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Designing a soldering iron for limited dexterity

chriskalo

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Hi, I’m a student at Imperial College London studying Design Engineering. Three other students and I want to design a new soldering iron for people with limited dexterity, and more generally for everyone who would like soldering to be less fiddly. We find that even though we do not have limited dexterity soldering can be hard and we often get bad solder joints; so can only imagine what it’s like for those who suffer from this.

I wanted to message this forum in case anyone was interested in getting involved, either because you have limited dexterity (from age, disability, or anything really), or because you have some comments you’d like to share. At this stage we are not expecting any commitment, just any help we’d really appreciate!

Thank you very much,
Chris
 

dick_freebird

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Two options that come to mind are

pantograph - trade distance for accuracy /
stability through the mechanism; maybe
include a solder guide tube that will put the
fed solder right to the tip / workpiece
intersection; maybe a magnifier as well?

Fixed position solder tip and feed-tube,
move the workpiece instead; maybe a
foot-pedal for solder feed (mechanical
push-push, or a roller motor?).
 

BradtheRad

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Solder jobs are easier since I received a 'helping hand' (below). The clips grip solder and/or workpiece. As good as having a third hand. To improve on it is hard for me to imagine, unless we could hope for a magnifier that lets us see infra-red heat signatures on components during soldering.

helping hand clips w magnifying.jpeg
 

dick_freebird

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After a couple of hours on the build bench I
could see a use for something that cuts the
shakes (or their impact on throughput and
"oopses")... which some people might have to
begin with.
 

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