Please click below to visit our Kickstarter project page for Solderdoodle Pro 2.0 and pre-order a production model!


Solderdoodle Pro is a portable, cordless, USB rechargeable soldering iron. It is based off my original Open Source project: "Solar Powered Soldering Station" http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Powered-Sol...

Specifications for the Battery and Circuit, including Gerber files, can be found at www.solarcyclepower.com

After learning how to use 3D printers, one of my friends asked if there was such a thing as a USB soldering iron and I said that I had instructions to build one, but the battery was external. I then realized that I could create my own case design on a 3D printer and put the battery, charge controller, and other parts inside as one single unit! It worked! .stp files for the case are provided below.

Solderdoodle Pro Specs:

Solderdoodle Specs:
* Time to Fully Charge Solderdoodle @ 5V 1A: 3 hours

* Capacity: 3350mAh/3.6V * Type: NCR18650B Lithium-Ion

* Diameter: 1.5 inches * Length: 7.2 inches

* Charge Cable Length: 5 feet * Weight: 96g (3.4 oz)

* Input Cable - Male USB 2.0 Type A to Micro Connector

* Input - Current: 450 to 1300mA | Voltage: 5 to 6 Volts

* Output - Current: 1400mA | Voltage: 2.5 to 4.2 Volts

* Body Material: High Temperature Plastic

* Battery Life Under Typical Use: 5 years

* Replaceable battery * Provides over an hour of soldering

* Solder up to 24 gage thick wire (Flux recommended for lead-free applications, thicker wire, or large ground planes)

* Heats up to over 700ºF (371ºC) in just 30 seconds

* For use with leaded solder and lead-free solder

*WARNING: Be careful when handling any Lithium-Ion battery because shorting the battery can cause burns. Always wear safety goggles. Please use recommended battery and circuit components because of the higher 2000mA max battery charge current involved. 3D printed parts may warp under high temperatures.

FCC Compliance: NOT Required because the circuit frequencies are below 1.7MHz

Step 1: Materials, Tools, and Files Required

Here is a list of the materials, tools, and files required.


QTY Description

1 Weller BP645 Soldering Iron

1 Lithium-Ion Charge Controller Circuit (Schematic, Gerber Files, etc. can be downloaded at http://www.solarcyclepower.com/index/Open_Source.html The main IC components are the Maxim MAX8903G charge controller and MAX1790 DC-DC step-up converter circuits)

1 NCR18650B 3350mAh Unprotected Panasonic Lithium Ion Battery www.ebay.com (If lower cost is necessary, try the Panasonic NCR18650A battery with a slightly less capacity of 3070mAh. Make sure it's unprotected and check the battery part number carefully. Protected batteries have added length with a built-in circuit, which may affect performance. Reference http://industrial.panasonic.com/www-cgi/jvcr13pz.cgi?E+BA+3+ACI4002+NCR-18650B+7+EU Other brands of batteries are NOT recommended because the charge controller current to the battery can be as high as 2000mA and the Panasonic NCR18650 chemistry can handle it. If you need to use other brands, make sure that they meet the same specifications, chemistry, and can handle up to 2 Amps of charge current. Using batteries that don't meet these specifications can lead to dangerous battery damage.)

1 Green 5mm Straw Hat LED www.ebay.com

2 Hirose 2-pin connector DF3-2S-2C http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/DF3-2S-2C/H2083-ND/141479

2 Hirose 4-pin connector DF3-4S-2C http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/DF3-4S-2C/H2085-ND/141485

8 Hirose Socket 24-28 AWG Crimp Pin DF3-2428SCC http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/DF3-2428SCC/H1501-ND/269904

1 5' USB Male-1/8" Headphone Jack USB 2.0 Type A Cable

1 1/8" Headphone Jack female connector attached to a small PCB with a .16" hole for mounting

1 1" Wide Kapton Tape Roll http://www.mcmaster.com/#7648a715/=qu5807

2 1" Kapton Tape Disc http://www.mcmaster.com/#77595a35/=qu586k

1 1" Diameter Piece of Heat Shrink Tubing 2.7" Long

2 1/16" Piece of Heat Shrink Tubing 1.0" Long

1 Roll of solder wire

1 3D Printed case (Files available on previous page. These files are designed for FDM printers where the screw holes are oversized to compensate for closing up of the holes. If printed on SLS or other types of machines, the screw holes may be too big and the screws may just fall out.)

