Deflategate Update: ANSYS Simulation Shows it Really Does not Make a Difference.

There is still more debate going on about the deflated footballs that the New England Patriots used in their playoff game. "Who Deflated Them? When? Were they acting on orders?"  But no one is asking if it makes a real difference.

Enter ANSYS simulation software. Using the newest ANSYS product, ANSYS AIM, the engineers at ANSYS, Inc. were able to simulate the effect of lower pressure on grip. It turns out that the the difference in pressure only made a 5mm difference in grip. No big deal.  

Being a Multiphysics tool they were able to quickly also run a flow analysis and see what impact drag from "wobble" had on a pass.  A 10% off axis wobble resulted in 20% more drag, that is a few yards on a long pass.  Their conclusion, throwing a tight spiral is more important than the pressure of the ball.

Check out the full article on the ANSYS blog: 

http://www.ansys-blog.com/superbowl-deflategate-scandal-debunked-using-engineering-simulation/#more-11576

Here is the video as well:

Turkey, Team Building, and Spaghetti Towers: PADT’s Turkey Bowl 2014

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[EDITOR’S NOTE:  This was written some time ago and was set to automatically go out. But I just found it stuck in the “pending” folder.  So late, but here it is]  

It has been a great 20th anniversary year for PADT.  And we decided to close it out with some fun.  Now, if you know engineers, getting them to take part in any team building event is tough. And many of our employees came to PADT to get away from such things. The phrase "team building" causes a Pavlovian eye roll.  As we discussed options for November, we looked at a lot of activities. When we settled on doing an event that not only involved teams, but also color coded shirts, puzzles, and (gasp) a lean towards being healthier I said "we should try it, but it probably won't work" and hoped to be proven wrong. Even with the help of the great folks at Physix, I didn't have high hopes. But you don't know until you try.

I was proven wrong. 

Kickoff: Halloween and Pumpkin Launching

We started with a kickoff event on Halloween, which was nice enough to be on a Friday this year. In the past we have carved pumpkins and built a dry-ice pumpkin mortar.  This year we fed everyone to get them in a good mood and then put them in teams.  After some trivia contests we moved over the the first event – a pumpkin slingshot.

We finished up the kickoff event with rules and a list of ways to get points:  go to lunch with team mates, go for a hike, attend a class at Physix, get a fitness assessment, lose weight, answer the weekly quiz, and walk.  The easiest way to get points was to keep track of your step count.  

Three Weeks of Getting Points

The next three weeks were fun. Different teams approached things differently. Some opted to lunch together, often.

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Others did a fitness assessment or attended a class.  One team even tried to take a hike… on Photoshop:

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Funny how their picture on Camelback Mountain looks a lot like their lunch picture…  

After a bit of a kerfuffle on Body Mass Index results from the fitness assessment, we held a brown bag seminar by the lake.  The reason why Physix is a great match for PADT is that their approach to health is science and fact based.  No chakra alignment here.  So Shannon came armed with statistics, studies, and fancy measuring devices with dials on them that we could write down numbers from.

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There was also a weight loss competition.  Points for every pound lost. There are and will not be pictures from that portion of the event. But we can share that some people dropped a few pounds over the three week period, and some more than a few.  

Turkey and Contests 

At the end of the three weeks we gathered together again to take part in our annual Thanksgiving Feast, and compete to win some additional points for our teams.

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We started with a plank contest. Expecting 5 or so people to participate, maybe one from each team. Everyone gave it a shot:

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Most people lasted a minute, then they started to drop.  

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A ton of people lasted to 2 minutes, then 3, then 4.  6 people were holding at 4:30.

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Purple had a strong showing, Renee lasting past 5 minutes.  Clinton held strong for purple.  Don, and Demola held on for Orange and Black.

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In the end, Demola won a ton of points for his team, lasting past 6 minutes.  

Next we tried a relay event that involved passing a ball over our heads and taking a step, then running to the back, then passing… what was that again. It took us a while to figure it out.  In hindsight, we should have created a process diagram before the event.  

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But Green and Black figured it out and charged to the finish line… not even stopping when one competitor stumbled.  No one left behind, as long as they have the right shirt color.

Inside, we had a timed puzzle building event. It got kind of nasty when the teams realized that each team had two pieces from another puzzle. People get aggressive when points are on the line.  There may have been some hiding, there may have been some prying of fingers open.

feverish puzzle activity

The last event was to build a tower out of spaghetti, string, tape, and a marshmallow. Whoever got their marshmallow the highest got the points.  Four of the teams built tripods and went for height.

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Two teams figured out that spaghetti bends and breaks.  Blue felt that building a box was better. I guess that is thinking outside the box?

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But the winner was a combination of tripod and "stoutness."  Green figured it out:

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There was a dessert contest as well. I grudgingly mention it because my dessert didn't make it into the finals… but I'm not bitter, not at all.

dessert contest

After that we all went back to work while the PADT HR and Physix teams summed up all the points and figured out who won.  

