Mechanical Updates in ANSYS 2020 R1 – Webinar

With ANSYS structural analysis software, users are able to solve more complex engineering problems, faster and more efficiently than ever before. Customization and automation of structural solutions is much easier to optimize thanks to new and innovative finite element analysis (FEA) tools available in this product suite.

Once again, ANSYS is able to cement their role as industry leaders when it comes to usability, productivity, and reliability; adding innovative functionality to an already groundbreaking product offering. ANSYS Mechanical continues to be used throughout the industry, and for good reason as it enables engineers to optimize their product design and reduce the costs of physical testing.

Join PADT’s Senior Mechanical Engineer & Lead Trainer Joe Woodward, for an in-depth look at what’s new in the latest version of ANSYS Mechanical, including updates regarding:

  • External Modeling
  • Graphics
  • Composites
  • Linear Dynamics
  • And much more

Register Here

If this is your first time registering for one of our Bright Talk webinars, simply click the link and fill out the attached form. We promise that the information you provide will only be shared with those promoting the event (PADT).

You will only have to do this once! For all future webinars, you can simply click the link, add the reminder to your calendar and you’re good to go!

Reduce EMI with Good Signal Integrity Habits

Recently the ‘Signal Integrity Journal’ posted their ‘Top 10 Articles’ of 2019. All of the articles included were incredible, however, one stood out to me from the rest – ‘Seven Habits of Successful 2-Layer Board Designers’ by Dr. Eric Bogatin (https://www.signalintegrityjournal.com/blogs/12-fundamentals/post/1207-seven-habits-of-successful-2-layer-board-designers). In this work, Dr. Bogatin and his students were developing a 2-Layer printed circuit board (PCB), while trying to minimize signal and power Integrity issues as much as possible. As a result, they developed a board and described seven ‘golden habits’ for this board development. These are fantastic habits that I’m confident we can all agree with. In particular, there was one habit at which I wanted to take a deeper look:

“…Habit 4: When you need to route a cross-under on the bottom layer, make it short. When you can’t make it short, add a return strap over it..”

Generally speaking, this habit suggests to be very careful with the routing of signal traces over the gap on the ground plane. From the signal integrity point of view, Dr. Bogatin explained it perfectly – “..The signal traces routed above this gap will see a gap in the return path and generate cross talk to other signals also crossing the gap..”. On one hand, crosstalk won’t be a problem if there are no other nets around, so the layout might work just fine in that case. However, crosstalk is not the only risk. Fundamentally, crosstalk is an EMI problem. So, I wanted to explore what happens when this habit is ignored and there are no nearby nets to worry about.

To investigate, I created a simple 2-Layer board with the signal trace, connected to 5V voltage source, going over an air gap. Then I observed the near field and far field results using ANSYS SIwave solution. Here is what I found.

Near and Far Field Analysis

Typically, near and far fields are characterized by solved E and H fields around the model. This feature in ANSYS SIwave gives the engineer the ability to simulate both E and H fields for near field analysis, and E field for Far Field analysis.

First and foremost, we can see, as expected, that both near and far Field have resonances at the same frequencies. Additionally, we can observe from Figure 1 that both E and H fields for near field have the largest radiation spikes at 786.3 MHz and 2.349GHz resonant frequencies.

Figure 1. Plotted E and H fields for both Near and Far Field solutions

If we plot E and H fields for Near Field, we can see at which physical locations we have the maximum radiation.

Figure 2. Plotted E and H fields for Near field simulations

As expected, we see the maximum radiation occurring over the air gap, where there is no return path for the current. Since we know that current is directly related to electromagnetic fields, we can also compute AC current to better understand the flow of the current over the air gap.

Compute AC Currents (PSI)

This feature has a very simple setup interface. The user only needs to make sure that the excitation sources are read correctly and that the frequency range is properly indicated. A few minutes after setting up the simulation, we get frequency dependent results for current. We can review the current flow at any simulated frequency point or view the current flow dynamically by animating the plot.

Figure 3. Computed AC currents

As seen in Figure 3, we observe the current being transferred from the energy source, along the transmission line to the open end of the trace. On the ground layer, we see the return current directed back to the source. However at the location of the air gap there is no metal for the return current to flow, therefore, we can see the unwanted concentration of energy along the plane edges. This energy may cause electromagnetic radiation and potential problems with emission.

If we have a very complicated multi-layer board design, it won’t be easy to simulate current flow on near and far fields for the whole board. It is possible, but the engineer will have to have either extra computing time or extra computing power. To address this issue, SIwave has a feature called EMI Scanner, which helps identify problematic areas on the board without running full simulations.

EMI Scanner

ANSYS EMI Scanner, which is based on geometric rule checks, identifies design issues that might result in electromagnetic interference problems during operation. So, I ran the EMI Scanner to quickly identify areas on the board which may create unwanted EMI effects. It is recommended for engineers, after finding all potentially problematic areas on the board using EMI Scanner, to run more detailed analyses on those areas using other SIwave features or HFSS.

Currently the EMI Scanner contains 17 rules, which are categorized as ‘Signal Reference’, ‘Wiring/Crosstalk’, ‘Decoupling’ and ‘Placement’. For this project, I focused on the ‘Signal Reference’ rules group, to find violations for ‘Net Crossing Split’ and ‘Net Near Edge of Reference’. I will discuss other EMI Scanner rules in more detail in a future blog (so be sure to check back for updates).

Figure 4. Selected rules in EMI Scanner (left) and predicted violations in the project (right)

As expected, the EMI Scanner properly identified 3 violations as highlighted in Figure 4. You can either review or export the report, or we can analyze violations with iQ-Harmony. With this feature, besides generating a user-friendly report with graphical explanations, we are also able to run ‘What-if’ scenarios to see possible results of the geometrical optimization.

Figure 5. Generated report in iQ-Harmony with ‘What-If’ scenario

Based on these results of quick EMI Scanner, the engineer would need to either redesign the board right away or to run more analysis using a more accurate approach.

Conclusion

In this blog, we were able to successfully run simulations using ANSYS SIwave solution to understand the effect of not following Dr.Bogatin’s advice on routing the signal trace over the gap on a 2-Layer board. We also were able to use 4 different features in SIwave, each of which delivered the correct, expected results.

Overall, it is not easy to think about all possible SI/PI/EMI issues while developing a complex board. In these modern times, engineers don’t need to manufacture a physical board to evaluate EMI problems. A lot of developmental steps can now be performed during simulations, and ANSYS SIwave tool in conjunction with HFSS Solver can help to deliver the right design on the first try.

If you would like more information or have any questions please reach out to us at info@padtinc.com.

All Thing ANSYS 054: Talking CFD – Discussion on the Current State of Computational Fluid Dynamics with Robin Knowles

 

Published on: January 13th, 2020
With: Eric Miller & Robin Knowles
Description:  

In this episode we are excited to share an interview done with host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller and host of the Talking CFD podcast Robin Knowles, regarding the history of PADT’s use of simulation technology as a whole, and the current state of all things CFD.

If you would like to hear more of Robin’s interviews with various other CFD based companies both small and large, you can listen at https://www.cfdengine.com/podcast/.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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Defining Antenna Array Excitations with Nested-If Statements in HFSS

HFSS offers various methods to define array excitations. For a large array, you may take advantage of an option “Load from File” to load the magnitude and phase of each port. However, in many situations you may have specific cases of array excitation. For example, changing amplitude tapering or the phase variations that happens due to frequency change. In this blog we will look at using the “Edit Sources” method to change the magnitude and phase of each excitation. There are cases that might not be easily automated using a parametric sweep. If the array is relatively small and there are not many individual cases to examine you may set up the cases using “array parameters” and “nested-if”.

In the following example, I used nested-if statements to parameterize the excitations of the pre-built example “planar_flare_dipole_array”, which can be found by choosing File->Open Examples->HFSS->Antennas (Fig. 1) so you can follow along. The file was then saved as “planar_flare_dipole_array_if”. Then one project was copied to create two examples (Phase Variations, Amplitude Variations).

Fig. 1. Planar_flare_dipole_array with 5 antenna elements (HFSS pre-built example).

Phase Variation for Selected Frequencies

In this example, I assumed there were three different frequencies that each had a set of coefficients for the phase shift. Therefore, three array parameters were created. Each array parameter has 5 elements, because the array has 5 excitations:

A1: [0, 0, 0, 0, 0]

A2: [0, 1, 2, 3, 4]

A3: [0, 2, 4, 6, 8]

Then 5 coefficients were created using a nested_if statement. “Freq” is one of built-in HFSS variables that refers to frequency. The simulation was setup for a discrete sweep of 3 frequencies (1.8, 1.9 and 2.0 GHz) (Fig. 2). The coefficients were defined as (Fig. 3):

E1: if(Freq==1.8GHz,A1[0],if(Freq==1.9GHz,A2[0],if(Freq==2.0GHz,A3[0],0)))

E2: if(Freq==1.8GHz,A1[1],if(Freq==1.9GHz,A2[1],if(Freq==2.0GHz,A3[1],0)))

E3: if(Freq==1.8GHz,A1[2],if(Freq==1.9GHz,A2[2],if(Freq==2.0GHz,A3[2],0)))

E4: if(Freq==1.8GHz,A1[3],if(Freq==1.9GHz,A2[3],if(Freq==2.0GHz,A3[3],0)))

E5: if(Freq==1.8GHz,A1[4],if(Freq==1.9GHz,A2[4],if(Freq==2.0GHz,A3[4],0)))

Please note that the last case is the default, so if frequency is none of the three frequencies that were given in the nested-if, the default phase coefficient is chosen (“0” in this case).

