i3Detroit Pick and Place


While looking around i3Detroit's electronics room, I came across what appeared to be an old two-arm autosampler. Further research on the one remainign driver board bore this out.

However, since there existed no driver board for the other arm, nor any for the two X-axis motors, I decided to take it upon myself to design and build new driver boards for the device, to allow others to use it in a variety of ways. THe thought is that it could be used as the motion for a DIY pick-and-place machine, hence the title of the project.

Electrical Design

The machine has two arms with independent X-axis motors. Each arm contains two motors, for Y-axis and Z-axis travel. Each of the six motors are 1.8° six-wire unipolar motors, and each has a 20-slot optical shaft encoder. Each Y-axis has a single optical home switch. Each X axis has a pair of optical home switches mounted on the driver board, as the two carriages use the same rails and cannot pass each other.


Part Data

AxisManufacturerModelPulleyEstimated Resolution
XPacific ScientificP21NRXS-LNS-NS-0344 tooth0.452mm/step
YVextaPK243-01AA-C1028 tooth0.287mm/step
ZVextaPK243-01AA-C1026 tooth0.192mm/step


Y and Z

Limit Switches

Part Data