Green, thanks to their tower, squeaked into third place:

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Some were happier than others about the competition.

Second place was won by the superior team, and we would have won if my dessert had been in the finals:

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And the winners were the Black Team.  

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You have to admit, they do look pretty confident.

What we Learned 

Overall, the three weeks were a nice distraction from a very busy period.  Some people that would not have normally spent time together, did. Some people learned a bit about fitness or nutrition that they didn't know before. A lot of people walked a lot more.  

We also learned a couple of lessons:

  1. You can have a positive and constructive team building event at a company that is kind of wired to go against such corporate group-think activities.

  2. Not everyone wants to participate. That's OK and it is no reason why those that do can't have fun.  And you can find small ways for people to take part.

  3. Some people are REALLY competitive. 

  4. The average core strength at PADT is stronger than we thought.

  5. The breath mints we got to combat coffee breath are 50 calories, and the average person has to walk around 500 steps to burn them off. 

  6. If you don't take these things too seriously, they can be fun and a nice break.

  7. PADT's employees are clever. They tried to get points for waking up in the morning and mouse clicks.  You have seen the Photoshop picture. They also wanted to pass off the PADT Medical skeleton as Don Pegg after his diet.  It didn't work.

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For those of you who are thinking of doing a similar event at your company, some key words of advice:

  1. Bring in someone to help that is a good fit for your culture. Don't try and fit a standard or large company approach to a small or medium company.  Find someone that gets you and maybe pushes your organization a bit further than you would push it on your own.

  2. Keep it short, keep it simple.

  3. Don't let the negative people drag it down. You will have some people that this is not a good fit for. If you try and please them, they will still be unhappy and it will lesson the event for others.  Just accept that not everyone will be on-board and move on.

  4. Place your tongue firmly in your cheek.  If you take these things too seriously, they will fail.  Make some fun of yourselves and the activity, it takes that edge off.

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If you do it right, you might even get engineers to touch each other.  

The Real Revolution in 3D Printing: It’s Normal

3D-printed-printerReading through my email this morning I saw an update from the "maker" site Instructables and I glanced at it quickly: "floating bed, how to make a sword, that's cool, 3D printable printer, folding chair charcoal forge, what?, parachord hammer holder, just buy one, duh, blah, blah, blah how do people have time for this… wait, 3D printable printer?" CLICK.  

So this 17 year old kid used his 3D Printer, an arduino board and parts he scrounged from old DVD drives to make a 3D Printer. Read about it here.  This kid, wootin24, designed and built an X, Y, Z positioning device that could be fited with a dremel tool to be a CNC machine, or an extruder to be a 3D Printer.  No CAD experience, no formal engineering training, just a smart person.  And the ad that popped up on the side of the how-to this kid wrote was for a Dremel 3D Printer, available at Home Depot. Not some kickstarter funded rehash of an opensource printer, Dremel. The big guys.  As I was feeling bad about how I spent my time when I was 17 (I'm not going to go there but I never did become a the backup bass player for Rush nor did I get a second date from T—–) and starting to worry about how systems from very capable companies like Dremel will impact our sales of Stratasys equipment, I realized that the true revolution in 3D printing happened and most of us involved day-to-day in the industry didn't even notice.  

3D Printing is Now Normal

When a revolutionary technology comes out there is a lot of hoopla and press. Tons of people start jumping on the bandwagon and your Aunt's friend in Topeka is sending you links on Facebook about 3D Printing and how it is "going to change everything."  Do not get me started on how 3D Printing is not new, we've been doing it at PADT for over 20 years, and certainly do not ask about the "3D printed gun.  The false-newness and fear-mongering stories are what the mainstream press picked up on. The good news is that the hype got the word out. And then smart people like this kid and the engineers at Dremel said "hmmm, that is useful. I can do something with this" and boom, the real revolution happened.  

After all these years this tool that was really a special tool used when needed, has become just another screwdriver in the toolbox.  A standard part of the process it is something most engineers understand well, and a majority of non-engineers are aware of. When we first started showing people our SLA machine back in the 90's they would either not understand what they were looking at or become flabergasted and amazed, treating it more like a magic box than a fairly simple additive curing system.  Now when we give tours we hear "that one looks like the one we have in our office" or "oh yea, an Objet, I'd love to trade my older system in for one of those." And the dreaded "oh, we have three of these in our robotics lab at school, do you have anything interesting?"  

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Amazon now has a section for all the 3D Printers they sell, just like headphones or video games.

So What

There is a lot of power in 3D Printing.  That is the real reason why the technology has blossomed as it has.  The power of 3D Printing is that it lets you make physical objects without special equipment or knowledge, the laser printer of manufacturing. However, as long as the tool is treated as something to be used in special cases or as a mystical new magic bullet, it will not be used correctly.  Now that it is mainstream, the use of additive manufacturing becomes mainstream and the power it brings to the table can be fully realized.  We see this every day at PADT. Product managers have "3D Printed Prototypes" as a standard line item in their budget templates.  Customers are increasingly talking about going back to their current product lines and identifying parts that are machined, injection molded, or cast and determining which can be replaced by 3D printed parts.  And most importantly, the supply chain and quality people are sniffing around and starting to make paperwork to control and manage 3D Printed components.  