Fig. 2. Analysis Setup.

Fig. 3. Parameters definition for phase varaitioin case.

By selecting the menu item HFSS ->Fields->Edit Sources, I defined E1-E5 as coefficients for the phase shift. Note that phase_shift is a variable defined to control the phase, and E1-E5 are meant to be coefficients (Fig. 4):

Fig. 4. Edit sources using the defined variables.

The radiation pattern can now be plotted at each frequency for the phase shifts that were defined (A1 for 1.8 GHz, A2 for 1.9 GHz and A3 for 2.0 GHz) (Figs 5-6):

 Fig. 5. Settings for radiation pattern plots.

Fig. 6. Radiation patten for phi=90 degrees and different frequencies, the variation of phase shifts shows how the main beam has shifted for each frequency.

Amplitude Variation for Selected Cases

In the second example I created three cases that were controlled using the variable “CN”. CN is simply the case number with no units.

The variable definition was similar to the first case. I defined 3 array parameters and 5 coefficients. This time the coefficients were used for the Magnitude. The variable in the nested-if was CN. That means 3 cases and a default case were created. The default coefficient here was chosen as “1” (Figs. 7-8).

A1: [1, 1.5, 2, 1.5, 1]

A2: [1, 1, 1, 1, 1]

A3: [2, 1, 0, 1, 2]

E1: if(CN==1,A1[0],if(CN==2,A2[0],if(CN==3,A3[0],1)))*1W

E2: if(CN==1,A1[1],if(CN==2,A2[1],if(CN==3,A3[1],1)))*1W

E3: if(CN==1,A1[2],if(CN==2,A2[2],if(CN==3,A3[2],1)))*1W

E4: if(CN==1,A1[3],if(CN==2,A2[3],if(CN==3,A3[3],1)))*1W

E5: if(CN==1,A1[4],if(CN==2,A2[4],if(CN==3,A3[4],1)))*1W

Fig. 7. Parameters definition for amplitude varaitioin case.

Fig. 8. Exciation setting for amplitude variation case.

Notice that CN in the parametric definition has the value of “1”. To create the solution for all three cases I used a parametric sweep definition by selecting the menu item Optimetrics->Add->Parametric. In the Add/Edit Sweep I chose the variable “CN”, Start: 1, Stop:3, Step:1. Also, in the Options tab I chose to “Save Fields and Mesh” and “Copy geometrically equivalent meshes”, and “Solve with copied meshes only”. This selection helps not to redo the adaptive meshing as the geometry is not changed (Fig. 9). In plotting the patterns I could now choose the parameter CN and the results of plotting for CN=1, 2, and 3 is shown in Fig. 10. You can see how the tapering of amplitude has affected the side lobe level.

Fig. 9. Parameters definition for amplitude varaitioin case.

 Fig. 10. Radiation patten for phi=90 degrees and different cases of amplitude tapering, the variation of amplitude tapering has caused chagne in the beamwidth and side lobe levels.

Drawback

The drawback of this method is that array parameters are not post-processing variables. This means changing them will create the need to re-run the simulations. Therefore, it is needed that all the possible cases to be defined before running the simulation.

If you would like more information or have any questions please reach out to us at info@padtinc.com.

Getting Bulk Properties for Repeated Structures in ANSYS Mechanical with Material Designer

Using Material Designer To Perform Homogenization Studies

Editor’s Note:

3D Printing and other advanced manufacturing methods are driving the increased use of lattice-type structures in structural designs. This is great for reducing mass and increasing the stiffness of components but can be a real pain for those of us doing simulation. Modeling all of those tiny features across a part is difficult to mesh and takes forever to solve.

PADT has been doing a bit of R&D in this area recently, including a recent PHASE II NASA STTR with ASU and KSU. We see a lot of potential in combining generative design and 3D Printing to drive better structures. The key to this effort is efficient and accurate simulation.

The good news is that we do not have to model every unit cell. Instead, we can do some simulation on a single representative chunk and use the ANSYS Material Designer feature to create an approximate material property that we can use to represent the lattice volume as a homogeneous material.

In the post below, PADT’s Alex Grishin explains it all with theory, examples, and a clear step-by-step process that you can use for your lattice filled geometry.

PADT-ANSYS-Lattice-Material_Homogenization

All Things ANSYS 053: 2019 Wrap-up & Predictions for ANSYS in the New Year

 

Published on: December 20th, 2019
With: Eric Miller, Tom Chadwick, Ted Harris, Sina Ghods & Ahmed Fayad
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Simulation Support Team, including Tom Chadwick, Ted Harris, Sina Ghods, and Ahmed Fayad for a round-table discussion of their favorite ANSYS features released in 2019, along with predictions on what has yet to come.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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Books on Additive Manufacturing Make the Perfect Holiday Gift, of Course

It took a while for books about Additive Manufacturing to catch up with the industry; now there are at least several dozen from which to choose.
It took a while for books about Additive Manufacturing to catch up with the industry; now there are at least several dozen from which to choose.

