Ten Suggestions for Automating Product Duty Cycle Testing

No product is perfect. Much of engineering is trying to determine when a part will fail in the field or when there are field failures, why it failed and how to fix it. Although simulation and engineering experience can make a huge difference, sometimes the best way to understand product robustness in the real world is through duty cycle testing; designing a test that puts the product through the varied and repeated loading that it will see in use.

This type of testing is perfect for automation. For decades, PADT has been designing testing devices for our customers to determine durability, uncover problems, and verify that proposed solutions work. Over those years our engineers have developed guidelines that we use to design tests and test apparatus. We got together and summarized that experience in the ten suggestions listed below.

But first, it would be good to define what automated product duty cycle testing is.

Automated Product Duty Cycle Testing Defined

When a physical product is used, it sees some sort of loading; force, pressure, temperature, friction, chemicals, sunlight, etc… That loading causes deformation of the various materials used or changes the physical properties of those materials. In most cases, the deformation or property change is not permanent. But sometimes the loads are large enough or are replied long enough to cause permanent changes. Metal fatigues, rubber tubes become brittle, or glue fails.

Large loads are easy to test. You apply them and see what happens. But long term loading, especially a set of repeated loads, needs to be applied over time. This type of long-term testing that applies the loads the product will see over time is called duty cycle testing. Add in the need to apply temperatures cycles, humidity, and power loads – all things that components see in the real world – and the value of automation multiplies.

As engineers, when we see something that happens over time and repeats, we know that automation can be used to reduce cost and enforce repeatability. And that is why most duty cycle testing is automated. But those time savings and that repeatability are only effective if the test and the text fixture are designed correctly, which leads us to PADT’s ten suggestions.

1: Define the purpose and the expected outcome of the test

Most people define the purpose or the outcome, but not both. This really starts with understanding who the customer is for the test, even within the same company. What do they need from the test and why do they need it.

2: Map the full duty cycle being tested

The physical behavior of a system, especially over time, is impacted by all of the loads that the system sees. The cause of a failure or performance degradation is often not one load, but some unexpected combination of loads. You may think a problem may be caused by say, a bending load that happens tens-of-thousands of times. But it may be that bending load combined with a torque that only occurs every once in a while.

3: Document the test process, keeping it as simple as possible

Simplicity is the key here. Complexity adds cost, slows schedules, and introduces irrelevant failure modes. Designing is like writing a good story. Put everything down, then start cutting. Keep cutting until you only have exactly what you need.

4: Design the apparatus to the test

This seems obvious, but it can often be missed. The three previous suggestions need to be reviewed before, during, and after the design process. Every feature, chunk of code, or fixture needs to be there for a reason. The device must carry out the test process and apply the full duty cycle while meeting the purpose and expected outcome of the test.

5: Make the system versatile

After developing our second or third test rig, we discovered that our customers almost always wanted to add new loads or change loading. You may design a system to test one component, to find that a different component is failing more in the field so you need to change the test to load that part. If you design the apparatus to allow for easy changes that don’t require a complete redesign, you can create a far more valuable device.

6: Make the remaining human steps as easy as possible

The whole point of automation is to take humans out of the loop. But someone still has to load, unload, repair, and maintain the system. With so much focus on automation, it is easy to make the apparatus difficult to use. Human interface design still plays an important role.

7: Keep the hardware as simple as possible

Simplicity is the key to success in most designs, and automating duty cycle testing is no different. The repetitive nature of the operating steps and long run times make it especially important. Also, if you make the design too complex it is more difficult to capture and interpret results.

8: Invest in robust, off-the-shelf industrial quality equipment.

Do not try and save money using hobby or educational hardware or in making your own components, unless what you need is not commercially available. Remember, you are measuring the robustness of your product so having robust equipment to carry out the testing is critical. There is a reason why an industrial controller costs more. Invest in hardware that results in a test system that will last.

9: Spend the time and money upfront to automate as much as possible

Just as you should invest in high-quality hardware, you should put time and money into automating as much as possible. It is tempting to save money by saying “we can have a person do this step” but when you do that you introduce long term costs, delays, and a source of error.

10: Test the test before releasing the apparatus to the customer

Plan for a lot of testing of the system before official testing starts. This can seem obvious but because the focus of the design process is a test itself, it is easy to forget that the hardware and software need to be tested before they are released for use.

Better automated testing is achievable

Testing of your products should never be an afterthought or an add-on to the product’s design. Plan for it as an important part of the product lifecycle. If you follow the guidelines above and budget the proper time, money, and space (don’t forget you will need a place to do the testing) you can achieve a greater understanding of the robustness, failure modes, and efficiency of the things you make.

If you need help with duty cycle testing, please reach out to PADT. Our expertise in project management, engineering problems solving, controller programming, industry applications, and creative design are a unique combination that results in better fixture design and more useful information from your testing.

We can assist you in the design or take on the whole project, including doing the testing here at our facility. Contact us at info@padtinc.com or 480.813.4884 and ask to speak to someone in our Engineering Services Team about product testing. And don’t forget, we have world-class simulation and 3D Printing here on site to speed up the process and deliver deeper insight.

