FAQs

What types of companies was BreadPCB built for?
Industrial and Mechanical Design Agencies, Electrical Engineering Development Companies, Systems Integration businesses, connected hardware startups, and any company looking to utilizing IoT to increase their operational efficiency.

What type of user can utilize BreadPCB?
Pretty much anyone that has a good idea of what they are trying to build. Our most common users are mechanical engineers and industrial designers, mechanical and electrical engineers, and companies utilizing IoT to increase operational efficiency  –but essentially anyone who wants a path-to-production for their prototype can use BreadPCB. Breadware is definitely for trying to create electronic devices while keeping design time low , minimize errors, and drastically reduce creation costs.

What kind of boards can you create in Breadware?
Breadware is most suited for almost any board that utilizes modern wireless communication protocols or sensor technologies. This makes BreaedPCB suitable for a large variety of supported industries and applications. BreadPCB is not the best option if you are attempting to build “the worlds smallest” anything, as we utilize standardization to greatly reduce risk of design.
There are limitations, but the constraints limited to extreme cases, mostly on extremely compact form factors.
Breadware is extremely suited for applications related to the internet-of-things and implementing new methods of data collection.

Why go with BreadPCB for your custom board development?

BreadPCB is the most efficient, simple, and cost efficient tool for customizing and supplying custom printed circuit boards. With a large library of integrations and components, BreadPCB is the best way to quickly develop connected electronics.
BreadPCB will deliver functional boards to your door within 30 days, Breadware ships production-quality boards, including documentation and access to supported operational firmware that will boot on the board. The consulting alternative is often up to 75% more expensive and can take upwards of 4 months.

How do we provide better value?
We’ve standardized our design, supply, testing and manufacturing processes to the point that our processes are as streamlined as they can be without being completely automated. Breadware does for connected electronics design what WordPress and Wix essentially did to web design. By standardizing our process and abstracting away most of the low level drudgery we are increasing speed, reliability, and access to hardware.

How do I manage the supply chain?
We create the product specifications, Bill of Materials (BOM), part sourcing, and manufacturing partner choices, and fulfillment. All you have to do is use the tool to design a board that integrates into your system (download the CAD model and check) and then place an order.

Do I need an electrical engineer?

Breadware is built for the layperson but is customizable to the point of being useful for an experienced EE. The interface is efficient and simple to use and many teams use it in place of a dedicated electrical engineering team.

How complicated a design can BreadPCB handle?
Generally,  keeping a connected device “low power” requires a level of simplicity (sensor, actuator, communication, and power). However designs can also be highly complex multi-CPU systems. BreadPCB manages all size and supporting component optimization while still giving users direct control over their main UI components and connectors. With a detailed block diagram builder, BreadPCB can handle al large amount of complexity.

How customizable is the outer shape of a BreadPCB?
The outer dimensions and shape of a PCB is defined by the user. Simply arrange your modules to fit within the shape you need, then optimize the outer shape of the board with the drag and drop tool.

What networking protocols do you support?

For off-board communications, BreadPCB supports wireless 802.11 (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth, and BLE; LORAwan communications and 4G-LTE. BreadPCB also supports wired Ethernet from 10/100 through GigE.

What kind of display or monitor, if any?
BreadPCB supports: HDMI Monitors, MIPI screens, and touchscreens.

Are modules placed on both sides of a BreadPCB?
They can be. As seen in the interactive viewer, when a device is constrained to the point that not all components can fit on a single side, some components will route on the bottom layer. All core components can also be placed on either side in desired locations.

What kind of IoT sensors and actuators are available?
BreadPCB utilizes a core library of components that fall within the following categories: power, sensors, actuators, User Inputs and Outputs, Processors, Communication, and connectors. If there is a component or module that is not in the library, BreadPCB is also able to take in a wide variety of ECAD files for proprietary circuit module designs.

What happens if I don’t see a module or sensor that I need?

