With a few dozen boards to be manufactured and given the limited time frame, I decided to try my luck with an own reflow oven. I went for PCB-Pool‘s approach that combines their PCB and stencil production services with a set of reflow tools for you to do the rest, i.e. baking the boards.
Applying the solder paste thru the stencil went really smooth and fast, while placing the components still took quite some time (but that was to be expected). The reflow itself was done in a few minutes and largely succesful, with just a few shorts across some pins of the one TSSOP chip with its 0.5mm pitch.
Looking forward to do more of this!
With the first two prototypes completed, we had to consider options on how to proceed towards the final product. While we could have strapped off-the-shelf boxes to an ordinary glove, something more elegant was desired, so the call went out for an industrial designer.
Here we found designer duo Christophe Vaillant and Ruth Weber, who were given the task of designing a glove with compartments to hold all the electronics, as well as a carrier for the sensors to be fixed to the fingers. Here’s a pic of an intermediate version:
Working with them was inspiring, also because we’re both into “desktop manufacturing”. E.g. for the sensor carriers they built their own deep drawing machine powered by a hoover:
(The pictures are theirs)