PADT’s Penchant for Patents

When they walk into PADT’s main office in Tempe, Arizona, the first thing most people notice is our “wall-o-patents.” Over the years, PADT employees have been named on 43 patents. They range from fuel cell membranes to silicon wafer coating to a slew of medical devices. When we received notification that staff members were listed as co-inventor on two patients with numbers over 10,000,000 we thought it was a good excuse to celebrate the years of contributions our engineers have made.

The rich collection highlights the diversity of industries we work on and the ingenuity of our staff. When the companies who own the Intellectual Property (IP) represented on that wall came to PADT looking for assistance with research, development, troubleshooting, and testing of their products they found a partner that did more than carry out tasks. PADT collaborated with them to create novel solutions and approaches that resulted in IP.

You can view all of our patents on our wall… or on our patent page here.

We want to say thank you to our staff and our customers for letting us be part of their innovation.

If you are looking for a partner that can work with you to turn your ideas in into Intellectual Property, please learn about our Product Development team or reach out to info@padtinc.com.

Presentation: 3D Printing & Optics

The experts at PADT are often asked to speak at conferences around the country, even around the world. This is a great opportunity for us to present what we do and share what we know. The downside is that we only reach the people in the room. The solve this, we are going back and presenting past live seminars at our desks and recording them on BrightTalk. This is the third of those recordings. To find others go to our BrightTalk Channel

The world of optical systems is a subset of mechanical engineering with unique needs and requirements. Those unique needs also make it an ideal area to apply Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D Printing.

This is a presentation that we gave at Photonics Days, held at the University of Arizona in Tucson Arizona from January 30th through February 1st of 2019.

You can view the presentation on BrightTALK here:
https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/15747/360024

Four Different Ways to Add Customization to ANSYS Mechanical

ANSYS Mechanical is a very powerful tool right out of the box.  Long gone are the days when an FEA tool was just a solver, and users had to write code to create input files and interpret the results.  Most of the time you never have to write anything to effectively use ANSYS Mechanical. But, users can realize significant gains in productivity and access greater functionality through customization. And it is easy to do.

Before we talk about the four options, we need to remember how the tool, ANSYS Mechanical, is actually structured.  The interface that users interact with is a version of ANSYS Workbench called ANSYS Mechanical. The interface allows users to connect to geometry, build and modify their model, set up their solution, submit a solve, and review results. The solve itself is done in ANSYS Mechanical APDL. This is the original ANSYS Multiphysics program. 

When you press the solve button ANSYS Mechanical writes out commands in the languages used by ANSYS Mechanical APDL, called the ANSYS Parametric Design Language, or APDL.  Yes, that is where ANSYS Mechanical APDL got its name. We like to call it MAPDL for short. (Side note: years ago we started a campaign to call it map-dul. It didn’t work.) Once the file is written, MAPDL is started, the file is read in, the solve happens, and all of the requested output files are written. Then ANSYS Mechanical reads those files and shows results to the user.

Customization Tool 1: Command Snippets for Controlling the Solver

Not every capability that is found in ANSYS Mechanical APDL is exposed in the interface for ANSYS Mechanical.  That is not a problem because users can use the APDL language in ANSYS Mechanical to access the full capability of the solver.  These small pieces of code are called Snippets and they are added to the tree for your ANSYS Mechanical model.  When the solver file is written, ANSYS Mechanical inserts your snippets into the command stream.  Simple and elegant.

PADT has a seminar from back in 2011 that lays it all out.  You can find the PowerPoint Presentation here. We do have plans to update this webinar soon.

This approach is used when you want to access capabilities in the solver that are not supported in the interface but you want to get to those features and keep track of them from inside your ANSYS Mechanical Model.

If you are not familiar with APDL, find a more “seasoned” user to help you. Or you can teach yourself APDL programming with PADT’s Guide to APDL .

Customization Tool 2: ANSYS Customization Toolkit (ACT) for Controlling the User Interface and Accessing the Model

As mentioned above, ANSYS Mechanical is used to define the model and review results.  The ANSYS Customization Toolkit (ACT) is how users customize the user interface, automate tasks in the interface, add tools to the interface, and access the model database. This type of customization can be as simple as a new feature, presented as an app, or it can be used to create a focused tool to streamline a certain type of simulation – what we call a vertical application.

image
A Vertical Application Written in ANSYS ACT by PADT for Automating the Design of Turbine Disks

Unlike APDL, ACT does is not have its own language. It uses Python and is a collection of Application Programmer Interface (API) calls from Python. This is a very powerful toolset that increases in capability at every release.  PADT has written stand alone applications using ACT to reduce simulation time significantly. We have also written features and apps for ourselves and users that make everyday use of ANSYS Mechanical better. 

Do note that ACT is supported in most of the major ANSYS products and more capability is being added across the available programs over time, not just in ANSYS Mechanical. You can also use ACT to connect ANSYS Mechanical to in-house or 3rd party software.

