CircuitHub Launches Group Buy Crowdsourcing Campaigns

CircuitHub's Crowdsourced Group Buys

Kickstarter isn’t the solution to every manufacturing hurdle, you know? Crowdsourcing—everybody’s favorite cliché to invoke after sharing their less-than-half-baked merchandise idea—has expanded to include yet another variation, and is currently rocking [Max Thrun’s] BeagleBone GamingCape thanks to [Jason Kridner]. If the cape looks familiar, it’s because we featured it earlier this summer, when [Max] created it as part of TI’s Intern Design Challenge.

Here’s how it works. Rather than asking strangers to place pre-orders (let’s admit it, that’s ultimately how Kickstarter functions), CircuitHub campaigns work as a group-buy: upload your KiCad, Eagle or Altium design and a BOM, and you’re on your way to bulk-order savings. As [Kridner] explains in his blog post, you’ll have some finagling to do for your campaign to be successful, such as choosing between prices at different volumes, projecting how many people need to buy in as a group, etc. When he sourced the parts on his own, [Kridner] spent nearly $1000 for a single GamingCape. The CircuitHub campaign, if successful, would land everyone a board for under $100 each—and it’s assembled. 

Who needs Kickstarter; that’s hard to beat.

18 thoughts on “CircuitHub Launches Group Buy Crowdsourcing Campaigns

  1. >When he sourced the parts on his own, [Kridner] spent nearly $1000 for a single GamingCape.

    How the HELL does an LCD, a double sided board and a bunch of fairly common chips cost that much??!

    Even if I bought every component at my local Jaycar separately and got a board made up locally, I think I’d be struggling to push $500.

    1. On circuithub, they provide the assembly and everything but the price depends on the quantity. From what I’ve seen, it looks like they have a base cost of $700-800 for the initial setup. Thus when you buy one board it’s ridiculously expensive, but when you get 100 boards the setup cost is spread between them.

    1. In their defense it may have been an oversight, it seems as though this is a very recent addition. With any luck we will get it soon, if that is the case I could see this being a very viable alternative to kickstarter.

  2. Mmm, and I note that despite the fact that the cape is clearly designed to play games with an emulator, it is severely lacking in buttons to actually play games with. The NES, which he convenentily showcases with his design, requires 2 more buttons than he actually has there.

  3. That’s one epic music in the video. I keep expecting him to end up with a ring or a sword. (c:

    Anyhow, it looks like it only works with BBB and not the previous (white) model, although I can’t find a confirmation of that. Is that right that it only works with BBB?

  4. I think one would still need crowd funding in addition to just manufacturing. I can plenty of cases where you would need to fund some of the prototyping activities before being ready to have a product manufactured/distributed. Some of the things post prototyping for equipment/software/licensing cost, e.g. commercial (vs educational/hobbyist) CAD license, USB PID/VID, possibly regulatory compliance testing such as FCC, EC, UL.

    1. It’s really difficult to crowdfund a hardware product pre-prototype these days, it’s pretty much expected you can get to that point on your own. We do however support additional pre-manufacturing stages before shipping to your backers, generally for more end user focussed products.

      We handle this on a case by case basis, feel free to get in touch :)

      Andrew – Co-founder @ CircuitHub

    2. Yet we still see tons of kickstarter scam here on HaD. Even for some of the real products, there are still work needed to be done that needs money – optimizations such as DFx, test fixtures etc. A real replacement would need a way for the project to have some portion set aside for RNE or other budget.

      So what you have is not a replacement for crowd funding. It is just one of the things that helps out in the planning stage for figuring out how much things would cost etc. It is a good part that save some headaches, but it is very self-important narrow view like group in the process that thinks they are the *only* step critical. Even for the HaD’s own project: there are steps that are outside of stuff parts/BOM into a board/case. (see that.JS development part that is about 20%.)

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