer you can find in the market.
TwinTeeth software:
  • TwinTeeth Firmware: deeply modified Marlin firmware to support multiple tools, manage and control the laser, implement the auto-focus system, print in rastering mode, improve the buffering, and much more.
  • TwinTeeth Management Console – TwinTeeth comes with a new easy-to-use management console which includes functionality specially designed for the multi-tool environment. Included functions to calibrate the printer, move the axis (jogging), and adjust the parameters of each tool. This software communicates with the robot through an USB 2.0 port.
  • TwinTeeth Eagle ULPs – developed some ULPs (Eagles’s user language programs) to generate the drilling and paste dispensing g-code files. You can also use the files generated by other ULPs like PCBCode.
  • Eagle Cadsoft – It is a popular electronic CAD software company. They provide a freeware version for non-commercial use. It easily generates the postscript, drilling and solder paste dispensing files which TwinTeeth uses to make the circuits.
  • 3D Slicing software– for 3D printing you can use any slicer software like Slic3R or Cura.

TwinTeeth homepage:

Since it is an open source project you can get all the files to make it here and start your own home PCB factory: