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 – 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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16 thoughts on “Collin’s Lab: Kit-making

  1. Wonderful stuff I am prototyping a few projects that I hope to turn into kits. Great timing and information.


  2. That’s adorable, you guys. Thanks for doing this. Good “acting.” Love the music and the intro, too.

  3. Loved it, Collin and Becky. I was so paranoid about missing parts when I was bagging up ScrewShield kits that I weighed each bag on a tiny 200g scale. This was accurate enough to make it obvious when I’d missed a part, or doubled one up.

    1. Brilliant!
      In stark contrast, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize in advance for any parts inadvertantly omitted due to the fact that we were shooting a vid while kit packing. Becky was handling the role of parts police, so likely no need to worry :)

  4. Very nice video. I saw coming of this kit on Collins website and it got me thinking how hard it actually is to pack these kits. And here we see it, hard! And Josh, nice hint. Weighing each pouch, very clever. I’m also one of those who can’t settle for single check on anything and I’m definitely keeping this one in mind.

  5. Nice vid Collin and congrats on the kit!!!

    I’ve also used a DIY grid stand (~4″x4″ spacing made from wire fencing material) to hold my bags open, similar to the way you use the cups.

    I found for counting that if I do the kits in batches of ~20 and pre-count out 20 parts before putting them in the bags that I have an automatic double check. If I end up with +/- 1 part after bagging, then I know I made a mistake and can recheck that batch.
    Weighing is a super 3x check!

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