3D printed solution to belt slip on cover take-up reels

Started by Mike, June 06, 2023, 07:32:08 PM

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Having just got a 3D printer, I thought I'd have a go at improving the problem I'm always having of the belts on the cover-tape spools slipping, leading to inadequate peel.

I've done a design which adds knobbly bits to the belt part of the reel, and this definitely has better grip ( tested by passing a belt over this and a normal reel and seeing which slips first).

Not tested in anger yet - printing a couple of feeders' worth of them now. Could be that it's too grippy, but sharing files here in case anyone else wants to give it a go.

Tinkercad link to model : https://www.tinkercad.com/things/lPaYhVs57R6
STL files attached


First run of this was a big success - absolutely no lazy pull-off issues at all, compared to typically 3 or 4 feeders in a bank having slip problems before.
Time will tell if there are any long-term issues with wear or belt tension.
I notice that the belts have quite a lot of residual tension after a few feeds, so as I don't use the machine much I'll try to remember to release the tension after a job.



I roughed up a few to see if that helps but great to know it makes a difference. Thanks for sharing


I found that roughing up didn't make a big difference, also tried putting a small o-ring round the reel, but also didn't do much, though may be worth trying different sizes as I only used what I had to hand.


I assumed the problem was slipping of the o ring on the pull off tape, particularly on all plastic jobbies..  a possible solution would be to increase the diameter of both the spool pulley and the bottom pulley and use a bigger o ring,

Otherwise, a formulation of O ring that is grippier..   

I've tried using Platenclene on the o rings and that helped,

I have noticed a build up of cover tape debris on the o rings so regular cleaning helps.

But I've more or less given in to using fishing weights for many of the feeders..  Its not too bad for components where theres just one per board, but for some boards I have up to ten of the same component and short of locating the machine in a shot tower, its a more or less continuous repositioning of the lead weight.


When I designed my feeder control board I implemented a soft start on the feed. I did this to stop led movement in the tape but also felt it would help with tape slip. I had a feeling the initial fast movement of the original feeder might cause the tape to slip easier. I think it helps but no real way to prove it.

I think dust on tape does build up and make the rubber surface too smooth after a while though.