Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Inverted wire-wrapping

Driven by the scarcity of low melting-point alloys and the wide availability of wire, I wondered if it might not be a good idea to design a wire-wrapping head that deposits fine copper or phosphor-bronze wire.

Wire could be hitched around protuberances on the plastic object under construction, and spiralled against the walls of holes in such a way as to hold components that are pushed into them. The use of wire has been breviously mentioned, but it is not necessary to coat the wire before depositing it. The wires can be insulated and fixed securely in place by overwriting with plastic - or even icing!

It might be necessary to heat the holes slightly to ensure the wire sticks to the walls. It might even be practical to make IC holders for SMT components by strategically laying the wire in lines, and arranging a clamp to hold the IC on top of them.

Wires can be joined by spiralling them into the holes, or around protuberances. In fact, it might be practical to forget holes and develop notched pillars that are wrapped with wire as a kind of socket. These would accept components pushed into the notches after the wire has been wrapped around them:

Where wires cross, the lower wire is first burried in deposited plastic.

No time to test right now, so pipe up if your interests are inclined in that direction - i.e. if you are a secret sewing machine collector or somesuch.

Vik :v)

Actually, I was just thinking that this might be just the thing for making coils in place... as I said before, step motors are very easy to put together, especially if you're not wrapping them by hand.
Can't quite say I wasn't thinking along similar lines - although I was contemplating trying to figure out if I could have an iron head in a blowtorch with copper flowing through it - it's not that bad to melt... but that'd probably end up being unhappy with the plastic.

Perhaps have a set of shapes you already have in wire, and a mechanism to drop it into a slot in a particular orientation?
and of course, it'd be shiny to get it dropping electronics together.
But that can wait.
Getting the RepRap to make a coil-winding mechanism is not an impossible task. We might end up with a few specialised tools and adaptors that plug into the basic design - much like a food processor.

Vik :v)
Most Certainly! and with the addition of what amounts to a dremel, you've got small-scale milling and drilling..

Hmmm... how will the part be held down? seems to me that wrapping wire could introduce some more significant horizontal forces.
When I saw the title of this post, I thought you were going to suggest placing the electronic components in place upside down ("inverted"), and then wrap the wire directly around the leads. Of course, this involves gluing the components in place (so they can't be replaced), and the material might be hot enough to damage the components, so it's probably not a very good idea... but what about using sockets? They cost a little more, but at least with sockets you have a chance of replacing bad components.
You should be able to replace blown compponents in this system also. In effect, it is creating a socket.

Vik :v)
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