During the beta pilot program - which began in April, 2013 - more than 500 software downloads were completed. The company received feedback from users on the software's features as well as the user interface and overall usability. Based on input from the beta software users, more than 200 updates have been made to the software including defect corrections and a number of functionality changes.
"The market reaction and response to FabStream and SoloPCB has been very positive," said Rick Almeida, Managing Director of FabStream. "The feedback we've received during the beta pilot phase has strengthened an already powerful design alternative for DIY engineers who need access to quality PCB design software and manufacturing. We were able to incorporate many changes and suggestions that were reported to us since the initial launch of FabStream earlier this year," he added.
As expected, there was demand for the software in the DIY electronics market but the company also saw downloads come from well-known commercial high technology companies. Almedia noted, "Even though the software is tailored to the DIY electronics market, SoloPCB has been well received amongst more experienced PCB designers because it is powerful and provides functionality not found in the other free PCB software on the market,' he added.
FabStream offers the user free, easy-to-use yet powerful PCB design tools pre-loaded with a specific PCB manufacturers rules eliminating design pitfalls that can lead to problems getting a board produced. It also contains the manufacturers' pricing structure so the PCBs can be ordered automatically through the software shortening delivery times. This release also means that SoloPCB for Mass Design is now available for production use and can be downloaded at either www.massdesign.com or www.fabstream.com.
Now that the SoloPCB Design beta pilot program is complete and the official production version of the software is available, FabStream will focus on launching additional versions of the software targeted to specific PCB manufacturers. "The completion of the beta phase of FabStream now allows us to focus on adding more SoloPCB versions to support other manufacturers, particularly in Europe where we've seen an increase in download activity," said Almeida. "Our goal is to bring several European manufacturers, which we have already signed partnerships with, online in the third quarter of 2013," he added.
The official production version of SoloPCB Design for Mass Design V1.1 is available immediately. SoloPCB beta pilot users can upgrade to the official release automatically through their existing version of the software. All design files and libraries created in the beta pilot version are forward compatible with the new SoloPCB V1.1.
FabStream is an integrated printed circuit board (PCB) design and manufacturing solution developed by DownStream Technologies, LLC and targeted at the DIY electronics market which is made up of small businesses, start-ups, engineers, inventors, hobbyists, and other electronic enthusiasts. FabStream consists of our free SoloPCB DesignT software customized to each manufacturing partner in the FabStream network. More information can be found at Fabstream.com. DownStream Technologies, LLC is Software and Services Company focused on helping engineering organizations optimize and automate the PCB Release Process. More information about DownStream can be found at Downstreamtech.com.