Because this is a standard environment, you can share your ACT applications on the ANSYS App Store found here. Take a look and you can see what users have done with ACT across the ANSYS Product suite, including ANSYS Mechanical.   PADT has two in the library, one for adding a PID controller to your model and the other is a tool for saving your ANSYS Mechanical APDL database.

Another great aspect of ACT is that it is fully documented.  If you go to the Customization Suite documentation in the ANSYS help library you can find everything you need.

Customization Tool 3: APDL for Automating the Solve  

With Code Snippets we talked about using APDL to access solver functions from ANSYS Mechanical that were not supported in ANSYS Mechanical.  You can also use APDL to automate what is going on during the solve.  Every capability in the ANSYS solver is accessible through APDL.

The most common usage of APDL is to create a tool that solves in batch mode. APDL programs are used to carry out tasks without going back to ANSYS Mechanical.  As an example, maybe you want to solve a load step, save some information from the solve, export it, read it in to a 3rd party program, modify it, modify some property in your model, then solve the next load step. You can do all of that with APDL in batch mode.

This is not for the faint of heart, you are getting into complex programming with a custom language. But if you take the time, it can be very powerful.  All of the commands are documented in the ANSYS Mechanical APDL help and details on the language are in the ANSYS Parametric Design Language Guide.  The PADT Blog is full of articles going back over a decade on using APDL in this way.

Customization Tool 4: User Programable Features in the Solver

One of the most powerful capabilities in the ANSYS Mechanical ADPL solver is the ability for end-users to add their own subroutines.  These User Programable Features, or UPF’s, allow you to create your own elements, make custom material models, customize loads, or customize contact behavior.

There are other general purpose FEA tools on the market that heavily publicize their user elements and user materials and they try to use it to differentiate themselves from ANSYS. However, ANSYS Mechanical APDL has always had this capability.  Many universities and companies add new capability to ANSYS using this method.

To learn more about how to do create your own custom version of ANSYS, consult the Programer’s Reference in the ANSYS Help. PADT also has a webinar sharing how to make a custom material here.

Next Steps

The key to successful customization ANSYS is to know your options, understand what you really want to do, and to use the wide range of tools you have available. Everything is documented in the help and this blog has some great examples.  Start small with a simple project and work your way up.

Or, you can leverage PADT’s expertise and contract with PADT to do your customization. This is what a half-dozen companies large and small have done over the years.  We understand ANSYS, we get engineering, and we know how to program. A perfect combination.

Regardless of how you customize ANSYS Mechanical, you will find it a rewording experience.  Greater functionality and more efficient usage are only a few lines of custom code away.

Presentation: If you are not scared, you are doing it wrong! Successful founders take risks

Legacy Presentation Series

The experts at PADT are often asked to speak at conferences around the country, even around the world. This is a great opportunity for us to present what we do and share what we know. The downside is that we only reach the people in the room. The solve this, we are going back and presenting past live seminars at our desks and recording them on BrightTalk. This is the second of those recordings. To find others go to our BrightTalk Channel

Fear can be an incredible motivator, especially in a small and growing business. This talk, originally presented at Phoenix Startup Week in 2018, goes over how being scared can be a good thing.

View the presentation here:
https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/15747/359366

Presentation: Metal 3D Printing is Changing Design, Here is how Design Engineers can Adapt

Legacy Presentation Series:

The experts at PADT are often asked to speak at conferences around the country, even around the world. This is a great opportunity for us to present what we do and share what we know. The downside is that we only reach the people in the room. The solve this, we are going back and presenting past live seminars at our desks and recording them on BrightTalk. This is the first of those recordings. To find others go to our BrightTalk Channel

Metal 3D Printing systems, especially Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing machines, have made the free-form creation of metal parts directly from CAD a reality. This has freed geometry from the constraints of traditional manufacturing and reducing the product development process. 

This presentation goes over what Design Engineers need to know to adapt to the possibility and constraints of 3D Printing in metal.

View the recording here: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/15747/359359

PADT’s 25 Anniversary Celebration

It is not often that 350+ people get together in a parking lot to talk about Engineering, bouncy houses, economic development, and eat Bar-B-Que. On March 21st, all three of those things and more happened at PADT’s party to celebrate our 25th anniversary. What a fantastic crowd. What a great roster of speakers. We could not have asked for better people to come to our event.

We want to offer special thanks to those twelve speakers:

  • Andrew Lombard, Arizona Commerce Authority, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Venture Development
  • Steve Zylstra, Arizona Technology Council, President & CEO
  • Darryn Jones, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Vice President, Emerging Technologies
  • Donna Kennedy, City of Tempe, Economic Development Director
  • Kyle Squires, Arizona State University, Dean, Ira A Fulton School of Engineering
  • Ravi Kumar, ANSYS, Inc, Global Channel Strategy & Programs
  • Patrick Carey, Stratasys, Senior Vice President – Americas
  • Philip DeSimone, Carbon, Co-Founder & VP of Business Development
  • Joe Panovsky, Honeywell Aerospace, Director
  • Ward Rand, PADT, Co-Owner
  • Rey Chu, PADT, Co-Owner
  • Eric Miller, PADT, Co-Owner

The highlight of the event were four student teams that PADT supports in one way or another. Lego robots, 3D Printed prosthetic hands, FIRST Robots, and a formula SAE car were on display and were very popular. Every time we have these teams come and show their stuff, we are reminded that the future does have hope. We also hope that at the 30th, 35th, and 40th anniversary celebrations some of those students will be wearing PADT shirts.