Much as we all love and use websites, YouTube videos and blog posts (you’re reading this one, right?), there are still times when there’s nothing like a book, even if you read it on your phone or dedicated device. Books provide data, perspective and pointers to other resources, in a convenient, all-in-one format. You can dive deeply into a subject or get a fascinating overview of topics you may never have known were connected.

For the AM-lover on your holiday shopping list, consider one of the following titles:

3D Printing: Understanding Additive Manufacturing

by Andreas Gebhardt, Julia Kessler, Laura Thurn | Dec. 2018

3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing: Principles and Applications – Fifth Edition of Rapid Prototyping

by Chee Kai Chua and Kah Fai Leong | Nov. 2016

The 3D Printing Handbook: Technologies, design and applications

by Ben Redwood , Filemon Schöffer , et al. | Nov. 2017

Additive Manufacturing (Second Edition)

by Amit Bandyopadhyay (editor) and Susmita Bose (editor) | Oct. 2019

Additive Manufacturing: Applications and Innovations (Manufacturing Design and Technology)

by Rupinder Singh and J. Paulo Davim | Aug. 2018

Additive Manufacturing Change Management: Best Practices (Continuous Improvement Series)

by David M. Dietrich, Michael Kenworthy, Elizabeth A. Cudney | Feb. 2019

Additive Manufacturing: Design, Methods, and Processes

by Steinar Westhrin Killi | Aug. 2017

Additive Manufacturing for the Aerospace Industry

by Francis H. Froes Ph.D. (editor), Rodney Boyer (editor) | Feb. 2019

Additive Manufacturing: Materials, Processes, Quantifications and Applications

by Jing Zhang and Yeon-Gil Jung | May 2018

Additive Manufacturing of Emerging Materials

by Bandar AlMangour (editor) | Aug. 2018

Additive Manufacturing of Metals: From Fundamental Technology to Rocket Nozzles, Medical Implants, and Custom Jewelry (Springer Series in Materials Science)

by John O. Milewski | July 2017

Additive Manufacturing of Metals: The Technology, Materials, Design and Production (Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing)

by Li Yang, Keng Hsu, Brian Baughman, Donald Godfrey, Francisco Medina (Author), Mamballykalathil Menon, Soeren Wiener | May 2017

Additive Manufacturing Technologies: 3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping, and Direct Digital Manufacturing (2015 Edition)

by Ian Gibson (Author), David Rosen (Author), Brent Stucker (Author) | Nov. 2014

NOTE: this was the first book written about the field that I could find, with its first edition in 2009. (If you know of one pre-2009, I’d be interested to hear about it.) SME uses this book as the reference guide for its Certification exams for AM Fundamentals and AM Technicians.

Design for Additive Manufacturing: Tools and Optimization (Additive Manufacturing Materials and Technologies)

By Martin Leary | Nov. 2019

Design for Additive Manufacturing: Guidelines for cost effective manufacturing

by Tom Page | Jan. 2012

Design, Representations, and Processing for Additive Manufacturing (Synthesis Lectures on Visual Computing: Computer Graphics, Animation, Computational Photography, and Imaging)

by Marco Attene, Marco Livesu, et al. | June 2018

Laser-Based Additive Manufacturing of Metal Parts: Modeling, Optimization, and Control of Mechanical Properties (Advanced and Additive Manufacturing Series)

by Linkan Bian (editor), Nima Shamsaei (editor), John Usher (editor) | Aug. 2017

Laser Additive Manufacturing: Materials, Design, Technologies, and Applications (Woodhead Publishing Series in Electronic and Optical Materials Book 88)

by Milan Brandt (editor) | Sept. 2016

Laser Additive Manufacturing of High-Performance Materials

by Dongdong Gu | Apr. 2015

The Management of Additive Manufacturing: Enhancing Business Value (Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing 2018)

by Mojtaba Khorram Niaki, Fabio Nonino | Dec. 2017

Thermo-Mechanical Modeling of Additive Manufacturing

by Michael Gouge and Pan Michaleris | Sept. 2017

Other books definitely exist that have more of a hobbyist focus. This list comes from my own research and opinions and is not intended to slight any other titles. I’d be interested in expanding the list if you know of other titles with an industrial AM slant.

Happy Holiday reading!

Press Release: NASA Awards PADT, Arizona State University and Kennesaw State University a $755,000 Phase II STTR Research Grant

The Grant Will Fund Research for Combining Cellular Patterns Inspired by Nature with Simulation and 3D Printing to Make Stronger and Lighter Structures for Space Exploration

What do we like more here at PADT than combining simulation, design, and 3D Printing? Combining those three things for spaceflight applications.