BreadPCB supports a wide range of components and sensors from a variety of companies like Microchip, NXP, Atmel, Arduino, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and so on. We are constantly adding modules to the BreadPCB library. But if you don’t find a module you need, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What COMs and Processors are available?

Please see our prototyping page for more detailed information. BreadPCB is a premier partner with Microchip and Atmel, however we supports a wide range of popular computer-on-module and processors from a variety of companies like Atmel, Microchip, ST, and NXP. Contact us for additions to our processor library.

What kind of USB connectors do you have?

BreadPCB has up USB2.0 -3.0 SuperSpeed and USB Type C. We also utilize USB hosts, clients, vertical and right-angle, micro, mini and standard connectors.

Do you have support lithium-ion batteries?
Yes, BreadPCB supports rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with our designs.

Any issues with certifications?
BreadPCB uses various FCC approved modules that automatically accommodate multiple sources of RF, for example, a single module that may have two radios. BreadPCB will also let you create a design with two or more separate radio transmitting modules, however, often this adds design complexity and cost.

Does BreadPCB generate a CAD of my custom board?

Yes. Them mechanical board assembly file is downloadable via .STEP file format so you can import into any mechanical CAD application. This ensures your embedded system board will exactly match any casing you design.

Can I set up a cloud-based design environment or integration?
Yes. Our core library includes firmware and hardware integrations for a large variety of cloud platforms, databases, and application layer software.

How do I order?
Visit the Get Quote page to request a quote. Our Sales and Customer Service Team are available from 7:30am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday to answer your questions about job submittal. Our team of Field Application and Electrical Engineers are also available to schedule a meeting.

Does Breadware Engineering verify my design?
The Breadware Engineering team verifies all aspects of each submitted project, starting with the block diagram and product specification, circuit simulation and design rule checking of module routing, all the way manufacturing QA and testing.

How long is the manufacturing?

All boards are shipped anytime between 2 and 4 weeks after order confirmation.

What are the most economical target production volumes?
BreadPCB is optimized for low and mid volume manufacturing runs but can provide a large amount of value for production runs of up to 100,000 units.

Do I retain rights to my board design after it has been manufactured?
Yes. Just as is done in art publishing, you grant Breadware a limited, non-transferable license to have us make, sell, reproduce, distribute and display your design as applied to (i) manufacturing hardware based on your design, either at your request or at the request of your explicit or implicit designee, and (ii) sharing your design with third parties of your choosing.

How do I get all the production information necessary to produce a board?
With BreadPCB, the only information necessary to produce a board is a block diagram. Learn how to build and submit a block diagram by contacting our team and our engineers can walk you through the process. Alternatively, refer to the documentation here to submit yourself. You do not have to worry about production information like layouts, schematics, gerbers, and even the bill of materials. BreadPCB manages the engineering process all the way through to production and supply chain integration.

Am I forced to share my design or is my IP protected?
You are NOT forced to share your design. IP is strictly protected in the case where you do not want to share. There is the opportunity to share with the breadware community should you decide to do so and there are a variety of incentives should you decide to do so. Contact us for more information.

Will schematics be sent?

Since the design and quoting environment is free to use, customers do not have direct access to schematics, or gerber files. You will receive, however, complete CAD models and technical documentation needed to start programming and integrating your device for your new custom device at no charge.

Did you test your idea on an Arduino and are now ready to produce your product?
We will go the extra mile and ensure to provide the lowest possible cost for production boards.

Can BreadPCB flash my software on-board in production?
Yes. Please contact us for details.
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Do I have to have an account to use BreadPCB?
No. You do not have to have an account to use BreadPCB.

How do I build a block diagram to submit an RFQ without a meeting?
Simply choose the modules you would like to use in your device from our Core Library and use Powerpoint or any document editor of your choice to indicate to use how you would like your modules to be connected. For additional help see this instructional documentation or schedule a meeting.


How does BreadPCB help me manage my power requirements?

BreadPCB monitors the power usage and availability of attached modules. It will only allow you to make connections that have sufficient power, and will make suggestions in case of insufficient power.