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  1. #1

    Looking for design suggestions - SMT component reel holder

    Good afternoon all!

    I am a manufacturing engineer at a shop that manufactures circuit boards. I have been working with Solidworks 2016 for a little over a year, and I have become pretty proficient with it. Recently I have been tasked with creating a lot of 3D printed tooling to enhance some of our manufacturing operations, to which I have had some really great successes so far. I am currently working on a project where I have a relatively large SMT component reel that my operators are laying on a table to pull parts out of. In the process, they cause a lot of damage to the parts by bending leads - therefore I have been tasked with getting the reel up and off the workstation. As you can see from my first model, the reel holder is pretty robust and does this job nicely. The issue is that the parts are pretty heavy, so after pulling just a foot or 2 of tape off the reel, the reel wants to free-spool all of the parts off.

    I need to come up with a way to tension the spool on the holder in order to A) minimize contact with the spool directly (so no spring steel pressure against the parts), and B) attempt to make this fully 3D printable for ease of replacements and duplications. I have no issue recessing steel hardware inside of printed components in order to make this robust either, so that is always an option. I hope someone here can set me off in the right direction to accomplish this goal!

    Oh yeah and - 1st post!



    Thank you for your time!

    Last edited by mstockwell; 07-02-2018 at 11:32 AM. Reason: forgot some wording

  2. #2
    So the spool drops on the holder and then the worker pulls on the tape to get the parts attached to the tape. But the the spool spins from the weight of the tape ans parts hanging off. So is the spindle that sits in the bracket attached to the spool tightly or does the spool spin free on the spindle as well as the spindle within the bracket? I Was thinking about a rubber block in the bracket to provide resistance.. If the spool spins on the spindle then maybe some rubber grommets in the bore of the spool to provide resistance. The spool has a round indent near the center in the picture, if there are more of those evenly spaced, you could print the bracket nose a bit longer and incorporate a spring loaded rounded Nib (1/2" diameter or so) that would drop in the area and stop the motion. Adjustable spring tension would let you make it loose enough to pull without free wheeling...

  3. #3
    grommets will wear.
    you just need some tensioned arms pushing up on the base of the reels rims.
    Or on the top pushing down.

    just because we want to know. What printer are you using ?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    grommets will wear.
    you just need some tensioned arms pushing up on the base of the reels rims.
    Or on the top pushing down.

    just because we want to know. What printer are you using ?
    Thank you for your replies!

    So we have 21 Ultimaker 3's available for use in our shop, all of which has their own "personality" if you may lol. To answer the other posters question, yes the weight of the parts causes the spool to wind out very rapidly if you pull more than about 12" of tape from the reel. At this point, I am just trying to figure out how I might incorporate something like a tension arm into my current design. If thats not possible, any suggestions for a redesign would be fantastic!

    Thank you all and regards,


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