NSTI Nanotech 2009

Pneumatically driven Auxiliary Micro Tools for Desktop Factories

B. Hoxhold, S. Büttgenbach
Technische Universität Braunschweig, DE

Keywords: pneumatic, centrifugal feeder, clamping, assembling tool, SU-8, desktop factotry


This paper presents the design and the fabrication process of two novel pneumatically driven auxiliary micro tools that can be used to improve and to speed up assembling processes in desktop factories. The described micro systems are designed to function as centrifugal feeders with integrated separation unit or active clamping devices with small external dimensions. Description of the devices: Tiny glass ball bulk material (diameter 300µm) is poured into the round storage chamber of the centrifugal feeder and circularly accelerated by air pressure from a chamber nozzle. Centrifugal force drives the glass balls into the outlet channel, where two pneumatic cylinders separate single globes and free them on demand. Additional channel nozzles push the balls through the channels and pneumatic actuators guide the balls to different outlets, where the robot can pick up the object at a defined position. The clamping unit is designed to align small components (like mounting baseplates) automatically and to fix them during the assembling process to avoid component slip. Pneumatic actuators are used to push and joggle the handling object against a stopper and finally clamp it in an aligned position.
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