That is what our 16th STTR/SBIR win is all about. Based upon our success with the shorter, first phase of this project, NASA has awarded PADT, ASU, and KSU the second phase of this R&D Project.

The team will work to take bio-inspired lattice shapes and develop tools to incorporate those shapes into the design of structure used in spacecraft. We will also create tools to optimize the distribution of the lattice structure, produce material properties, and verify the simulation results with rigorous testing.

Read more details in the press release below or here.

Also, watch this space for reports on what we learn and information about the tools we will be creating.

If you have the need to do simulation, design, or additive manufacturing, or combine any of those disciplines to create better products or improve your processes, please contact PADT and let’s talk about how we can help.


NASA Awards PADT, Arizona State University and Kennesaw State University a $755,000 Phase II STTR Research Grant

The Grant Will Fund Research for Combining Cellular Patterns Inspired by Nature with Simulation and 3D Printing to Make Stronger and Lighter Structures for Space Exploration

TEMPE, Ariz., December 10, 2019 ─ In a move that acknowledges its excellence and expertise in 3D printing, simulation, design and software development, PADT today announced NASA has awarded a $755,000 2019 Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research grant for it to collaborate with Arizona State University (ASU) and Kennesaw State University (KSU) to enable the development of stronger and lighter structures for space exploration. The objective of the joint effort is to develop a software tool for designing, virtually testing and optimizing strong, lightweight lattice structures for aerospace vehicles. The result of the research project will be a commercial software product that PADT plans to market.

The Phase II STTR grant is a continuation of the original $127,000 Phase I grant awarded to PADT and ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering in August 2018. This is PADT’s 16thSTTR/SBIR grant since the company was founded in 1994.

“We’re proud to win this Phase II STTR because it furthers our coordination with the Fulton Schools and requires the use of our three main areas of expertise: 3D printing, simulation and product development,” said Alex Grishin, Ph.D., consulting engineer, PADT. “As an Elite ANSYS channel partner, we also have the skillset needed to embed our solution in the ANSYS simulation tool, saving a lot of time and effort. Improving aerospace innovation is always an exciting prospect, and our team is uniquely qualified to apply our expertise to develop disruptive technology for NASA.”

Shapes found in nature, like honeycombs in a beehive, are intriguing to the aerospace community because of their strength and light weight. Additionally, the shape and spacing of these lattice structures do not have to be uniform, and by varying them, the compositions can provide better performance. The challenge PADT, ASU and KSU is solving is how to develop a design tool that combines concepts from density, topology and parameter optimization to generate lattice materials that are aperiodic in nature and do not require a priori definition of cell size. Recent advancements in additive manufacturing will create the geometry specified by the tool and manufacture “bio-inspired” structures with detail to a degree previously not possible.

“ASU has become a leader in the advancement of additive manufacturing and we are continually discovering new ways to solve engineering challenges with this technology,” said Kyle Squires, Ph.D., dean, Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University. “The NASA Phase II STTR grant allows us to use simulation and 3D printing to explore bio-inspired structures to innovate how NASA designs and manufactures its spacecrafts.”

In addition to the software product, the group’s deliverables include cellular material data for inclusion in NASA’s open-source PeTaL platform, data analysis, experimental results, and 3D printed metal demonstration artifacts. The lattice structure design tool itself may allow NASA to design and manufacture high-performance materials, including:

  • Heat shields
  • Acoustic liners
  • Space debris resistant skins
  • Lightweight panels
  • Conformal, structural heat exchangers

“This research project is a great example of government, academic institutions and the private sector working together to provide practical solutions for the space industry,” said Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Arizona State University. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with NASA, PADT and KSU as we discover new ways to apply 3D printing and simulation to real-world challenges.”

To learn more about PADT and its advanced capabilities, please visit www.padtinc.com.

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long-term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 80 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

About Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, with more than 24,000 enrolled students, is one of the largest engineering schools in the United States, offering 44 graduate and 25 undergraduate degree programs across six schools of academic focus. With students, faculty and researchers representing all 50 states and 135 countries, the Fulton Schools of Engineering is creating an inclusive environment for engineering excellence by advancing research and innovation at scale, revolutionizing engineering education and expanding global outreach and partner engagement. The Fulton Schools of Engineering’s research expenditures totaled $115 million for the 2017-2018 academic year. Learn more about the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at engineering.asu.edu

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Stratasys 3D Printing Filament: the Quality Behind OEM Sourcing

In 1925, when the automotive industry was rapidly growing in response to consumer and industrial needs, a group of independent auto parts resellers joined to form the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA). A founding member was the Genuine Parts Company; this group later acquired a number of other NAPA stores and gave rise to ad campaigns stressing the importance of buying genuine auto parts from a well-known, trusted source.

