I have a new type of mechanical device that doubles the output of all previous models. Do i post the machine as one all encompassing patent or break it down into a half dozen new ideas that take existing features and reconfigure them and also adding new ideas not on any currently available product? One patent for entire machine or many separate patents for each significant re configuration or new additional change?
One thing that is important is whether there is one invention or several. In theory there should only be one invention per patent (although there can be several implementations). It's expensive to get a patent so there is an incentive to file as few as possible, but this isn't always possible as patent examiners may force you to split an application if they believe there are two inventions involved.
Patent strategy is complicated and very dependent on the specific case involved. Maximizing patent coverage while minimizing cost is hard and may depend on legal precedent. I highly recommend you consult with a patent lawyer regarding patent strategy and for the actual drafting and prosecution of the patent(s).
The answer is specific to your actual case. You can file one or multiple patent applications; you can file one comprehensive application that covers all of the above and them file divisional applications to claim various aspects.
I advise people to have a good novelty search performed and to also get a reasonable understanding of the competition and the market. You want to cover something (either the whole or a critical sub-component) that is both new and particularly valuable to the end user-benefit. Something that if left out or done another way would result in a clearly inferior overall product.
It is also a big plus that it is something that is visible/detectable without a decomposition of the end product. That makes it easier to tell if you are being infringed.