DownStream Announces New Versions of DFMStream®, CAM350®, and BluePrint-PCB®

Focuses R&D on usability improvements for DFM, Adds Support for IPC-2581, and new RSS Feeds.

Marlborough, MA – September 26, 2012 DownStream Technologies, LLC announced  new versions of their industry-leading PCB post-processing solutions - DFMStream, CAM350 and BluePrint-PCB. The releases include new features and performance improvements designed to help users post-process PCB designs and has strong emphasis on providing additional DFM capabilities to improve throughput. 

With the continued development of DFMStream®, DownStream demonstrates their committment to Design for Manufacturing (DFM) tools that are sophisticated and powerful, yet intuitive and easy-to-use. A number of enhancements have been added to DFMStream’s analysis flow to help shorten the time required to setup a design for DFM and to quickly parse the resulting analysis data to isolate potential manufacturing defects before committing to PCB fabrication. New functionality includes a pre-process check that automatically prepares imported CAM data for DFM checking without modifying the original data. This pre-process removes covered and redundant data, optimizes polygon data, and auto-detects and ignores text strings that are often found in Gerber files. This intelligent processing reduces the amount of data manipulation required to get meaningful DFM results.

In addition a number of enhancements have been added that allow users to quickly review DFM results such as locking and unlocking layer visibility during error cross-probing while retaining error marker location; limiting annular ring checks to associated pads; and improved zoom control when probing DFM errors. Analysis results provide greater detail to help resolve DFM conflicts and users are given a quick “pass/fail” status of each check to ensure which checks were processed and which checks failed.

“We’ve seen strong demand for DFMStream and DFM upgrades to our CAM350 product since our announcement at the 2011 PCB Design Conference and this release builds upon our initial development by improving product usability and productivity,” said Rick Almeida, Founder of DownStream. “It’s our belief that DFM analysis is paramount to ensuring successful new product introduction but at the same time we need to ensure that DFM doesn’t inadvertently extend the PCB design cycle. Unlike other DFM solutions on the market our goal was to minimize the amount of time a user must spend preparing and reviewing DFM results so our DFM analysis is easy-to-use, intelligent, and as automated as possible so that designers spend the least amount of time possible to validate a PCB before manufacture,” he added.

Support for IPC-2581 file Format

IPC-2581 Import and Export functions are included in all of DownStream’s products to provide an intelligent alternative to traditional Gerber and NC drill exchange. In addition, the IPC-2581 file format can be used to exchange data with other CAD/CAM/and MES systems in the design chain in an open and neutral environment. 

“As one of the founding members of the IPC-2581 Consortium we are committed to promoting and deploying this standard file format wherever we can,” said Almeida. “We plan on offering support for IPC-2581 in all our products in one form or another and with this release we now offer IPC-2581 exchange in our DFM, CAM, and documentation solutions. It’s our view that while Gerber and NC drill formats have served the PCB design industry well, it’s time to look to more sophisticated, vendor-neutral formats that can be used throughout the design chain,” he added.

All three product releases are compliant with the latest Windows® installation standards to simplify the software update process. In addition, users can also view DownStream RSS feeds directly from within the products providing them pertinent product details and information immediately.

CAM350 users will also see a number of improvements in DownStream’s flagship application based on previous customer feedback including new functionality for IPC-2581 Import and Export, usability enhancements to Streams Rules Checks, and live product updates provided via RSS Feed.

DownStream’s award winning BluePrint-PCB documentation tool also contains a number of improvements including a new Document wizard to automate document creation, new release update functionality for large installations, UNICODE export support for PDF Export, new system variables, significant modifications to partlist tables for variants, GD&T sizing for callout shapes, case detection for spell checking, and improvements to noteblocks and drill charts.

“This is one of the largest update releases to our customer base in the 10 year history of the company.

When completed, we expect to upgrade over 3,500 end users world-wide who are under valid maintenance agreements,” said Almeida.

Availability and Pricing
CAM350 Version 10.8, DFMStream Version 10.8 and BluePrint-PCB 3.5 will be available in Q4 2012 and are provided at no additional charge to all existing customers with a valid maintenance agreement. Actual content will vary based on end-users configuration. CAM350 10.8 pricing starts at $500.00 USD, DFMStream Version 10.8 starts at $5,500 USD and BluePrint-PCB 3.5 pricing starts at $2,500.00 USD. For more information log onto downstreamtech.com, email Email Contact or contact a DownStream local Value Added Reseller (VAR).

About DownStream Technologies
DownStream Technologies, LLC is a software and services company focused on helping engineering organizations optimize and automate the PCB Release Process. Our tools redefine how engineering professionals post-process PCB designs to create and distribute all the deliverables required for a complete PCB assembly release package. CAM350® provides verification, optimization and output generation to efficiently drive PCB fabrication. DFMStream® is a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use tool suite designed to help engineers and designers verify design and manufacturing rules on PCB design databases, Gerber and NC data any time during the PCB design cycle. BluePrint for Printed Circuit Boards® works with CAM350® (and other PCB CAD systems) to help users quickly produce comprehensive electronic drawings to drive PCB fabrication, assembly and inspection processes. More information about DownStream can be found at downstreamtech.com

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