About Production

Hi,
Greetings.

I have developed a project on Arduino Mega.
It consists of a tft display and an extra analog pin and 5 extra digital pins.
My project is ready. I want to know how can I make it into production unit like a proper PCB.
I have no knowledge about it.

It would really be helpful if somebody can guide me through the next steps.

Thank You.

Would it port to a UNO, MINI or NANO for the sketch size ?

If so there are a lot of DIY PCB’s out there you could purchase off the shelf to give you a minimal footprint.

I also think @crossroads (A much valued member of the community) could help you with the homebrew aspect too.

ashrafmansuri:
Hi,
Greetings.

I have developed a project on Arduino Mega.
It consists of a tft display and an extra analog pin and 5 extra digital pins.
My project is ready. I want to know how can I make it into production unit like a proper PCB.
I have no knowledge about it.

It would really be helpful if somebody can guide me through the next steps.

Thank You.

Perhaps your definition of “production” is different from mine, but. If your project is going to be made into something that is sold, you need to write up a “BOM” or bill of material used in making your product.
In that you identify EVERY component in your project by name and your part number identification that matches the schematic of your product. Then identify the commercial distributor of that component and EBAY and AMAZON and others are not reliable distributors. Add the distributor’s own part number.
When done, check the inventory that distributors have on hand. If they have none, pick a distributor that does have the component available. Also check that the component is not obsolete.
IF the component is not available or is obsolete, you cannot produce the product.
Good luck!
Paul

ashrafmansuri:
It would really be helpful if somebody can guide me through the next steps.

You need to check what procedures and testing you need to carry out so your product is properly licensed and compiles with all regulations where the product is sold.

Then you have to work out if its economically viable to sell the product, dont forget the costs of insurance etc.

ashrafmansuri:
My project is ready. I want to know how can I make it into production unit like a proper PCB.

A very important question is how many you want to make.

...R

If you want to commercialize your product, I recommend you reading the blogs of predictabledesigns.com

ballscrewbob:
Would it port to a UNO, MINI or NANO for the sketch size ?

If so there are a lot of DIY PCB's out there you could purchase off the shelf to give you a minimal footprint.

I also think @crossroads (A much valued member of the community) could help you with the homebrew aspect too.

Thank you so much for your reply. I don't think it would port to Uno, Mini or Nano because of the pins. Though the sketch size is small, it uses a total of 12% of the memory in the Mega.

Paul_KD7HB:
Perhaps your definition of “production” is different from mine, but. If your project is going to be made into something that is sold, you need to write up a “BOM” or bill of material used in making your product.
In that you identify EVERY component in your project by name and your part number identification that matches the schematic of your product. Then identify the commercial distributor of that component and EBAY and AMAZON and others are not reliable distributors. Add the distributor’s own part number.
When done, check the inventory that distributors have on hand. If they have none, pick a distributor that does have the component available. Also check that the component is not obsolete.
IF the component is not available or is obsolete, you cannot produce the product.
Good luck!
Paul

Thank you for your reply.
Is it like I would have to copy the entire Mega Design or just the MCU?
And how do I program every unit in bulk? Also I am comfortable with the Arduino C.

Robin2:
A very important question is how many you want to make.

...R

Around a 500 pieces.

I think a basic schematic would be beneficial at this point so people are not working in the dark and having to guess.

Could you also take a few moments to Learn How To Use The Forum.

Other general help and troubleshooting advice can be found here.
It will help you get the best out of the forum in the future.

ashrafmansuri:
Is it like I would have to copy the entire Mega Design or just the MCU?

That depends on the design, both hardware and software, there would be no general rule as to what components on a Mega board are not needed.

And if your not sure what parts (on a Mega board) can be missed out, it sounds like bread boarding the actual circuit needed would be a good idea, essential maybe.

ashrafmansuri:
Around a 500 pieces.

Are you intending to buy all the parts for the 500 pieces at one time?

That would probably bring down the unit cost and remove any immediate uncertainties about availability. On the other hand it could be a large financial risk and it provides no guarantee that every part would be available at a future date if you decided to make another batch if the first 500 sell well. The comments in Reply #2 are very relevant.