For fun there were two bouncy houses, face painting, temporary tattoos, and two cornhole sets. And as always, PADT’s 3D Printing demo room was open for everyone to see the cool things our customers and we are printing every day.

The best part of the whole day was simply thanking our employees and customers for 25 Fantastic years. Please enjoy some images from the event below.

As always, if you have any questions or want to know more about PADT, simply contact us.

PADT is Turning 25!

Wow!. It has been 25 years since Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. went downtown to file incorporation papers on March 7, 1994.  Now we are ninety-some people with offices in six states.

It has been an incredible journey with so many people playing key roles.

Please read our thoughts on this momentous event in the press release below.

You can help us celebrate by coming to our party!  Learn more at www.padtinc.com/padt25.

You can also share your thoughts about working with or at PADT by filling leaving a comment here.

Please find the official press release here in PDF and HTML.

If you have any questions, reach out to info@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

Press Release:

The Southwest’s Leader in Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing Products and Services, PADT, Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

PADT’s Anniversary Celebration to be Held March 21, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at its ASU Research Park Headquarters in Tempe

TEMPE, Ariz., March 7, 2019 ─ The employees and owners of PADT, a globally recognized provider of numerical simulation, product development, and 3D printing products and services, are proud to announce that today marks their twenty-fifth year in business.  In 1994, a group of engineers working at a large Aerospace company decided to try the entrepreneurial life and established Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT).  After two-and-a-half decades, the company has grown from those humble beginnings to employ over ninety-five people located across six states.

The original vision of the PADT co-founders was to take the advanced computer-aided engineering tools that were changing how turbine engines were designed, and apply them to other industries.  These tools, known today as numerical simulation, comprehensive product development, and 3D Printing, became the foundation of PADT’s business, and have only increased in sophistication and use.

PADT’s Employees, 2018

“A key to our long-term success has been our close relationship with ANSYS, Inc., the leader in engineering simulation software,” said Ward Rand, co-founder, PADT. “As the size of ANSYS and the capabilities of its tools have grown, we’ve increased our customer base and the type of simulation we can deliver to help our customers drive their product designs.”  Today, PADT is an ANSYS Elite Channel Partner selling and supporting ANSYS products across the Southwestern U.S., and providing engineering simulation consulting worldwide.

PADT’s First Company Pictures, 2000

When PADT Co-Owner Mark Johnson joined the company several years in, he grew the original vision of product design to include comprehensive services for product development, including research and testing.  The PADT family sadly lost Mark in 2015 to cancer, but the Product Development team he created continues to grow and thrive. PADT honors his memory by supporting a global customer base creating products from children’s toys to medical devices and aerospace subsystems.

PADT is perhaps best known locally as the leading regional provider of 3D Printing solutions, having earned the designation of being the oldest and largest 3D Printing service based in the Southwest.  “When we bought our first stereolithography machine in 1994, we couldn’t have imagined how widespread additive manufacturing would become,” said Rey Chu, PADT co-founder. “We continue to offer greater options to our customers through the sale of systems and materials, while also providing 3D Printing as a service.”

PADT’s Offices in the ASU Research Park in Tempe, Arizona

Key to PADT’s status as a leader in the rapidly growing area of 3D Printing is its partnership with the leading manufacturer of additive manufacturing systems, Stratasys and PADT’ status as a Stratasys Platinum Channel partner in the four-corner region. For over a decade, PADT has also been the primary supplier of FDM soluble support removal solutions.  The manufacturing department has also successfully teamed with overseas suppliers and partners to deliver millions of dollars in goods and services to customers.

Most of all, PADT credits its success to every past and current member of the PADT family that has contributed to what the company is today, from administration, to engineering, to manufacturing.

“When people ask us how we have thrived for so long, we have to step back and point to our employees,” said Eric Miller, co-founder PADT. “Since the very beginning, their dedication to the vision of the company has been inspirational.  PADT is a place where smart people like to come to work, largely because they get to take on challenging tasks for appreciative customers. It has been a true joy for all three of the company’s owners to grow with everyone. The past twenty-five years have been an amazing journey, and the next twenty-five are full of potential.”

The entire PADT family would like to thank everyone who has made the dream of helping other people innovate a reality by inviting the public to its 25th anniversary party. The event is being held on March 21st from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at PADT’s headquarters in ASU’s Research Park, in Tempe, Arizona. Details, including the address and required free registration, can be found at www.padtinc.com/padt25.

PADT’s Four Co-Owners. L-R: Eric Miller, Rey Chu, Ward Rand, Mark Johnson

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.

