Introduction: Laser Cut Solder Fume Extractor
If you are like me and like to tinker with electronics and fix things you are likely to be using a soldering iron quite a lot. Unfortunately soldering produces fumes that apparently doesn't give you superpower but instead is bad for your health (according to sources). So to cope with this I finally decided to build me a solder fume extractor box.
As this is just a quick fix for short soldering jobs it will not be the best fume extractor ever created and there are some ways this can be improved and I will add some of those improvement suggestions further down but for now lets get started.
Step 1: Stuff Needed
For the extractor I built you will need:
Fans: 120mm, 80mm
6pin Power switch
Dc-Dc boost converter
Female DC jack
6pin DPDT ON-ON toggle switch
Batteries and battery holder
hot glue gun
Note that not all these components are necessarily needed to create a fume extractor and one can easily create a more or less advanced extractor using different sets of parts
Step 2: Some Tips With the Design
One of the reasons I wanted to build this fume extractor was because I wanted to try to make a custom made finger joint box using fusion360 (f360) and a laser cutter.
If you are happy with my design just download the DXF files included in this instructable and start cutting stuff. Or you could make your own box using your favorite software (mine is fusion360).
Since this is not an instructable on f360 I'm not going to go into any details on how it works but I will give some tips that might help.
There is an addon called DXF Spline To Polyline for f360 that can export sketches in f360 to dxf files that you should be able to use for the laser cutter.
For the laser cutter I used (a random Chinese brand) there was no need to add margin for the finger joints to fit properly.
I designed three sides of the box (top, side, and front) in f360 and then just removed or added properties to these to make the top/bottom, left/right side and front/back.
Step 3: Cutting
If you own a laser cutter you probably know best how to use it and its limits and if you don't own one there are plenty of companies that offer to laser cut pieces for various prices.
I used a laser cutter at my local makerspace to get this job done
What kind of material is also up to whatever you prefer and the capabilities of the laser cutter.
Step 4: Assembly and Wiring
The simplest kind of fume extractor is just to connect the red and black wires of the fans to the dc connector and supply 12V DC whenever you wish to turn it on.
Upgrading it a bit to next level you can instead use battery for mobility. Since I used 18650 battery I connected it to a boost converter to ramp up the voltage from 4V to the 12V needed to run the fans.
Adding a power switch in between enables you to turn on/off the fans without having to remove the batteries.
For my fume extractor I wanted the best of both worlds meaning the ability to connect a DC source if I had one and using the batteries if I didn't. This required some rewiring and a double pole switch to be able to switch between batteries and DC jack to avoid connecting them together.
See schematic for instructions on how to wire everything.
Finally use hot glue to assemble the box.
Step 5: Improvements
As with some (all) of my creations I'm kind and generous enough to leave some room for improvements and this is no exception.
Some of the improvements that I realized was that there really is no need for the two potentiometer for the fan since these are quite silent fans and also quite weak when it comes to sucking so they are always set at full speed anyways. And also if one wants to reduce the speed of pc fans, using pwm is a much better way to go than reducing voltage like I am now.
As previously mentioned the air flow is quite weak if you are not soldering right in front of the fans so if unless a shroud is added to direct the airflow, I would definitely recommend using stronger fans.
I have two 18650 batteries in parallel for this fume extractor and putting them in series would probably be better to reduce current draw but that would complicate charging since I also added a battery charger bms.
This extractor was just meant to move the fume away from my face hence the open top but many fume extractors comes with a coal filter to filter the particles and that could easily be added to this fume extractor too. But adding a filter will noticeably reduce airflow so a better fan is definitely recommended for that.
The reason for the two round holes at the top is so that I can attach a some flexible ducting to direct the fume to wherever I want, like through the window and outside.