Prototype to finished project questions

Howdy, Here is what i would like to end up with.

This is my first Arduino , or any electronic project for that matter. I have mocked up a breadboard and successfully programmed the Arduino UNO (I think*). I am looking for suggestions as to how to build the finish project. I can envision transferring the components from the breadboard to a pcb, but what about the Arduino ? my prototype has 14 jumper wires from the Arduino to the breadboard (or the pcb in final) does one just use wires as short as possible and stick the whole thing into an enclosure or do you make a more permanent connection to the Arduino's board? Or is it more common to get one of those bare bone kits and build the whole thing on one pcb? lastly on getting the LEDs and buttons in the correct place, is it common to hot glue, or otherwise mechanically attach them to the enclosure with long leads going to the pcb? Or do you mount them firmly on one side of a pcb and all the other components on the other, and simply align the LEDs and buttons with holes in the enclosure and let them 'float'?

*I have run numerous test and the MDS 5005 seems to work as designed, but I may have just gotten lucky, If anyone is so inclined I'll attach the code feel free to critique or correct any 'bad' code or oversights I may have made.

Thanks, Michael

All the options list are valid choices. If you plan to make more than 1, then a custom PCB with the switches & LEDs in the correct place will make assembly a lot more straightforward. You could also look into "light pipe"s to bring the LED color to the box surface. http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/optoelectronics/optics-leds-light-pipes/524541?k=light%20pipe

mechanically attach them to the enclosure with long leads going to the pcb?

Can be done but looks like crap and a lot of manual work in manufacturing.

Or do you mount them firmly on one side of a pcb and all the other components on the other, and simply align the LEDs and buttons with holes in the enclosure and let them 'float'?

The preferred method IMO.

In my experience getting the enclosure right is the single most difficult part of a project and I suspect why most current boards don't even try and just sell as a board.


Rob