Community Spotlight: Dr. Erik Lins, Owner of chip45

This month, we talked with Erik Lins about his early start in 3D printing and how his desire for dry 3D printer filament led him down the path of getting a LumenPnP. Erik is a wonderful human being who has already designed and made some amazing accessories for the LumenPnP that you can find on his Printables page. We hope you enjoy seeing how the LumenPnP has benefitted Erik as much as we did. 


Tell us a bit about yourself and what you make.

My name is Erik Lins. I’m from Germany. I’ve been designing embedded hardware and firmware for some decades (which makes me feel old now), with a focus on wireless technologies, like Bluetooth, WiFi, and LoRa, most recently in my regular job at Ezurio. I also got early into 3D printing by backing Printrbot’s first Kickstarter campaign back in 2010.

What are you building with your LumenPnP? 

I started looking into using electric dehumidifier membranes for dry storage of 3D print filament instead of using desiccant some months back. I did some tests, made some mounting frames for the membranes to boxes, and made them available on

Since they work best with a specific power supply technique (fold-back current limiting), I designed some USB-C power supply modules because the manufacturer only offered fat brick-like mains supplies. I contacted the membrane manufacturer and started offering the membranes in my online shop, chip45, mainly to make that technology more easily available for hobbyists, which turned into a nice side gig for me.

As interest increased, I had to produce small batches of the power supply modules. I even started selling some to the membrane manufacturer. So, I investigated PnP machines for small businesses and came across the LumenPnP. I immediately liked the idea of an open-source and community-backed/driven approach, especially after some bad experiences with a China machine some years back.


Did you build or buy a LumenPnP? Have you made any modifications from the original build?

I bought the semi-assembled LumenPnP mainly because I had to produce some batches of the above-mentioned board in the short term without much time left over for doing a full build. Some of my experiences running the first jobs went into designing new strip feeders with a spring push mechanism to better cope with different tape thicknesses and fixing the tape more tightly to avoid components jumping off when moving the tape.

I also did a new mounting plate for PCBs with pushing sliders running on dovetails allowing for flexible attachment of different PCBs or panels without the need to adjust anything by screws. 

What is your favorite feature of the LumenPnP?

My favorite features are that it is open-source and community-driven, and the ability to mod it is a great benefit as well. 

How many boards a month do you produce with your machines?

I just produced one batch of 100 boards for each of the two power supply modules. It’s difficult to estimate where this will go, but I now need to produce the next batches, so maybe around 50-100 boards a month.

How were you building these boards before the LumenPnP?

These specific boards are new and have never been produced before—except for me building about ten samples manually. I do sell some other boards that I have designed for companies in higher quantities, which is around 1000 per year. Those are being produced by a contract manufacturer in my region.

What has the LumenPnP enabled you to do that you previously couldn't?

Now, I can produce the above small/medium batches on my own without the need to contact a contract manufacturer. I can react quickly to customer requests or apply improvements directly to the next batch.

What is the single most important piece of advice for people who are trying to get into PCBA production?

Talk to some experienced people before to sort out the most critical issues when going from a manually populated and soldered board to automized small batches. It’s not rocket science, but there are pitfalls that can be avoided easily.

What's your solder paste of choice? What do you use for a reflow oven?

I use "regular" lead-free "Active-Clear" paste from Felder (Sn96.5 Ag3.0 Cu0.5), no low-temperature stuff.

For reflow soldering, I use a small "pizza oven" with a pretty old (15y) reflow controller from Beta Layout, which refuses to break and let me buy a more recent model.


To keep up to date with Erik Lins,
check out his Shop at,
as well as LinkedIn and Printables.