Pixel Pump

An open-source, manual pick-and-place machine for PCB artisans

Jan 24, 2023

Project update 3 of 5

New Delivery Date

by Robin R

Dear supporters,

As announced on Twitter a few days ago, I will unfortunately not be able to keep the planned delivery date of your Pixel Pumps. But there is some very good news I’ll get to in a moment.

First of all, I probably don’t need to explain our beloved global component crisis to you in more detail, since you’ve probably already been confronted with it through supporting other products or with your own projects. However, I would like to say that I did my best to meet the deadline. I even started buying parts with my own money long before the campaign even started. Still, some parts arrived only a few weeks ago, which unfortunately pushed the delivery date back more than I liked.

Now comes the good news!

All tasks that were not affected by the supply chain have been completed. The 3D printing farm did a great job and already successfully printed all the parts needed for the Pixel Pump and its accessories. They look great and are very sturdy. I am very excited to see what you guys think of them! My dad and I have started assembling them as far as we can, and we will be done with that shortly. At this point I would like to thank my father who contributed a lot to this project!

Let’s talk about the electronics! Now that I have all the parts in stock, I can finally continue working on the last todos of the project. Unfortunately, the missing parts have blocked these tasks so far. For example, without them, I couldn’t get a final prototype tested in the EMC lab. Without the power supplies, I could not finalize the Pixel Pump packaging design. And so on…

Now that I have the parts, I was able to make that final prototype of the Pixel Pump and send it to the EMC test chamber. All measurements are already completed, and luckily everything is within the limits. How cool is that! Now, I can order the boards in a large quantity and assemble them shortly. I am really looking forward to it!

While waiting for the boards, I continue working on the packaging. With the arrival of the power supplies and cables for the foot pedal, I finally have all the things that belong in the package and know how big and heavy they are. This info is important because later everything has to fit together in the final packaging. I will spend the next two weeks with the construction of the packaging and the related prototypes. I already have a supplier from Europe, from whom I can subsequently purchase the packaging I design with a short delivery time.

After the packaging design is finished and the packaging is ordered, the boards should have arrived so I can start assembling them.

The only thing missing then is the final assembly of the actual Pixel Pumps, so that I can then send them to Crowd Supply and thus distribute them to you.

I am very happy that I can say with a high probability that there are no tricky tasks left in this project. The (in my eyes) most difficult tasks were sourcing the parts, passing the EMC test, buying, configuring and operating a pick and place machine including the reflow oven and everything that goes with it. Also running a 3D printing farm that works reliably and produces high quality parts in PETG was a challenge in the beginning. Actually, there are quite a few more things that are already done. But since this update is already long enough, I want to finish with a new delivery date.

Based on the open todos that I unfortunately couldn’t start earlier, and the fact that I still have a family and a full time job besides this project, I think it’s realistic that I can start shipping the Pixel Pumps by mid April. It is a date which is further in the future than I would have liked. But I want to take my time and deliver a product I can be proud of.

I’m looking forward to the day when you could receive your Pixel Pumps, and I’m very excited about your feedback! Again, I apologize for the delay and also ask for your understanding.

Best regards from Germany,
Robin Reiter

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