What are the pitfalls of doing final assembly myself?

The DIY approach may result in the least out of pocket expense, but is rarely the best choice for anything beyond a prototype build (50 units or less). Here are the issues with the DIY approach.

  • Opportunity cost (what is not being done while you spend 4 weeks personally building, boxing, and shipping products?)
  • Scalability.  What happens when you go from 2000 to 20,000? Do you have space in your basement to store all that product?
  • Consistency and quality of build. Let’s face it. A great engineer is probably not a great technician.  You will be tempted to improve things every 5 or 10 units.  The result is an artisanal lot where each one is a unique work of art. That’s great if you are selling works of art, and not great when you are making a consumer electronics product (or an industrial automation product).
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