Post By noidle22
The cost to build an espresso machine
If you took out the generic costs such as R&D, marketing etc... and just calculated the costs to assemble an E61 HX machine from scratch, how much do you think it would cost in new parts ? If you are familiar enough with doing this and kind enough to offer a guess please don't get too bogged down on exact spec (ie 2L boiler vs 3L boiler or whatever) - Just curious for an approximate...... :-)
Might be worth asking coffee_machinist via PM.
Have a look on coffeeparts for the major items (boiler, group, pump, controller, taps) - you'll be well above the new price pretty quickly I'll bet.
I'd hazard a guess you'd run into electrical compliance issues also.
Well if you were going to scratch build a custom boiler with HX then that won't be cheap. Using a boiler from another machine would be a lot cheaper but still expensive.
If you built the frame and panels yourself which wouldn't be that hard ($350 perhaps?) and populated it with a boiler from a current production machine (estimate $800-900 going by Coffee Parts) plus a manual E61 group ($500) then that will get you the base.
Then you will need wiring and electronics. I would suggest an arduino or similar microcontroller ($60) plus your own software and hardware. Going the PID route would be easy and means you wouldn't need to spend on a pressurestat and plumbing for it. Whether the PID hardware would end up cheaper than the pressurestat hardware I'm not sure of.
Add some steam/hot water taps and wands ($150 each) plus custom plumbing to suit (not sure of the cost).
Add a vibe pump and associated components ($100-200) or a rotary pump and motor (combo is $500).
Gauges, switches, fittings, connectors, consumables (estimated $200 and up).
Total build cost - $2500 or thereabouts.
I'm not familiar with doing this but have just checked some pricing and come up with that figure, don't quote me on it.
If I were you, I'd try and find someone scrapping a good E61 HX with a solid boiler and group and use that as the base. Designing your own controller and aesthetic parts will cut costs down.
Excluding design costs and machining time, I believe simple single boiler machines could be built really cheap. Thick wall round brass tube with a threaded brass end cap and some grouphead boiler bottom. A heater element. Thermostats. A water pump. Switches. A water tank. Pretty simple, but you would need a few commercial parts. The problem is that you will be always approaching the cost of commercial machines or exceeding them. The other issue is how reliable would your design be?
A hx machine would be difficult to perfect unless you copied someone elses design. Most of the components are fairly basic, but will require brassing copper sheet to build a pressure vessel. The majority of the other components are basically copper pipe fittings and common components (pressurestats, safety valves, ect). The grouphead and portafilter is another issue.
Then there are compliance issues. Is the vessel considered a pressure vessel? Certification of electricals?