Subject: making devices
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 19:31:59 -0700 (PDT)

Can some better informed members of the FSB audience help me optimize
my time spent doing some "homework"?

I would like to learn more about what I'll call "device
manufacturing".  For example, let's suppose I want to build a
hand-held device with a form-factor similar to Palm devices, or
stereo-shelf devices similar to HP's linux-based music box.

I think I can find the electronics easily enough.  What I'd like to
know more about is low-cost approaches to designing and building the
device itself.  What's the state of those pipelines?  Where's a good
place to start?  Are there any rules of thumb about the start-up cost,
per device cost, and minimum initial run size of typical devices?
Anything to look out for in areas such as the quality of plastics
and processes (shock resistance, accuracy of fit, weight, feel, etc.)?

I have the vague impression that there have been lots of improvements
in this area in recent years -- but where can I dig in to find the