Stratasys 3D printing filament is crafted to stringent standards, ensuring dimensional consistency and repeatable material properties. Image courtesy PADT.
Stratasys 3D printing filament is crafted to stringent standards, ensuring dimensional consistency and repeatable material properties. Image courtesy PADT.

Following that same philosophy is a good idea for users involved with industrial 3D printing (additive manufacturing/AM). How do you know your part will print consistently, and display measureable, repeatable material properties, if you can’t rely on the consistency of the AM material’s own production?

At PADT, we print the gamut of filament options on our Stratasys industrial 3D printers, from ABS and TPU to production-grade Nylons and certified Ultem ® . As both an authorized AM system reseller and service provider, we count on the quality of the materials we source for ourselves and our customers, so it’s enlightening to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Stratasys filament production-process.

Ingredients Matter

Great recipes start with the finest ingredients, right? It’s no different when you’re producing filament for demanding applications: start with qualified raw materials from reputable sources. Standard Stratasys filament (like ASA and ABS), Engineering Grade materials (including polycarbonate and Nylon 12) and most Support materials are made in Israel at one of the two Stratasys corporate offices, while the High Performance materials such as Nylon 12 Carbon-Fiber (CF), Antero and Ultem ® products are produced at the original Minnesota location.

The raw stock for 3D printing filament comes in pellet form. Image courtesy Shutterstock.
The raw stock for 3D printing filament comes in pellet form. Image courtesy Shutterstock.

Stratasys buys polymers in pellet form from chemical suppliers such as France-based Arkema, who blends the proprietary polyethyl ketone ketone (PEKK) base formula for Antero and Antero ESD materials, and SABIC who supplies the raw pellets for Ultem ® -based filaments.

Some pellets are fed directly into the filament production equipment while others are compounded like a custom pharmaceutical: mixed and blended with stabilizers and colorants, extruded as interim-stage filament, cooled and then granulated all over again into new pellet stock. (Given that FDM is an extrusion-based technology, one of the seven standard AM technologies defined by ISO/ASTM52900-15, it’s interesting that extrusion plays a key role in the material production-process itself.)

Polymer Pasta

Whether you’ve made your own fresh pasta or just watched a child crank out endless strings of PlayDoh, you can envision the next steps in filament production, starting with melting the pellets into a viscous liquid resin. Chaffee Tran, Stratasys’ Materials Product Director, explains, “Resin is (then) run through a screw extruder and forced through a die (metal perforated with precision holes), cooled as it comes out, and wound onto spools.” An optical monitor continuously checks for “ovality” of the filament as it moves past, and triggers a stop for anything out-of-round beyond tolerance. If you’ve ever struggled with a printer that jammed because of inconsistent filament diameters, you’ll understand the importance of this process requirement.

Loading bays for Stratasys F370 office-environment FDM 3D Printer. Image courtesy Stratasys.
Loading bays for Stratasys F370 office-environment FDM 3D Printer. Image courtesy Stratasys.

Filament for the Stratasys F123 plug-and-play series of printers is packaged on-site as bagged or boxed spools. Filament for the industrial printers such as the F380cf, F450 and F900 gets loaded into sealed canisters that hold larger volumes in both standard and extended capacity. For all filament types, Tran says, “We have full traceability of our finished products via serial number and manufacturing lots. This can be traced back to production documents, to link back to the production-line settings and batch lots of resin used.”

Canister of Stratasys Ultem® 9085 filament, with production documentation for traceability. Image courtesy Stratasys.

One Step Beyond: Certification

For truly demanding applications, the quality process gets kicked up another notch. Ultem ® 9085 Aerospace and Ultem ® 1010 Certified Grade (CG) are shipped with Certificates of Compliance that confirm the production parameters down to the exact machine type and location where the filament is manufactured. “Certified Ultem ® has a higher sampling rate of finished goods for various filament properties and tighter internal specification,” adds Tran.

This tightly regulated process allows Stratasys to be the only AM company offering material certified by the Aircraft Interior Solution (AIS), a process – developed in collaboration with the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP) – that provides the necessary tools, documentation, and training needed to guide aerospace producers down the aircraft qualification process. In order to meet the requirements aerospace manufacturers face, their parts must not only be made from the AIS certified version of the Stratasys Ultem ® 9085 material, but must also be printed on a certified F900mc Gen II system, in accordance with a string of aerospace standards documents. (For more information see details provided by NCAMP.) That’s what you call Quality Control.

For historical details about the development of standards for qualifying non-metallic materials for aircraft applications, now including the first polymer AM material, download this nine-page document, A Path to Certification:

Today's aircraft increasingly rely on non-metallic component design to save on weight and therefore fuel consumption. Certified Ultem 9085® filament from Stratasys plays a key role in supporting the design and use of 3D printed flight-qualified parts. Image courtesy Stratasys.
Today’s aircraft increasingly rely on non-metallic component design to save on weight and therefore fuel consumption. Certified Ultem 9085® filament from Stratasys plays a key role in supporting the design and use of 3D printed flight-qualified parts. Image courtesy Stratasys.

