waltr wrote:That is a tough one for only 100 units.
Yep! But I feel like 100 is the golden amount for small-scale Makers like myself. 500 and up seems like a huge jump, and I have no clue whether my board will be that popular - quite the financial risk for me. Plus, I'll be using Kickstarter to raise funds for manufacturing, so a smaller run is less risky in terms of generating demand.
Are you looking to have both the PCB made and installing all the SMT parts?
Both. PCBA. PCB fabrication is very easy and cost-effective for me through places like Seeed Studio and similar competitors (iTead, etc).
Are they to also buy the parts?
All of the quotes I've received don't include part costs, but do have a part handling fee based on part values.
Were the quotes you get broken down to show the NRE (setup up) cost and then the cost per unit?
Yep. Seeed's quote had an overall setup cost of $500, plus a couple hundred for the work. As an example, I received a quote from AAPCB for $3368.62, with NREs for stencil ($100) and setup ($50). I feel like there must be a lot more going on there to drive the cost up so high. None of the quotes I've received have cost per unit.
Or learn how to do the SMT parts yourself
I assemble the prototypes myself with no problems w/ a soldering iron, and have had some bad experiences with trying to do reflow myself at home. I have since learned about OSHStencils, so I feel like I could very easily handle the PCB fabrication, stenciling, paste application and reflow, but I'm a bit cautious about the physical labor involved in manually unpackaging and placing every part onto the board. I'm not so much worried about losing money on my time, but rather the sheer physical strain of assembling 100 boards by myself - I'm concerned it would take weeks or months to do it by myself, and I am a full-time grad student in my last semester before graduation.
Do you know of any smaller manufactures in your area?
Nope. I live in a small, somewhat isolated town in Nebraska. There are a handful of large machine shops, but they tell me they are booked for months ahead of time for large factories in the area, and can't afford to do small jobs.