Snowball pricing analysis

I’ve been thinking about maybe selling the snowflakes – or a variant of the snowflakes – commercially. Pursuant to that, I did a few calculations on parts costs.

Here’s what it would take to build the prototype in volume (say, 100 units):

Part Price
PC Boards $2.04
55 WS2812 LEDs $3.72
Adafruit Huzzah $7.96
Acrylic $4.07
Printed separators $1.00
Labor @$13/hour $26
Total $44.79

The labor is frankly a bit of a guess; it’s probably quite a bit worse than that.

Assuming I wanted a 50% margin, that would put the retail cost at about $90. The snowflakes are nice, but I’m not sure they are $90 nice.

To reduce the price, we need to look at the places that are the most expensive. Clearly, labor is a problem, so making the design easier and more robust to assemble is going to be critical. And the cost of the Huzzah is a big part of the parts cost, so coming up with an alternative that is easier and cheaper to use makes sense.


  • Reply Stephen Kramer |

    Your snowflake design looks really good, I’d love to buy it as a kit, would you sell it?


    • Reply Eric Gunnerson |

      Sorry for the super-late response; I had an issue with comments on my blog.

      I’d be willing to share the PCB design for free, though I’ll note that it is a *huge* pain in the ass to solder them together. I may someday do a version that’s easier to assemble.

So, what do you think ?