Even if your part production process is not as stringent as that demanded for the AIS program, you’ll avoid jammed drive-gears and cross-wound spools and get consistent part performance when your Stratasys printers run “genuine Stratasys” filament. Classic ABS, chemically resistant Antero, flexible TPU and new, fine-finish Diran are just some of the materials that will offer you repeatable results. Ask us for more details, and stay tuned as Stratasys launches even more options for true industrial applications.

PADT Inc. is a globally recognized provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development and 3D Printing products and services. For more information on Stratasys printers and filaments, contact us at info@padtinc.com.

All Things ANSYS 052: A Deep Dive into Design & Technology in the ANSYS World

 

Published on: December 2nd, 2019
With: Eric Miller, Prith Banerjee, & Mark Hindsbo
Description:  

In this episode, your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by ANSYS CTO Prith Banerjee and VP/General Manager of the Design Business Unit Mark Hindsbo, for a discussion of their roles at the company, what trends they see coming from various industries working with simulation, and how ANSYS continues to help their customers by providing valuable solutions in response to those trends.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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All Things ANSYS 051: New 3D Design Capabilities in ANSYS 2019 R3 – Discovery Live, AIM, & SpaceClaim

 

Published on: November 18th, 2019
With: Eric Miller, Joe Woodward, Robert McCathren, Tom Chadwick, & Ted Harris
Description:  

In this episode, your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Specialist Mechanical Engineer/Lead Trainer Joe Woodward, Senior CFD Engineer Tom Chadwick, Application Engineer Robert McCathren and Simulation Support Manager Ted Harris, for a discussion on what’s new regarding 3D design capabilities in ANSYS 2019 R3. This discussion covers updates and our teams favorite components in the latest versions of Discovery Live, AIM, & SpaceClaim.

If you would like to learn more about what this release is capable of, check out our webinar on the topic here:

https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/15747/377929

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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Press Release: Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards Lists PADT as one of the Top Private Companies in the State

Globally Recognized Company Selected as an ACE Recipient for its Impressive Growth and for Numerous Contributions to the Arizona Technology Sector

For the third time this year, PADT was officially recognized for our contribution to the local tech ecosystem: An Arizona Corporate Excellence award. Last night we joined companies of every type at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing arts to be listed with fifty other privately held companies headquartered here in Arizona. As with many of these awards, it is hard to grasp what an honor it is to be recognized until you hear the names of the other honorees.

You can find a list of all of those who were recognized for the 2019 ACE Award here. Our press release on this topic is below and here.

This was the first time we were nominated for an ACE award, and we ranked 46th amongst private companies in the state. Next year… let’s see how high up that list we can move.

Recognition of this type, and by the broader business community instead of our insular tech world, was a great way to wind down our celebrations for PADT’s 25th year in business.


Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards Lists PADT as one of the Top Private Companies in the State

Globally Recognized Company Selected as an ACE Recipient for its Impressive Growth and for Numerous Contributions to the Arizona Technology Sector

TEMPE, Ariz., November 19, 2019 PADT, a globally recognized provider of numerical simulation, product development, and 3D printing products and services, today announced it has been named to the Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) Awards list of the Top Private and Fastest Growing Companies.

PADT joined a prestigious group of companies at the awards ceremony hosted by the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts on November 14, 2019. Fellow winners included Arizona Coyotes, JDA Software, OnTrac, SiteLock, StandardAero, and WebPT. 

“Since we started PADT in the Valley in 1994, our goal has been to become the premier innovation partner to technology companies who create physical products,” said Ward Rand, co-founder and principal, PADT. “We’re honored to be named an ACE recipient alongside this impressive list of winners, many of which have been, or are, our clients. It’s a testament to how far we have come since we were four engineers in a tiny executive suite.”

PADT has experienced tremendous growth over the past five years. Included below is a list of key accomplishments the company has achieved since 2015:

  • Opened offices in Torrance, California and Austin, Texas – with a new office location coming soon.
  • Further developed partnerships with universities throughout the Southwest and helped to launch significant additive manufacturing labs at Arizona State University and Metro State University in Denver, Colorado.
  • Tripled 3D printing capacity with new, large format stereolithography systems, and launched the first 3D printing factory in the Southwest using Carbon’s digital light synthesis system.
  • Awarded multiple SBIR/STTR grants, bringing the company’s total to 15.
  • The company and its leadership received two additional awards in 2019 – PADT received a special recognition for its contributions to the biotech community by AZBio and Eric Miller was honored as one of the state’s top tech executive by the Phoenix Business Journal.

The ACE awards are the premier business awards event in the Valley, and the only program highlighting the market’s biggest and best privately held companies. In its 24th year, the goal of the ACE Awards is to  develop an increasing sense of knowledge sharing and community among private companies.

