"Solves all these problems in an ingenious format that makes you wonder why you didn’t come up with it yourself."
"As soon as you see a BreadShield in action, you realize how much time you could have saved over the years"
"The reason that I usually don't use breadboards is because the connections are so janky... it's just a huge pain, and this makes it way easier."
Lead time as short as two weeks from campaign end. See manufacturing and fulfillment sections below for more details.
BreadShield is a shield that maps Arduino pins to breadboard ties without jumper wires. It inserts into both of them, firmly bridging them together mechanically and electrically.
Many projects start with connecting an Arduino and a breadboard using jumper wires. But jumper wires can easily become too many to manage, forming a mess of spaghetti that is difficult to trace and debug. To disconnect the breadboard temporarily or to swap it, you have to undo and rewire it. This can lead to errors if you forget how the board was wired in the first place. And most importantly, since the sockets are occupied by jumper wires, you cannot use any shield boards!
Too mamy jumper wires can lead to a messy project that is hard to manage.
Shields and jumper wires cannot co-exist in one project.
Like you, we have suffered enough. One day we asked, what if all of those messy jumper wires could become one shield? So BreadShield was born. BreadShield maps standard Arduino Uno R3 pins to one row of pins that can be inserted directly into a breadboard.
BreadShield connects an Arduino Uno with an HD44780 LCD with only 1 jumper wire, instead of 11 parallel jumper wires above.
You no longer have to make a choice between using existing shields and using a breadboard - with BreadShield, you can use both! And you can stack the shields as high as you want.
BreadShield can be used in countless projects, thanks to the popularity of both Arduino and breadboards. It can even work with other hardware that is Arduino-compatible, such as HiFive1 Rev B.
Take a look at a few examples below. Aren’t the ones on the right tidier?
Connecting Arduino Uno to a HD44780 display, in jump wires. vs. in BreadShield
Connecting Arduino Uno to two servo motors, in jump wires. vs. in BreadShield
Connecting Arduino Uno to a row of LEDs, in jump wires. vs. in BreadShield
Connecting Arduino Uno to an integrated circuit chip, in jump wires. vs. in BreadShield.
Keeping the stackable headers upright is always a challenge when soldering an Arduino shield. It's not a problem for BreadShield, which is the first shield that automatically aligns the header. We've carefully tuned the diameter of the pad holes to be slightly bigger than the pins'. Once inserted into the holes, the headers will stand up straight, or perpendicular to the shield, automatically. Since they remain in position (thanks to the friction) you don't need to hold them using tools like a "third hand" or a "helping hand". Just solder.
Auto-alignment of headers for easy soldering.
|BreadShield||Jump wires||ArduShield||Shield Adapter|
|Can use shields and breadboard simultaneously||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Concurrent and instant (dis-)connection||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Support for "Big" Arduino (Uno, Mega, Zero, Leonardo, etc.)||All||All||Uno-only||Uno-only|
|Non-Arduino families supported||Any, including HiFive, Sparkfun Redboard Turbo, Adafruit Grand Central M4, Adafruit Metro M4, Sparkfun FreeSoC2, etc.||Any||Partial, I2C and/or ICSP/SPI may not work||None|
|Support for I2C in Arduino shield R3 standard||Yes||Yes||Partial (mixed with A4-A5, does not work for systems like Arduino Leonardo or Mega that are not based on ATmega328 chip)||No (designed for Arduino R2 standard)|
|Support for ICSP or SPI||Full (ICSP is open and not hardwired with D11-D13)||Partial (unless using female-to-male jumper wires from ICSP to breadboard)||Partially (only for Arduino Uno/Nano/(Pro)Mini/Micro)||No|
|Auto-alignment of headers for easy assembly||Yes, and oval soldering pad with optimal dimensions||N/A||No||No|
|Open Source||Fully OSH, KiCAD schematics and PCB||N/A||Partial (schematics only, in PDF)||No|
|Price (kit version)||$7 USD||N/A||€14 (about $16, including tax)||$20 USD|
We will make our Github repo public with all design files, and our thoughts in interating the prototypes, as soon as the campaign concludes. So help us reach our goal! The world needs BreadShield.
We have been involved in making hardware, especially in Shen Zhen and Guang Zhou (Canton) in China, for the past decade. We also speak Mandarin, which is extremely helpful when sourcing parts and establishing relationships with manufacturers. We have visited Hua Qiang Bei in Shen Zhen several times. For this project, we obtained quotes from several PCB or PCBA manufacturers, and sourced the parts ourselves (Forrest would like to thank Hebi for finding a magic Chinese website called TaoBao), to ensure that you get competitive prices. We are connected with two reliable PCBA manufacturers in China. We plan to move forward with one. But if something happens, we will opt for Plan B with the other manufacturer so orders won't be delayed.
We are not only production-ready, we are ship-ready!
We are ready to ship!
All orders will be shipped by Crowd Supply's fulfillment service. Early orders (approximately first 100 kits and first 20 assembled) will be sent to Crowd Supply immediately after the campaign concludes (remember to keep your shipping address updated in your Crowd Supply account).
Remaining kit and soldered version orders will be shipped to Crowd Supply in two and four weeks, respectively. Once the packages reach Crowd Supply, it will take them one more week to forward your orders. Since it takes 3-4 days from us to Crowd Supply, early backers in the US may get your orders as soon as two weeks after the campaign ends.
As the campaign develops, we will pipeline orders in minibatches of 100 or 200 (depending on how fast the demand grows), and sent to Crowd Supply as soon as they reach us in Iowa. That will avoid the need for a big order at the end of the campaign with a very long lead time.
There are no risks for the kit version (unassembled PCB and parts) because the connectors are commonly used and PCB manufacturing is quite standard, with lots of PCB manufacturers out there. The only risk is if we get an unexpectedly high number of orders for the soldered version. However, we have set the timeline reasonably to prepare for the worst, i.e., longest lead time. We have contacted several manufactures to ensure enough redundancy. The last resort is that we will manually assemble for you, our dear backers! Any delays will be communicated promptly and clearly through updates.
All products are sold as-is. We cannot promise any warranty nor technical support, although we will try our best to help you. We cannot handle returns due to mistakes in your address or government decisions. If your package is damaged, we will be happy to send you a replacement.
We are based in Ames, Iowa. During the day, Forrest is a computer science professor. In our spare time, we like to build hardware together. This is our first hobbyist project, paid for by our own pocket money and evening/weekend time. Forrest has a Ph.D. in Computer Science (major) and Electrical Engineering (minor).
Don't be dissuaded because this is our first crowdfunding campaign. We are serious people and have put in the time and research required for a successful campaign. Forrest regularly publishes at top AI conferences. He has been reported on/interviewed by MIT Technology Review website and Lancet Neurology00311-7/fulltext). He is also a co-inventor of one US/PCT patent and two patent applications. We are committed to delivering BreadShield to Crowd Supply in the next 60 days (or 80 days for soldered version).