Mass Design Inc. Announces FabStream-for-Mass Design™

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Launches No Cost SoloPCB Design software integrated with Mass Design’s PCB manufacturing.

Mass Design, Inc. a manufacturer of high-reliability printed circuit boards (PCB) for critical applications, today announced the Beta Pilot launch of SoloPCB Design™ software for Mass Design through the company’s partnership with FabStream, a new business initiative created by DownStream Technologies, LLC.

FabStream is an integrated printed circuit board (PCB) design and manufacturing solution targeted at the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) electronics market that consists of small businesses, start-ups, engineers, inventors, hobbyists, and other electronic enthusiasts. The solution consists of no cost SoloPCB Design™ software customized to each of FabStream’s manufacturing partners, in this case, Mass Design Inc.

With FabStream for Mass Design, customers can download the SoloPCB Design software at no cost from Mass Design’s website (http://www.massdesign.com) preloaded with all of Mass Design’s manufacturing and pricing rules. The customer then creates PCB schematics and layouts. When finished, the PCB is automatically priced and ordered through an integrated e-commerce wizard. The wizard extracts all of the necessary manufacturing data into a secure and encrypted, industry standard IPC-2581 manufacturing file. The order information and manufacturing file are electronically routed to Mass Design’s inside sales department for order processing and CAM engineering. Since the service is largely Internet-based, FabStream for Mass Design can be accessed globally 24/7/365 extending Mass Design’s market potential.

With this addition, Mass Design expands their already innovative integrated manufacturing strategy by adding PCB design tools tied into the company’s manufacturing flow. The result is complete front-to-back support including design software, design services, bare board fabrication, and PCB assembly. Mass Design’s customers can select any combination of these services.

“For our customers to be competitive in today’s economy we have to think outside the box and offer more than just traditional manufacturing services,” said Paul Boduch, VP of Operations at Mass Design. “Including FabStream as a Mass Design service was an obvious addition to align our customers engineering efforts more closely with our manufacturing flow and greatly increase their product success.”

Mass Design has created a pricing model specifically for the DIY Engineer that offers extremely low pricing for PCBs based on pre-set construction configurations. This allows the company to group similar PCB orders and manufacture at a much lower cost. The savings is then passed on to the end-user.

Boduch explains, “FabStream helps us reach a market segment that is difficult to address with traditional sales and marketing channels. To support the DIY engineer we needed to keep prototype costs low but at the same time, provide expertise to users unfamiliar with PCB manufacturing. By pre-setting PCB construction configurations, such as material, copper, thickness, and finishes, the burden of understanding the nuances of PCB manufacturing have been eliminated and the manufacturability of the design is greatly improved. This reduces our tooling costs and creates savings through economies of scale that can be passed on to the customer.”

At the start of the SoloPCB layout process, users select a pre-set PCB configuration in two, four or six layer options. All of Mass Design’s manufacturing rules, materials and pricing associated with the configuration are used to drive the layout and ordering process. When more advanced PCB features are need, a “Full Feature” option is offered enabling up to 16 layer PCB designs with tighter design rules. Full feature also supports advanced design technologies such as blind and buried vias and controlled impedance. Changes introduced in the layout process can be quickly verified using an integrated Design Analyzer. The analyzer provides a quick pass/fail of changes to help keep the PCB layout in synch with Mass Design’s constraints so customers can design without compromise but still build with confidence.

Mass Design is the first of FabStream’s inaugural partners to release the service to their customer base. The companies have worked closely together over the past 12 months to define the service and customize FabStream to Mass Design’s production flow.

“We are excited that Mass Design has chosen to license FabStream as part of its integrated approach to manufacturing,” stated Rick Almeida, Founder of DownStream Technologies and Managing Director of FabStream. “They’re expertise in PCB manufacturing combined with our knowledge of PCB software development delivers the best of both worlds. FabStream for Mass Design offers the layperson an intuitive solution to a complex part of electronic product development.”

Availability and Pricing

Beginning today, FabStream for Mass Design, Inc. is now in Beta Pilot. SoloPCB Design Software for Mass Design can be downloaded at Mass Design’s corporate website: http://www.massdesign.com. The SoloPCB Design Software for Mass Design is provided at no cost and Mass Design’s PCB manufacturing pricing will apply.

About Mass Design

Mass Design, Inc. has been designing and manufacturing high-reliability printed circuit boards (PCB) that can be manufactured cost-effectively by a diverse customer base that includes Fortune 500 companies, the Department of Defense, start-ups, OEMs and contract manufacturers. The company’s integrated manufacturing approach removes communication obstacles between engineering and manufacturing to eliminate common pitfalls when introducing new products to market.

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Joseph Giacobbe
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