Re: The case
@dropbear it really depends on 2 things, volume and complexity. I'm not sure how many they were expecting to sell but they don't seem to be at the volume to justify that kind of expenditure. I could be wrong though as a lot does depend not only on the cost of the moulding but also the plastic being used. For the electronic components we used to encase it was a one shot deal. If there was any error in the process the whole lot was straight in the bin. But as said, we were doing over 20,000 a day and each "shot" was 60 devices, dropping 60 devices in the bin because the compound had messed up wasn't a big deal. For this case though my guess would be they'd use a basic plastic, if it messes up you just recycle it and reload (a lot of plastics for moulding are that simple, just stick it in a shredder and pop it back in the press). The finish on the final product can also be chosen to lower the costs, make it a matt finish and you can use cheaper materials for the mould.
Then there's the whole point of a kickstarter. In effect it's still a prototype, but what you're actually investing in is the research into DFM (Design For Manufacture). This is the research into the processes and materials for rapidly ramping up production. Sure you may only be making a few 100 or 1000 but the kickstarter enables you to develop the process for making 10s or even 100s of 1000s. The question for this product though is would they ever have had enough demand to warrent doing this level of work at this stage, or should they have gone generic this time and funded another kickstarter for the mark II version for researching the DFM? I'll freely admit I have no idea, but it's entirely possible they close to the point where DFM research would be required. Heck someone makes the generic cases, it shouldn't be too hard to find someone to make the new cases.