If you make a lot of PCBs you will very quickly get tired of the tedious and boring process of applying solder paste to your board. The cheap and cheerful solution of using something like a toothpick has the major downside of taking forever to get the job done.
Solder paste dispensers make it way easier and faster to apply your paste but come with a hefty price tag and the compressed air based ones make a lot of noise. This solder paste dispenser made by Dan M removes the compressed air from the equation in favor of a stepper motor. This saves you shelling out for an air compressor and keeps you sane with its nice and quiet operation.
This machine is packed full of useful features. Here are the main points:
- USB powered (no air compressor required)
- 3 operation modes : Manual, Timer, and Dot
- Comes with 2 syringes and 12 tips to suit whatever fluid you are using
- You can store settings that work best with a particular fluid (certain solder pastes have different viscosity depending on manufacturer)
- You can load your own firmware! The microcontroller can be reprogrammed to suit your needs
- It can be used to pick up SMD components for picking and placing them on the PCB! Very cool.
Having one machine that can pick and place tiny SMD parts and dispense solder is an incredibly useful addition to a PCB designers arsenal. Dan M has also provided some nice documentation on using this piece of equipment.