Friday Hack Chat: Assembling In Quantity With MacroFab

Building one of something is easy. You see it here every day, and yes, building a single robot, or a board to convert Segas to HDMI, or an Internet of Things thing is easy. Manufacturing is another story entirely. You’re going to have BOMs to work with, you’ll have suppliers, and you need to deal with assembly, programming, and packaging. Do you even know where you’re going to store all those boxes of parts? Manufacturing is a difficult task, but luckily there are assembly houses and contract manufacturers ready to ease the burden a little.

For this week’s Hack Chat, we’re going to be talking about Assembly as a Service through MacroFab. MacroFab is an online assembly house and contract manufacturer that makes creating hardware simple. If you thought sending a board file off to OSH Park and receiving a PCB in a week is amazing, you clearly haven’t experienced MacroFab. Here, you can upload your board and BOM, and with minimal effort, receive a completely populated product in a few weeks.

Our guest for this week’s Hack Chat will be [Parker Dillmann], MacroFab co-founder, with backgrounds in embedded design and DSP. He runs longhornengineer, a blog full of amazing projects that fit in well with the usual Hackaday fare. Shoutouts are especially deserved for the Game Boy VGA adapter.

During this week’s Hack chat, we’re going to be talking to [Parker] about manufacturing, the pitfalls, how you can better design for manufacturing (DFM), the machines used by MacroFab, pogo pin adapters, solder fountains, and all the cool stuff that turns one of a thing into thousands of a thing. If you’re wondering what MacroFab’s results look like, you’ve probably already held a few in your hands; the badge for this year’s Hackaday Superconference was manufactured by MacroFab, as were a lot of the independent badges at last year’s Def Con.

During this Hack Chat, we’ll be discussing:

  • What is the process for a first-time manufacturer?
  • Where can you find out how to design better for manufacturing?
  • What kinds of products are made at MacroFab?
  • What kinds of equipment is typically used for board assembly?

As always, we’re looking for questions from the community, you can add those as a comment on the Hack Chat event page.


Our Hack Chats are live community events on the Hack Chat group messaging. This Hack Chat is going down Friday, January 12th at noon, Pacific time. Time Zones got you down? Here’s a handy countdown timer!

Click that speech bubble to the left, and you’ll be taken directly to the Hack Chat group on

You don’t have to wait until Friday; join whenever you want and you can see what the community is talking about.