level of difficulty:
This is an ongoing project to design and build a computer controlled guitar pickup winder. Why? Because I like making machines!
Production requirements, cost, and machine versatility govern the level of automation used in a pickup winding machine. Usually high production dedicated machines or experimental machines for a few samples do not warrant the complexity of highly automated machinery. A high production dedicated pickup making machine could use mechanical gearing alone. The traverse movements of the wire guide can be directly coordinated with the bobbin's rotation, either by direct coupling with cams and gears or by electronic means. The reliability, accuracy and durability of such geared machines makes them a good choice in high production situations.
But when frequent changes in winding parameters occur, such as with different styles or sizes of pickup, intelligent corrections become necessary. At that point, the application of computerized controls to the winding process becomes more appropriate. Feedback devices attached to the rotating shaft, typically encoders or resolvers, transfer the spindle position to the computer for processing. The computer calculates the position and speed and instructs both the rotational and translational axes to move accordingly A variety of configurations of motors (servo, stepper, ac or dc permanent magnet) can provide rotational motion.