Various Lengths 26 AWG Standard Red and Black Stranded 4 Amp Max Wire Listed Below: http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/119/798/=qu7rf6

1 6.10" Black Wire .06 strip one end .20 strip the other end

1 8.00" Red Wire .06 strip one end .20 strip the other end

2 3.00" Black Wire .06 strip one end .20 strip the other end

1 3.00" Red Wire .06 strip one end .20 strip the other end

1 1.50" Red Wire .06 strip one end .20 strip the other end

1 4.10" Black Wire .06 strip one end .20 strip the other end

1 4.10" Red Wire .06 strip one end .20 strip the other end


QTY Description

1 Small phillips screw driver

1 Power Core Battery Fixture https://www.shapeways.com/shops/Solarcycle

1 Wire Strippers 24-26 gage range

1 Wire Crimper 20-24 gage range

1 Tape Measure

1 Third Hand Soldering Clamp

1 Soldering Iron

1 Heat Gun

1 Scissors

Great instructable! Will be making soon!
<p>Only 59 hours left in the Solderdoodle Pro Kickstarter campaign! Be the first to own one! Shipping in March or sooner!</p><p>https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/249225636/solderdoodle-pro-700of-usb-rechargeable-soldering</p>
Cool<br>Anyway to buy the parts and assemble it myself
<p>I will have parts available to purchase after my Kickstarter campaign has ended. No other company will sell the parts only.</p>
<p>Solderdoodle now melts lead-free solder!</p>
<p>Solderdoodle Improved for Higher 700&ordm;F Temperature!</p><div><div><div><p>I bypassed the 5V DC-DC converter and wired the heating element directly to the charge controller output and Solderdoodle was able to reach over 700&ordm;F! I added photos of the improvements. I even used the Solderdoodle to modify the existing circuit! Solderdoodle specs will be updated to reflect the higher performance.</p></div></div></div>
<p>Uploaded a new revision for the 3D printed case. It only needs 2 screws now, has a better fit, and has the &quot;ON&quot; &quot;OFF&quot; text near the power button.</p>
<p>That is not an instructable but a show and buy</p>
<p>This is not even a product yet. Solderdoodle is DIY Open Source Hardware and you can even built it yourself!</p>
<p>These already exist...</p>
<p>Solderdoodle lasted over an hour with the power button held down the entire time according to the test I just did. It's now recharging on my laptop.</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Solderdoodle-Open-Source-USB-Rechargeable-Solderin/step5/Safety-and-Troubleshooting/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Solderdoodle-Open-...</a></p>
<p>&quot;Lasts over an hour&quot; ... Has enough power to keep the LED lit for an hour, sure. Sustain temperatures needed to melt solder, I don't think so.</p>
<p>This test I did proves that Solderdoodle melts solder for hours.</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Solderdoodle-Open-Source-USB-Rechargeable-Solderin/step5/Safety-and-Troubleshooting/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Solderdoodle-Open-...</a></p>
<p>Wouldn't Weller be a bit ticked off that you ripped apart one of their products to make it your own? I'm just wondering if there's a worry of patent infringement. Good luck to you.</p>
<p>Weller does sell heating elements separately on their website, so basically that's what I'll be doing. If anything, it helps boost their sales of soldering irons for people to hack. For whatever reason if Weller gets mad, which is unlikely, I would just have to design my own heating element.</p>
<p>Sweet! Looks like you have a good plan.</p>
<p>I just called Radio Shack and they have no problem with their soldering iron tip being used in another soldering iron:</p><p><a href="http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4314829&numProdsPerPage=60" rel="nofollow">http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?produc...</a></p><p>I would imagine that other off-the-shelf parts are treated the same.</p>
<p>Updated case design is available. It has a better fit than before.</p>
<p>WHY in the world would you or anyone want to put your little wallwart or computer power supply to do nothing other than melt some metal. The power supply for your little computer is running on. Juse the tool as it was designed and be happy.</p>
<p>Why not just adapt the Weller unit to hold the 18650 battery? One would replace 3 AA. Then you would not need a 3D printer.</p>
<p>The 18650 battery and charge control circuit doesn't fit in the Weller case, I tried that already. </p>
<p>Kudos. Best of luck.</p>
<p>Thanks! I'm still refining the case design, so stay tuned for updated revisions!</p>
<p>Hmm. I don't see the specific PCB on the site mentioned, could you perhaps clarify where the exact files are please. Great write up.</p>
<p>The link on the site labeled &quot;<a href="http://www.solarcyclepower.com/index/Open_Source_files/Power%20Core%20Files.zip" rel="nofollow">DOWNLOAD POWER CORE CIRCUIT FILES</a>&quot; should have all the PCB files. Power Core is the USB solar charger circuit I used for another project and I'm now using it in the Solderdoodle.</p>
Very good innovation off of the soldering iron, and best of all, portable! Great job!

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Bio: After being laid off in 2009, I got rid of my car to save money. The difficult transition from a car to a bicycle led ... More »
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