This month’s meetup was hosted at MaidBot where their sculpture of discarded parts was on full display.

The discussion was a detailed walkthrough on custom PCBs and solder plates, parts placement, and taking a board into production. We then moved on to cover different plastics to use for prototyping and applications (rigidity, friction, mold without seams, etc). Apparently, getting custom parts fabricated in plastic is pretty affordable as long as you’re doing batches of 25+ and the companies will work with you to make sure your designs (wall thickness, supports, seams, curves, etc) work. The argument is that the upfront cost of custom plastics is worth it after the initial prototype since it appears more finished than 3D printed parts and increases your chances of securing funding.

I don’t have any personal projects that need this level of detail, but it was interesting to get a local startup’s advice on taking an idea from concept to production.