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

PADT Spins-Off Successful 3D Printing Support Removal Equipment Line Into a Separate Company, Oryx Additive

One of the most exciting, and terrifying, aspects of being a parent is when it is time for your children to head out on their own.  Here at PADT we have been growing and nurturing our 3D Printing Post Processing business for 10 years.  With 12,500 Support Cleaning Apparatus systems in the field globally, it was time to give our SCA business the freedom it needs to grow.

We are very proud to announce the creation of a new company, Oryx Additive.

Initially, not much will change, other than the name as we focus on building an outstanding team that is as excited as we are about this much-needed aspect of 3D Printing.  Stay tuned as we all watch Oryx Additive grow and prosper.

Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML.

If you have any questions about soluble support removal or other post-processing steps for additive manufacturing, reach out to info@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

Press Release:

PADT Spins-Off Successful 3D Printing Support Removal Equipment Line Into a Separate Company, Oryx Additive

PADT’s Industry Leading Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) Business Becomes Oryx Additive, Focused on Developing New Post-Processing Equipment for Additive Manufacturing

TEMPE, Ariz., March 5, 2019 ─ PADT, a globally recognized provider of numerical simulation, product development, and 3D printing products and services, today announced the spin-off its successful Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) 3D printing support removal equipment business into a separate company, Oryx Additive. Taking the reins after PADT’s successful 10-year run as the leading supplier in the industry, Oryx Additive will build on PADT’s existing line and develop new innovations for 3D printing post-processing.

“In additive manufacturing, parts coming off the printer often require the removal of support material or other secondary processes to yield the finished parts. The PADT SCA product-line has been the most popular soluble support removal product for more than a decade,” said Rey Chu, principal and co-founder, PADT. “The growth of the 3D printing industry has increased the demand for post processing equipment and provided us with the opportunity to expand this portion of PADT’s business by creating a separate company. Oryx Additive will continue PADT’s legacy of offering solutions that reliably process 3D printed parts while reducing cycle time and increasing productivity.”

Oryx Additive will leverage PADT’s experience in engineering, manufacturing, and 3D printing post-processing to continue developing innovative solutions to meet additive manufacturing post processing needs. Oryx Additive will take over the responsibility of continuing supply and service on the current SCA products immediately. Oryx Additive will also provide future upgrades and develop expanded applications of these products.

PADT has developed a comprehensive post-processing product roadmap and a broad product pipeline that Oryx Additive will focus on bringing into the market in the near future. With strong leadership, a wide installed customer base, extensive industry knowledge, and engineering expertise, Oryx Additive is positioned to introduce new post-processing products to serve the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry quickly.

For more information on Oryx Additive or PADT and its background in 3D printing post-processing equipment, please visit www.oryxadditive.com or www.padtinc.com.

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 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 Oryx Additive

Oryx Additive is a subsidiary of PADT, specializing in the innovation and engineering of additive manufacturing post-processing solutions. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona and serving a global customer base, Oryx Additive was founded based on the success of PADT’s industry-leading 3D printing support removal equipment line, the Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA). Oryx Additive will continue to supply the SCA as well as develop new support removal equipment to serve the growing population of companies leveraging additive manufacturing across industries More information on Oryx Additive can be found at www.oryxadditive.com.

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

Our Parking Lot Gets Cool for PADT Motorsport Day

There were Chevys and Fords, Porches and Harleys, Teslas and Acuras. Big trucks and little sports cars. And of course, there was pizza. Our first ever Motorsport Day was a blast. Mechanical engineers have a special relationship with cars. For those of us who studied machine design, statics, dynamics, thermo, and CAD, various forms of motor driven transportation often represent the pinnacle of our trade during a given era. So having a parking lot full of wheeled vehicles tickled our brains.

Employees, as well as family and friends of employees, brought their rides. The best part was to see the love and passion that the owners put into their vehicles. These are far more than just a way to get to and from work. One thing we can’t share in words is the sound of each machine. From the purr of the Porche to the throaty roar of the two drag cars to the rumble of the Harley, each one had its own unique and special sound. And the Tesla, not wanting to be left out in the sound department, cranked up its stereo did a dance for us.

This was our first attempt at this type of an event, a practice run to see if anyone was interested. Duh. It was a huge success. So, watch your email and this blog for an announcement of our 2020 Motorsport Day when we will open it up to customers and vendors who are interested in sharing their ride or taking a look.

Words don’t do these marvelous machines justice, so here is a gallery with this year’s entries. And for the car fans, a table after that gives specifics on each vehicle.


