Open Source Projects
Contained in this category is a product that you would purchase if you wanted to buy a parts kit from us, and would like us to assemble the kit for you.
On occasion interesting designs are released into the public domain under a "Non-Commercial" agreement. The problem with projects released in this manner is that these projects sometimes require quite an elevated soldering skill level (SMD) not present in many hobbiests/users thereby preventing them from ever obtaining said device. This is a problem when very good devices are created but not commercially available and prohibited to be commercially available.
This service exists to allow you to purchase products that are typically only available as "parts kits" or board under a non-commercial agreement creations. In this case, you would obtain the board at cost (meeting the spirit of the non-commercial agreement), then purchase the parts and the assembly service. Given that parts are just electronic parts, and an assembly service is just that... a service, they do not fall under the non-commercial agreement. This is why the assembly service and parts kits are sold as separate items.
This is why some products are only available as bare boards. You'd then add the parts kit and assembly service. This allows you to get the non-commercial open source board at cost (as you would if you ordered it yourself through an online board vendor like PCBWay or Oshpark) and have someone else (US) to assemble it for you.
This is the thought behind the assembly service.