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I am looking to start a small company that sells Pi's predefined to fit my customer's needs. My question is:

Is there a site where I can order custom raspberry Pis in bulk with my code already on them? This way I don't have to add my components and code to each unit I sell.

If not, would any of you recommend another device that has this type of support, other than the Pi?

  • What sort of thing is the Pi going to be doing? – user253751 Jun 19 '17 at 23:37
  • It will be used in bowling allies, to help control lights and such. It will need custom hardware and software. – orangeMint Jun 20 '17 at 15:34
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    I ask since "controlling lights" is often something a microcontroller can do, and those are very cheap (sometimes under $1) single chips that are designed to be used on custom circuit boards. They can also be programmed before you solder them in and hold their programming automatically! However they are very slow and limited compared to a Raspberry Pi. – user253751 Jun 20 '17 at 21:53
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The manufacture of Raspberry Pi's as far as I am aware is by Element14/Premier Farnell. Originally they were made in China but are now produced in the UK, which is fitting, given the Foundation is a British organisation. You can read more about that here.

In terms of a Pi made for commercial use Element14 have an exclusive Raspberry Pi customization area. This would allow you to order customized Pi's in bulk orders. I've not really looked into this too much as I haven't had the need to bulk order Pi's. If you contact Element14 with your request they might be able to find a solution for you.

You might also be interested in the Compute Module, which fits in a DDR2 SODIMM connector. This is aimed at people looking to produce custom PCBs. You could probably bulk order them and try to find an electronics company to build a board with your required components.

As to another device with extensive customization support, well that really would depend on your needs. It's also a question that wouldn't be on-topic here as it's not related to the Pi and is more of a business operations question anyway.

  • +1 for mention of the Compute Module - "Primarily designed for those who are going to create their own PCB" – Carrosive Jun 20 '17 at 8:37
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You haven't mentioned any hardware customisation, so assuming the hardware is standard and it's just your code you need to copy, you could build an image and use an SD duplication service like this (first hit on google) http://www.diskcopy.com/product-info/custom-sd-cards

Then just ship 'stock' raspberry Pi's with your SD cards.

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Yes, pretty much any reseller would be happy to quote you for this. Element14's custom hardware supply cuts in at 5000 units, which might be a bit much for your needs. But if it's a customized distribution in a particular case with perhaps a hardware add-on, it's all down to whether you can agree a price that the reseller's able to work with.

As regards other boards, that's purely a technical and commercial decision on your part. The NextThing C.H.I.P. Pro, the commercial BeagleBones or any of the 96Boards might do it for you.

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    Disclosure: I work for a reseller, but very likely not in the same market as the OP. We kit and package Raspberry Pis for our customers. We're definitely not the only ones doing this. – scruss Jun 19 '17 at 15:38

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