—-Owner—-

—-Year—-

———-Make———-

———-Model———-
Rob R1935ChevyStandard Three Window Coupe
Tom S1950Chevy3100 – Resto Mod Patina Truck
Ralph G1964ChevyNova SS (Chevy II)
Steve G1968FordMustang Cobra Covertible
Vince E1969ChevyNova SS
Dwaine R1973ChevyCorvette
Scott R1983Datsun 280ZX
Mark M2001DodgeRAM 2500
Ted H2003AcuraCL Type S
Tom B2011ChevyCamaro SS
Teri S2015Harley DavidsonDyna Lowrider
Tim M2015Porsche911 Carrera S
Roger S2018TeslaX

Press Release: Grant to ASU, PADT, and Others for Advancement of 3D Printing Post-Processing Techniques

We are very pleased to announce that PADT is part of another successful Federal grant with ASU in the area of Additive Manufacturing.  This is the second funded research effort we have been part of in the past twelve months and also our second America Makes funded project.

It is another great example of PADT’s cooperation with ASU and other local businesses and also shows how Arizona is becoming a hub for innovation around this important and growing technology.

Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML.

You can find links to our other recent research grants here:

If you have any questions about, additive manufacturing or this project, reach out to info@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

Press Release:

$800,000 in Matching Funds Appointed to ASU, PADT and Other Partners by America Makes for the Advancement of 3D Printing Post-Processing Techniques

This Grant Marks PADT’s Second Federally Funded Project in the Past Year, and its Second America Makes Funded Project in the Past Two Years

TEMPE, Ariz., January 24, 2019 ─ PADT, a globally recognized provider of numerical simulation, product development, and 3D printing products and services, has announced it has joined ASU in a Directed Project Opportunity to advance post-processing techniques used in additive manufacturing (AM). The project is being funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division and driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM).

ASU was one of two awardees that received a combined $1.6M with at least $800K in matching funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth roughly $2.4M. ASU will lead the project, while PADT, Quintus Technologies, and Phoenix Heat Treating, Inc. have joined to support the project.

“Our ongoing partnership with ASU has allowed us to perform critical research into the advancement of 3D printing,” said Rey Chu, principal and co-founder, PADT. “We are honored to be involved with this project and look forward to applying our many years of technical expertise in 3D printing post-processing.”

The goal of this research is to yield essential gains in process control, certified processes, and the qualification of materials and parts to drive post-processing costs down and make 3D printing more accessible. PADT will be responsible for providing geometry scanning capabilities, as well as technical expertise.

PADT has deep experience in 3D printing post-processing techniques due to the development of its proprietary Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA), the best-selling post-processing hardware on the market. Initially released in November 2008, more than 12,500 SCA systems have sold to-date. The SCA system was awarded a U.S. patent in October 2018.

This grant will be the second federally funded research project in 2018 which teams PADT and ASU to advance 3D printing innovation and adoption. The first project received a $127,000 NASA STTR grant and is aimed at accelerating biomimicry research, the study of 3D printing objects that resemble strong and light structures found in nature such as honeycombs.

For more information on PADT and its background in 3D printing post-processing, 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.

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

2018, What a Great Year for PADT

Just a few more days before PADT’s Holiday break between Christmas and New Year’s Day. As much as we try to finish things up, 2018 is not going to bed without a fight. Everyone is busy. And that is what the entire year was like.

Some years you remember more than most, and I think 2018 will be one of the more memorable years.

We had a lot of new activities and made a lot of noise in the community. If you scroll through the list of milestones below you will see that we opened offices, won research grants, received awards, and added partners. And much more. We could have never achieved so much without our outstanding employees, supportive partners, and fantastic customers.

Three of those events stand out to me and are worth mentioning here in this final blog entry of the year.

The first happened at the start of the year when we launched ANSYS sales in Austin, Texas. We have been selling and supporting customers in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico for decades. We have also been doing business in California for some time.  The addition of Texas was special because it was our first major growth east of the Rocky Mountains. Texas is culturally very much a part of the Southwestern US, and it felt right to add branch out there. And it has gone great.  We are reconnecting with people we knew through consulting, meeting new customers, and adding long-term ANSYS customers to our user family. It has been great.  And the Bar-B-Que is as good as everyone promised.

Texas was all about moving east.  The next important milestone was about moving up. Up into space.  We have been in the Additive Manufacturing business since we started PADT, and many of our customers have been Aerospace companies.  They have worked with us to make prototypes and tooling that helped them get better solutions into orbit faster. But never have they tried to fly structural 3D Printed parts. Until this year.

The Orion spacecraft leverages a variant of new Stratasys Antero 800NA to build an intricately-connected 3D printed docking hatch door

NASA, Lockheed Martin, Stratasys, and PADT worked together to put the right processes, materials, and Additive Manufacturing systems in place to allow Lockheed Martin to deliver next-generation 3D printed parts for NASA’s Orion deep-space spacecraft.  They manufactured a docking hatch door using Stratasys Antero 800NA material that is approved for flight. In fact, the plan is to take the spacecraft beyond the orbit of the moon as a test.  We are very proud to have played a role in making this happen.

The last achievement worth emphasizing is one of the awards we received. The ANSYS Technical Support Team from PADT was a Silver Winner of the 2018 Customer Service Department of the Year Award. A Silver Stevie.  Not only is this remarkable because it is national recognition for what our team does, it comes during the busiest technical support year we have ever faced. As ANSYS adds products and customers, the team’s job gets harder. And they step up to the plate (well, phone or email client) every day and satisfy customers. The reviewers at the American Business Awards stated: “PADT defines what premium customer service looks like.”   Great recognition for all of their hard work.

