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Provide cost estimate at the start of classes? Answered

I love the new classes feature here at Instructables, and have the ambition to complete as many of them as possible.

I do have some feedback for them, however, and that is that the introduction to the class should include a rough estimate of how much it's going to cost to buy the various bits needed to complete the class.

I've just finished the Arduino class and loved the fact that a lot of the lessons leading up to the final project contributed to the final build, and as such helped keep the costs of buying the materials (relatively) low.

The same can't be said for the Electronics class, however, which has different projects to build for each lesson and is working out rather expensive as a result.

Now please understand, I'm not complaining about the fact you have to build a project for each lesson. If anything I'm rather enjoying it. But a little heads up of what roughly how much the class is going to end up costing would be a welcome addition.

I can see this consisting of two different sums:

- the cost of equipment which is needed, but once you have it, you have it for keeps.
- and the cost of any materials which will be consumed by the project.

I'm keen on moving onto another class just as soon as I complete the Electronics one, but would like to be able to work out which one I should go for, taking things like price into account, before I get started - rather than maybe having to abandon the class because I suddenly find I can 't afford some of the equipment or materials I'll need for it.

Thank you



2 years ago

This is why I'm suggesting that the price should be an estimate. It doesn't need to be exact, just close enough that I can get a rough idea of what's potentially involved.

I think the main issue I have is, without going over all the lessons in the class first, there's no indication at the start of exactly what I'm going to need, so it's a surprise when I get to lesson 4 in Electronics, say, and discover that I need wooden boxes, light fittings, etc..

I've done some electronics classes before, and while some of them have needed specific components which have been difficult to source, they've provided a list of everything up front, so that you know what you're getting yourself into.

Again, please don't think that I'm complaining about the products involved in the classes, I'm really not. The fact that I'm building unusual things is exactly why I'm enjoying the classes so much - it's taking me out of my comfort zone, and forcing me to do things I've never done before.

But, I can't help but feel there might be some out there (myself included) who must get a pang of disappointment and maybe don't pick up the momentum to start again, after getting to the aforementioned lesson 4, and abandoning the whole thing because there is an unspecified requirement.

All I'm trying to do is suggest that if people are more prepared with an understanding of what's required at the start, that can only be a good thing.


Reply 2 years ago

Makes sense. You need to click in the reply button if you want me to get notified of your comment.


2 years ago

I can't really agree with providing the cost of equipment, a $5 soldering iron will work, but a $100 one will work better. An $80 corded drill will work, but a $300 drill press with be able to to complete the task in the less time and with higher accuracy...

Then comes improvisation... You don't always need a soldering iron to connect two wires. I use screw connectors very often, since they're better that soldering for many reasons...

Then come additional costs... A fume extractor? A soldering iron stand?


2 years ago

How do you think this price estimate would work with people from all the world?
If you are somewhere in a well populated area in the US or EU you won't have much trouble finding electronics for cheap.
Try the same from India, south america or just Australia and you can be lost from the start.
If I state the list of materials will be around $30 AU then you can be sure someone in the US can get it for haf the price while someone in Mexico might not even get all the parts required.

IMHO the est option is that everyone does some homework first, checking local suppliers and such to get and compare prices.


Reply 2 years ago

Show prices for everything "new" on Amazon, same with the links that are provided.

$50 in a store might be $30 on Amazon, which could be $3 at a store that sells secondhand items...