For more information on PADT’s services, leadership and the company’s history, please visit www.padtinc.com/about.

About PADT

PADT is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long-term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 90 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

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Join PADT in Welcoming Jeff Wells, Business Development Manager, Engineering Services

Here at PADT, we pride ourselves on our ability to make our customers’ ideas for innovation practical and get them to market. No matter how complex the challenge is, we have the engineering expertise and technology tools to work with our customers and deliver tailored solutions to meet their needs. And for every solution we create, there’s a business development team leading the partnership with our customers. We’re excited to welcome the newest leader of this team who introduced the free invoice template, Business Development Manager for Engineering Services, Jeff Wells.

“PADT’s engineering services are thriving behind the work of our outstanding team,” said Eric Miller, co-founder and principal, PADT. “Jeff adds a tremendous amount of experience as both an engineer and a business development leader. His knowledge of the industry and the community will elevate our ability to attract new and innovative customers.”

To help PADT improve its market position in engineering services and product development, Wells will be responsible for building new customer relationships and seeking new opportunities to solve complex challenges. His focus will be on serving customers in a wide variety of industries, including aerospace and defense, medical, and industrial.

“Throughout my many years in engineering here in Arizona, I’ve been keenly aware of the outstanding services provided by PADT,” said Wells. “The company’s reputation and the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know over the years made it an easy decision to join the team. I look forward to contributing to the company’s strategy for growing its engineering services department.”

Jeff and his Family in New Zealand

Wells brings nearly 30 years of engineering, business development, and sales experience to the position. He joins PADT after spending the past five years in the director of business development role at CollabraTech Solutions. Wells joined CollabraTech early in the company’s lifecycle and helped grow the gas and chemical delivery product company from a few million dollars in revenue to over $14 million, by diversifying their customer base, the markets they served and the projects they pursued.

Early in his career, Wells worked as an engineer designing a wide variety of products from parts for Airbus aircraft engines to laser part marking kiosks and semiconductor capital equipment. He quickly realized his propensity for combining his engineering expertise with his communication skills, and in the late ‘90s, he began his career in business development. Wells worked at Advanced Integration Technologies for 10 years as a business development engineer and business development manager. He later worked closely with senior leadership on business development operations at Ultra Clean Technology and led business development for Foresight Processing.

Wells holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University (ASU). He and his wife, Kate Wells, CEO of the Phoenix Children’s Museum, have been married for 27 years and have two daughters who attend school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Barrett, the Honors College at ASU. In their free time, Wells and his family enjoy traveling. A decade ago, Jeff and his wife took their two daughters out of school for 14 months backpacking around the globe, visiting 22 countries. Wells also enjoys being outdoors hiking, playing sports, snowboarding and water skiing.

You can find a writeup in the Phoenix Business Journal here and his LinkedIn profile is here.

To learn more about PADT’s engineering service capabilities and to connect with Jeff Wells, please visit www.padtinc.com/services  or call us at 1-800-293-7238.

New 3D Design Capabilities Available in ANSYS 2019 R3 – Webinar

The ANSYS 3D Design family of products enables CAD modeling and simulation for all design engineers. Since the demands on today’s design engineer to build optimized, lighter and smarter products are greater than ever, using the appropriate design tools is more important than ever.

Rapidly explore ideas, iterate and innovate with ANSYS Discovery 3D design software, evaluate more concepts and rapidly gauge design performance through virtual design testing as you delve deeper into your design’s details, with the same results accuracy as ANSYS flagship products – when and where you need it.

Join PADT’s Training & Support Application Engineer, Robert McCathren for a look at the new 3D design capabilities available in ANSYS 2019 R3 for ANSYS Discovery AIM, Live, and SpaceClaim. These new updates include:

Mass flow outlets

Transient studies with time varying inputs

Structural beam support

Linear buckling support

Physics-aware meshing improvements

Mesh failure localization and visualization improvements

And much more

Register Here

If this is your first time registering for one of our Bright Talk webinars, simply click the link and fill out the attached form. We promise that the information you provide will only be shared with those promoting the event (PADT).

You will only have to do this once! For all future webinars, you can simply click the link, add the reminder to your calendar and you’re good to go!

All Thing ANSYS 050: Updates and Enhancements in ANSYS Mechanical 2019 R3

 

Published on: November 4th, 2019
With: Eric Miller, Joe Woodward, & Ted Harris
Description:  

In this episode, your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Specialist Mechanical Engineer/Lead Trainer Joe Woodward, and Simulation Support Manager Ted Harris, for a discussion on what’s new in the mechanical release for ANSYS 2019 R3, as well as a look at their favorite features. This includes a focus on updates and enhancements to improve ease of use, reduce set-up time, and provide more valuable solutions.

If you would like to learn more about what this release is capable of, check out our webinar on the topic here: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/15747/376304

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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