Some further highlights from the year are listed below.

As we rush to get things done and eat more holiday treats off the table in the hallway, we want to thank everyone who helped make this a memorable year.  All of us at PADT look forward to creating even more memories and establishing greater milestones in 2019.

PADT 2018 Highlights (with links for more details!):

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

October:

November:

Press Release: PADT’S Quality Management System Receives AS9100D(2016) + ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Additive Manufacturing has been making a transition from a prototyping tool to an accepted way to make tooling and end-use parts across industries, and specifically in the Aerospace industry. PADT has always been at the leading edge of this transformation and today we are pleased to announce the next step in this evolution: The Quality Management System PADT uses to manage our scanning and 3D printing services have been certified to be compliant to the AS9100D(2016) and ISO9001:2015 standards.

This certification will allow our Aerospace customers to come to PADT with the knowledge that an accredited quality organization, Orion Registrar, Inc., has audited our QMS and it meets the requirements of the latest aerospace manufacturing quality standards. Developing our QMS to meet these standards has been an ongoing effort in PADT’s Advanced Manufacturing Department that separates the scanning and 3D Printing services we offer from most service providers.  This investment in developing a robust and effective QMS and the certification it has received reaffirms our commitment to not just print or scan parts for people.  PADT takes quality, process, and customer satisfaction seriously.

Even if they are not printing or scanning Aerospace components, customers benefit from our certified QMS.  Every project is conducted under an established system that builds in quality, inspects for it, and continuously improves.

This milestone would not have been achieved without the dedication of our quality team along with the cooperation and enthusiasm of our Advanced Manufacturing staff.  From front-office to facilities to machine operators, everyone did their part to establish a high standard and then achieve certification.

The best way to understand the advantages of how PADT does Scanning and 3D Printing is to try us out.  You can also learn more by visiting our Aerospace Manufacturing page where we talk about our QMS and the services it covers.

Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML

If you have any questions about our certification, additive manufacturing, or scanning & reverse engineering, reach out to info@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

Press Release:

Confirming its Commitment to Customer Service, PADT’s Quality Management System for 3D Printing and Scanning Earns Aerospace Certification

AS9100D(2016) + ISO 9001:2015 Certification Ensure PADT Aerospace Customers
Receive Consistent and Excellent Quality Products and Services

TEMPE, Ariz., September xx, 2018 ─ In a development that confirms PADT’s aerospace customers receive products and services carried out under the most stringent quality assurance processes, PADT’s Quality Management System (QMS) has been certified compliant to AS9100D(2016) and ISO9001:2015 standards. The certified QMS is applicable to 3D scanning and the manufacture of 3D printed components for aerospace and commercial customers. PADT joins a short list of companies with a certified QMS that covers 3D scanning and manufacturing using 3D Printing. The company is also International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) registered.

“This certification represents strong, third-party validation of our long-standing commitment to quality, continuous improvement, and the delivery of efficient solutions with the upmost value,” said Rey Chu, principal and co-founder, PADT. “We are proud of the thoroughness and attention to detail of our team. Our aerospace customers can be confident that we meet the most stringent industry standards.”

To earn the QMS certification, PADT underwent a rigorous and thorough audit that qualifies the establishment and thorough review of systems and processes, continuous improvement practices, and customer satisfaction efforts. The services that PADT offers under its certified QMS include Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), PolyJet 3D printing, on-demand low volume manufacturing with Carbon digital light synthesis 3D printing technology, optical scanning, inspection, and reverse engineering.

PADT has a long history of prototyping for aerospace companies and has seen an increase in the industry’s use of 3D scanning and printing for end-use parts as the technology has advanced. The QMS certifications ensure PADT’s experience and excellence in carrying out these services.

To learn more about PADT and its QMS certification, please visit  www.padtinc.com/aeromfg

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.

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

 

U.S. Patent on the Method and Apparatus for Removing 3D Printing Support Materials Awarded to PADT

This has been a busy year for PADT.  So busy in fact that we forgot an important announcement from January. PADT was granted US Patent 9,878,498 for some of the technology we use in our line of devices that remove soluble supports from 3D Printing parts.  The official title: METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR REMOVING SUPPORT MATERIAL is actually fairly accurate.  It covers the hardware configuration inside the device along with the methods that are used for the systems we make and sell for removing support material from 3D Printed parts.

PADT introduced our first Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) to the market in 2008.  We learned a lot from that first SCA-1200 and developed intellectual property around the equipment and methods we used in our second generation systems, the SCA-1200HT and SCA 3600.  With over 12,000 total units shipped, these machines take the work out of support removal making 3D Printing faster and easier.

Take a look at the press release below, or the patent itself, to learn more about what makes our systems unique and better.  Decades of experience in 3D Printing, product development, and simulation went into developing the ideas and concepts capture in the patent and realized in the reliable and easy-to-use SCA product family.

Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML

If you have any questions about our support removal solutions in particular or 3D Printing in general, reach out to info@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

Press Release:

U.S. Patent on the Method and Apparatus for Removing 3D Printing Support Materials Awarded to PADT

PADT’s Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) System is the Standard for Soluble Support Removal and is Bundled with Many Stratasys 3D Printers

TEMPE, Ariz., October 2, 2018 ─ To meet the need for improving the process of removing support material often required to hold up a part during 3D Printing, PADT, the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and additive manufacturing services and products, developed its Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) systems. PADT today announced that it has been awarded a U.S. patent for its SCA system invented by Rey Chu, Solomon Pena and Mark C. Johnson.

PADT’s SCA systems are currently sold exclusively by Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS) for use with any of the Stratasys printers that use the Soluble Support Technology (SST) material. Known for its innovation in the industry, this award marks PADT’s 4th patent to-date.

“When Stratasys first introduced its soluble support material that can be dissolved with chemicals to help remove supports in the 3D Printing process, we knew that existing support removal devices were not reliable or efficient enough to handle the innovation,” said Rey Chu, co-founder and principal, PADT. “We used computational fluid dynamics simulation, our extensive product development skills, and knowledge from over two decades of 3D Printing experience to design the industry’s most efficient and reliable support cleaning solution. We are proud that our SCA system has now been granted patent protection.”

The patent protects the intellectual property applied by PADT to achieve its industry-leading performance and reliability goals of soluble support removal. Critical information in the patent includes how the SCA system is laid out and has different sections, each with a purpose for achieving the intended results. It also identifies the geometry and orientation of the system that forces the water to move in a specific pattern that cleans the parts more efficiently.

   

About PADT Support Cleaning Apparatus Systems

PADT shipped its first SCA system in November 2008 and has since reached more than 12,000-unit sales worldwide. There are currently two units in the SCA family, the SCA-1200HT with a 10x10x12” part basket and the larger SCA 3600 with a 16x16x14” part basket. They offer temperature ranges suitable to remove support from all Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and PolyJet materials including:  ABS, ASA, PC, Nylon, and PolyJet Resins.

The PADT SCA system has received impressive reviews from 3D printing practitioners. PADT is using its experience, the IP captured in this patent, and new concept to develop additional systems to satisfy a broader set of needs across the 3D Printing industry. For more information on the PADT SCA family of products, please visit http://www.padtinc.com/sca.

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.

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

 

 

Pictures and Impressions from the 2018 Colorado Additive Manufacturing Day

Someone in the business of giving advice on social situation once said that you need four ingredients for an event to be a success: great conversation with the right people at the right location with the right food and beverage.  All of that came together last week in Littleton Colorado for PADT’s third annual Colorado Additive Manufacturing Data. The weather cooperated and we were able to gather under a tent at the St Patrick’s Brewing Company right on the Platte River to spend the afternoon talking about 3D Printing.

PADT’s very own Norm Stucker hosted, kicking off the event with a welcome from Littleton’s Mayor, Debbie Brinkman.  This was followed by presentations:

  • PADT’s Co-Owner Rey Chu shared his thoughts on being successful with AM
  • Scott Sevcik, VP of Manufacturing Solutions at Stratasys went over the Stratasys Product Roadmap
  • I gave a high-level overview on Design for Additive Manufacturing
  • The ANSYS Additive Manufacturing simulation tools were reviewed by PADT engineer Doug Oatis

After a break, that involved getting more pints of beer, eating an amazingly large amount of pizza, and networking; we returned to the tent for our keynote addresses and a panel.

The first Keynote was from William Carver of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) on how they are using AM for their Dream Chaser spacecraft.  This was followed by Ryan Bocook taking a look at Boom Supersonic‘s use of the technology for the development of their brand new supersonic airplane. For many of us, seeing how these two companies make 3D Printing a part of their design, test, and manufacturing processes was very informative. It was real world, real issues, and real solutions.

The day was capped by a fascinating panel on that very topic: Making Additive Manufacturing Real.  The speakers consisted of:

The panel was moderated by Maj. General Jay Lindell (USAF, Ret) who serves as the Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.  Not only does he have the longest and coolest title, he did a great job of getting the panel to share their experiences to the benefit of all who were there.

For me, the best part (the Dark Lager does not count) of the event was the interaction between users across industries.  So many great examples and stories.  Bad nerd jokes were told, advice was shared, stories about challenges were told, and business cards were exchanged. We live in an online world and you can have some community through the internet. But to build great relationships and to truly share knowledge, you need to get everyone together under a huge tent on a sunny day at a brewery by a river.

If you want to take part in our next Colorado Additive Manufacturing day, a 3D Printing user event in Arizona, Utah, or New Mexico, any of our online webinars, or any other PADT event make sure you sign up for the PADT Additive & Advanced Manufacturing Email List or the PADT General Information Email List on our OptIn page. If you have any questions about any of the content or 3D Printing in general, do not hesitate to contact us.

Please enjoy the pictures we captured of the day below and we hope to see you at our next event.

 

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