Collin’s Lab: Kit-making

When recently faced with the dauntingly tedious task of assembling my first-ever batch of electronics kits, I was lucky enough to have the ever-helpful eye of seasoned kit-maker Becky Stern close by. While observing my one-man assembly ‘process’, Becky advised a more efficient, modular assembly line technique using intermediary storage vessels. Streamlining the process left me with plenty of time to cook up some unusually fancy title/motion graphics for the above-seen video.

Of course, there’s a lot more to creating kits than just filling anti-static bags. The prototyping process alone could (should?) have it’s own dedicated print handbook. Which could easily be followed up by “Part Sourcing for Noobs” or similar. Then of course there’s cost/sale price calculation, shipping, packaging, and a myriad of other small-but-important considerations that become clear once you run into them. Though you can safely skip implementing your own online storefront/etc by selling your kitwares through our shiny, new Maker’s Market.

One person who has likely fielded just about every curveball the kit business can throw is Adafruit Industries founder Limor Fried. Thankfully, she’s taken the time to post a variety of helpful kit-biz resources, materials, and suppliers over at LadyAda.net – plus there’s a discussion forum dedicated to the topic on Adafruit’s site.

Do leave a comment if you’ve come across any particular site or related tip(s) you’ve found helpful!

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