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Topic: Creating a finished product (Read 4 times) previous topic - next topic


I've made lots of boards - you can see many of them here.
and I have more in the works.
Can customize an arduino for your needs as well.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.


Wow, great information guys.  I am grateful you all took the time to share that.  This is going to help me GREATLY!!!  I'll keep ya posted :)


Has anyone ever sold a home made microcontroller and made it look like it rolled out of the factory and not your garage? 

My product isn't microprocessor based, but yeah I've been producing goods in-house and they look just as good (and even better) than my competitors.

Let me tell you, the design, electronics and PCB is the EASY part... enclosures and packaging will be the hardest and expensive part! -- but this is what your customers will see - the packaging and overall look. 

You can take several routes here.

1. Buy a pre-fab enclosure, and CNC mill it yourself  (assumption is you have a CNC machine). The CNC machines makes all your work look consistent, exact.-- without manual labor or manual mistakes.  Cons: Expensive, have to buy the CNC machine, you'd have to learn CNC stuff, and it's another "to-do" item on your busy day.  Pros: Other than the initial CNC machine investment ($1K+), you can produce enclosures "on-demand" and cost per unit is reasonable.

2. Buy a pre-fab enclosure, and have someone else manufacture your front and rear panels, or send them the enclosures you bought and let them CNC it. Cons: Expensive, Expensive and Expensive! Pros: Outsourcing, no worries, frees up your time. But your unit costs will be very high. Can you price your product to recoup this?

3. Have a metal shop design and make you a custom case. This is probably going to be cheapest per unit piece, but will require the most capital outlay. You'd have to order several hundreds to bump the price down.  Pros: You get exactly what you want, cheapest price per unit   Cons: Big money invested... and if this is for a new product, you don't know yet whether your product will sell or not. So could be risky.

If I were you, I'd go #2... then down the road do #1 .... then #3.... (assuming your business is still alive). 

So you start out with the most expensive option #2, and as your product sells and you got money rolling in, you'll have the money to do #1...
then as you get more and more orders, you'll have plenty of money but not enough time.... so you go to #3. 

Makes sense?


Jan 30, 2013, 09:25 am Last Edit: Jan 30, 2013, 09:28 am by Ruffsta Reason: 1


Where there is a will, there is a way.  Your thoughts are doable.  First, you would need to build a functioning prototype.  This will give the components necessary to build into your final product.  Then, I would design and fab a custom PCB.  Eagle is the common design platform that most hobbyist use.  Then you would send the design files to a fab house that can produce your board.  Then it is up to you to design and fabricate the final enclosure.  There are literally dozens of sites that can help you through the process.


I seem to have misplaced my bookmarks for enclosures..  I know someone here will post it. 

I can tell you that you will need patience.  If you are just starting out, then learn while your building the project.  I got into Arduino and electronics about 6 months ago and I am only a quarter of the way finished with my project of an interactive humanoid robot.  But your project seems doable if you have the will to learn.  Any questions you can't find, ask here.  That is what this forum is all about.  Look around, read some posts.

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