The Solder Buddy feeds solder wire down a brake cable, using a servo motor (modified to give 360 degree rotation). I realised after making it, that this was similar to a MIG welder or even some 3D Printers – but the interesting part is that the switch operates by a circuit being made between the solder wire and the winding of the brake cable. See diagram.
This tutorial is a useful introduction to how to work quickly with thin plastic (ABS) sheet, in a way that does not involve heavy-machinery. Arguably this could have designed in CAD, but with new mechanisms such as modifying the servo motor to feed the wire, this is hard to estimate virtually – and getting it right beforehand in a quick prototype could save time and money later. Often being able to make a quick prototype can open discussions in groups (and silence doubters!) when trying a new idea.
This version of the Solder Buddy will be revised in time to incorporate new ideas that I realised when making this one – and also those kind and helpful suggestions from my post on Instructables. As I was fortunate to be awarded a 3D Printer by Instructables – I hope to do another version in CAD, that can be printed.
A quick overview of the main parts of the tutorial.