If you check the project files you may notice a file for the enclosure. Currently you can order it off shapeways for about $12 in many colors. I ordered Red and Black.
Very economical for small production runs but not very economical for 10k.
But what would the break down be. This design, although great for 3d printing is not good for injection molding.
What if it was 2 piece, or even 3?
let's do a little math. 5k per mold, 0.50 per part.
So Algebra 3*5000+(3*0.5)X = 12X
15000 = 12X-1.5X = 10.5X
15000/10.5 = X = ~1428 Units
So how many units would it take to break even on a 15k investment in molding?
previously I had estimated a total BOM of $23 not including labor, packaging, assembly, soldering etc.
most products are 4x over COG for pricing or 2x if direct sales.
Lets assume the unit could demand a price of $25 and 2k units cost $19.
Ok, a 6$ profit margin. 15k/$6 pays for the mold in 2500 units with terrible margins. Not too bad.
Seems easy right? Except without good marketing good luck selling 2500 units. This is where things like kickstarter shine. They are basically a marketing company and they take their cut for making your project have a substantial set of eyeballs view them.
What would I need raise to not lose my shirt?
15k + 2500*19 = whooooooo 62.5k. So be wary if you see people who say they need only 7k for their kickstarter to fund.
As much as I would love a second mortgage, keeping this case 3d printed from a service house really is economical barring outside investment or internal financial risk. It allows the project to grow and rapidly improve until the market demands it.
Molds are expensive. I will however start designing a 2 or 3 piece 3d moldable/printable case that makes it more weather resistant and easier to change the battery.