Introduction: Solder Fume Extractor
In this project I will show you how to build a simple solder fume extractor with a custom 3D printed base. The base has room for a flexible LED light and four soldering arms.
Step 1: Intro
Solder fumes are dangerous and up to this point I have just been soldering with a fan pointed toward a window (If I even do that). I always knew I needed a solder fume extractor so I decided to design and build my own. In addition to reducing the solder fumes I also decided to add an integrated led light on a flexible arm and also four soldering arms to make life easier.
It is a simple project and could be used as a great introduction into soldering, 3D design/printing, electronics, and programming.
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Step 2: Components
The components needed for this project are below:
1. On/Off Switch Amazon Link
2. 120mm PC Fan 3 Pack Amazon Link
3. Active Carbon Filter Amazon Link
4. Book LED Light (Exact one I used)
5. LM317 Adjustable Regulator Amazon Link
6. 100 Ohm Resistor Amazon Resistor Kit
7. 196 Ohm Resistor
8. 1 Inch Flange Mount (Or any heavy metal)
8. 3D Printed Components (I use this filament - Amazon)
9. Solder Arms (You can make these yourself or buy a kit and just use the arms) Amazon Link
Disclosure: The amazon links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Step 3: Electronics
Now that you have gathered all of the required components, it is time to start assembling everything together. I would recommend wiring up everything on a breadboard first and then once everything is functioning properly go ahead and solder everything up on a perf board.
I grabbed a 120 mm PC fan off of an old computer but you can easily find them on Aliexpress, Ebay, or Amazon. You will also need an Activated Carbon Filter to not just move the solder fumes around to the other side of the fan, but to filter the smoke. I used a common book light and took it apart and cut off the flexible arm. Most of these lights run on 3.7V but if yours does not, then the LM317 circuit will need to be adjusted to step down the 12V power to the voltage needed.
Step 4: 3D Design/Print/Assemble
I designed the fume extractor in Fusion 360.
On top, there is a basic cover for the PC fan and the active carbon filter. There is also a back cover that can be press fit once everything is put together. I used super glue to hold down the main cover.
The PC fan wires will need to be routed through the bottom base which has two sections. The top section is for the electronics and the bottom section is for some kind of weight to keep the solder station in place. I used a 1 inch door flange since that was the heaviest thing I could find in 5 minutes at the hardware store.
On the base behind the fan, there is a slot for the tube that will hold the flexible led light. The lights power wires can be routed through into the top section of the base. I used super glue to hold the light in place and then press fit the tube into the 3d printed base.
There are four solder arm holders that you first press fit the solder arms into. They stay in place for me but you could always add some glue to keep them sturdier. Then the 3D printed holder with the solder arm inside can be press fit onto the top of the base.
The back cover has room for our On/Off switch, and can be held in place by some 8 x 1/2 sheet metal screws.
Step 5: Test It Out!
Now that you have the solder fume extractor all assembled, it is time to test it out!
Plug it in, turn on the main on/off switch and say goodbye to the solder fumes. If you need better lighting then simply turn on your LED to either of the light modes.You can use the solder arms to better orient whatever you are soldering.
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Participated in the
Make it Move
2 years ago
I built the same as you put forth on here. It looks like spitin image as I used same color filaments. Only complaint is at 1" 100% of solder fumes get sucked in. At 1.5" 90% fume and 2" lucky if 20-40% of the fumes get sucked in. Im using a 12v 350mAh power supply. What distances did you get from the intake before the fan had no effect? Im doing tests with a larger case fan.
Reply 2 years ago
Seeing how I didn't get an answer, I swapped out 120mm fan for a 140mm fan. The 140 has more "suck" and can do 100% fume at 6-7". Of course I had to redesign fan housing.
Tip 3 years ago
I think the schematic with the LM317 is wrong; the R2 resistor is hooked up to the wrong point (should be connected to ADJ)
Reply 3 years ago
Good catch! Just updated it
Reply 2 years ago
I believe it is,
3 years ago
Hey, I think I've seen you on r/electronics yesterday! Nice execution of an important tool in the workshop.
Reply 3 years ago
Haha yup, I posted it over there. Thanks!