Crowd-funding has undeniably changed the nature of product development, allowing increasing numbers of would-be hardware makers to realise their visions and bring their designs out of the shed and into the market. It's not perfect, though, and the majority of existing sites cater exclusively to the consumer crowd who, naturally, expect a finished product for their money. Jason Kridner has written of his experiences with CircuitHub's latest feature: a tool which looks to better support the maker community by offering group-buy campaigns for assembled circuit boards. Jason's example is certainly convincing: an add-on board he has been working on and which cost around $1,000 for a single unit becomes - thanks to the economies of scale involved - just $100 if enough people sign up. For those whose maker-centric projects are ill-served by Kickstarter and the like, it's certainly worth investigating.
I uploaded Max’s open hardware design to CircuitHub and they launched a new tool enabling us to go in together on a board build. This means we can use our combined purchasing power to lower the cost of buying the components and justifying the time it takes to setup machines to do the assembly.