AFAIK each of the microcontrollers will need to be programmed individually though you can probably speed up the task if you produce the HEX file for the code and just upload that to each board. You should give some thought to how the programmer can be connected to the board. Plugging in a USB cable 500 times could get tedious. It might be simpler to create some contact points on the PCB and build a "tool" that sits over the PCB and presses spring-loaded contacts onto the points. However a lot depends on the time-frame within which you want to manufacture the 500 units. Plugging in a USB cable 10 times per night might be acceptable.

...R

ashrafmansuri:
Thank you for your reply.
Is it like I would have to copy the entire Mega Design or just the MCU?
And how do I program every unit in bulk? Also I am comfortable with the Arduino C.

You seem to be getting far ahead of yourself in this project. You need to think only of the circuit board you will have for your project. A schematic only for it and the BOM only for it. You may be copying stuff from the MEGA, but that is meaningless for your circuit board to be built.
Also, you will very likely need to revise you board layout a couple of times to correct errors after you assemble and test it.
Are you going to build all 500 boards yourself or hire an assembly company to do it for you? If an assembly company, you need to decide and ask them for guidance, not the Arduino forum members.
Paul

I could help you. I design PCBs & BOMs for folks.
Perhaps you could simplify down to a 1284P, a less expensive chip.
32 IO with 8 analog, 128K flash seem like it would be enough for your ~30K program.
Thruhole or Surface mount.

What’s the connection to the TFT? SPI?

Contact me cardinalflyer@comcast.net
You can also see board examples at www.crossroadsfencing.com/Bobuionre17/

For quantity 500, I would farm out the assembly.
You could have the processors pre-programmed by Digikey.com, they offer that as service. I don’t know how much.
Or you program them yourself, spend a few evenings watching TV and programming assembled boards.

Robert

CrossRoads:
Perhaps you could simplify down to a 1284P, a less expensive chip.

Indeed so, and easy to breadboard and test in the 40pin DIP ................................

Yes, and easy to add to the IDE with the MightyCore add-on:

Hi,
Can you post a circuit diagram so we can see what pins on the Mega you are using and offer better advice about porting to a smaller footprint controller?

Thanks… Tom… :slight_smile:

CrossRoads:
I could help you. I design PCBs & BOMs for folks.
Perhaps you could simplify down to a 1284P, a less expensive chip.
32 IO with 8 analog, 128K flash seem like it would be enough for your ~30K program.
Thruhole or Surface mount.

What's the connection to the TFT? SPI?

Contact me cardinalflyer@comcast.net
You can also see board examples at www.crossroadsfencing.com/Bobuionre17/

For quantity 500, I would farm out the assembly.
You could have the processors pre-programmed by Digikey.com, they offer that as service. I don't know how much.
Or you program them yourself, spend a few evenings watching TV and programming assembled boards.

Robert

Thank you for your reply.
I use a TFT which uses 5 Analog Pins. 8 Digital Pins and one more Analog PIN for check resistant value and 5 additional digital IO

@ashrafmansuri

SCHEMATIC PLEASE ?

Programming the chip should not be too much of a concern.
you can create a board with ZIF,zero insertion force socket



surface mount units are available if you want to use a surface mount chip.

the board would have all the needed USB connector and a switch to turn off the power, let you swap chips, then put in the next one.

as a note, you take some nail polish and put a dot on the chip. colored dots = version.

but that is on the programming side.

also, if you want, I believe you can send your sketch to DigiKey and they will program the lot for you.

if you plan to make your own PCB, you might consider JLCPCB and their EASYeda.
you can use the parts from their sister company when you add a part, it automatically gets added to the BOM,
if you use all parts from them, it can also make your order form.
in some cases you have to order a minimum of parts, like 5 or 10, when you only want one.

the cost from JLCPCB is so low that you can order 5 boards, and parts, build it, test it, change it and order 5 more.

as a note, you might want to add gold pads in places for test points.

also, if your design a full surface mount board, with the common parts from JLCPCB, they will solder the board for you. since it is fully automated, they don't do the thru-hole.