As proponents of the technology since the early days, we could not be happier than when we see a check box for "Created with additive manufacturing" on a quality form. When it becomes part of the bureaucracy, the revolution has truly happened. 

Customer in the News: Soitec Sets Record for Solar Cell Efficiency at 46%

soitecWe noticed that customer and neighbor Soitec Phoenix Labs had a great writeup in the AZ Republic. Their substrate technology was used to make a multijunction solar cell for use with conentrated solar, delivering an amazing 46% efficiency. The standard right now in the mid to low 20% for single junction, the most common technology available. The article actually does a pretty good job of explaining the technology, why Soitec has something special, and some insight into their LED technology as well.

A big congrats to the team and we can not wait to hear when you break 50%!

They have a great video on their CPV efforts on their website.

Soitec is a french company that purchased GaNotec a few years back.  Their Phoenix Labs is across the lake in the ASU Research Park in the ASU MacroTechnology Works building and PADT has provided a variety of services to the company since it started as GaNotec.  We have worked with many of their employees at other Semiconductor Equipment companies before GaNotec was founded. 

Congrats to everyone!

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Press Release: Dedicated 3D Scanning Added to Round Out PADT’s Scanning Solutions

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PADT has been offering 3D Scanning solutions for some time. Over time the company has added the sale of 3D Scanning hardware and software, training for 3D Scaning, and limited 3D Scanning services.  With the addition of a full time scanning engineer, PADT is now able to offer deciated scanning servcies to our customers.

Ademola Falada joins our team from Minnesota where he worked for a scanner manufacturer, CGI, for two years after graduating with an engineering degree from the University of Minnesota.  He brings extensive knowledge of scanning equipment and the scanning process.  Since joining PADT in the late summer, he has been providing limited services to our existing customers as he builds up our scanning capability and puts everything needed to provide a world class service in place.  He will be assisted by engineers and technicians that have been providing scanning on a part time basis in the past.

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By offering optical and cross sectional scanning, PADT can provide a more accurate solution to a broader range of customers.  

Read the press release on this expanded service below

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You can also review our scanning services on our website

Or simply email us at rp@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884 and our team will be more than happy to explain what we can do and provide you with a quote. 

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Press Release:

Dedicated 3D Scanning Added to Round Out PADT’s Scanning Solutions 

PADT now has a full time engineer and equipment dedicated to providing 3D Scanning services to customers.  Coupled with the sales and support of 3D scanners and software, PADT can now offer a complete solution to its growing number of scanning customers. 

Tempe, AZ – January 8, 2015 – Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT, Inc.), the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and rapid prototyping services and products, is pleased to announce the addition of complete 3D part scanning to our services offering.  Based on growing customer requests, PADT has invested in equipment, software, and personnel to provide a dedicated resource in this area.  The company has been providing scanning as a service for many years, but on a part time basis when staff was free and customers could not find another resource.  PADT’s 3D Printing sales team has also been selling scanners and scanning software for over three years.  Bringing someone on board to focus on this critical need in product development was the next logical step.



3D Scanning is used by engineers to take a part in the real world and measure it accurately in order to get a model of the part on a computer.  This is done using a variety of technologies including lasers, patterned light, and high resolution pictures. The technology is used in product development to capture geometry of existing parts to reproduce (reverse engineering) them or design parts that attach or interact with them. It can also be used to inspect manufactured parts.



Ademola Falada joins our team from Minnesota where he worked for a scanner manufacturer, CGI, for two years after graduating with an engineering degree from the University of Minnesota.  He brings extensive knowledge of scanning equipment and the scanning process.  Since joining PADT in the late summer, he has been providing limited services to our existing customers as he builds up our scanning capability and puts everything needed to provide a world class service in place.  He will be assisted by engineers and technicians that have been providing scanning on a part time basis in the past.



“We are now ready to open our doors wide to customers who need accurate, timely, and useful scanning of their parts.” Commented Rey Chu, one of PADT’s owners and the Principal responsible for the company’s manufacturing services. “We never felt that we could deliver the level of service that customers expect from PADT until we had enough equipment and a dedicated engineer. We are there now.”



The scanning lab consists of two CGI Cross Sectional Scanners for high fidelity scanning of complex plastic parts with internal features, a Geomagic Capture blue light scanner, and a Steinbichler high resolution blue light scanner currently under evaluation. This combination of equipment is matched with the full suite of Geomagic scanning software to provide inspection data, cleaned point clouds, tessellated solids (STL), or usable CAD models. 



Customers who are interested in having parts scanned, or who want to learn more about the service, can contact the team at 480.813.4884 or scanning@padtinc.com 



Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering service company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping products and services. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and an 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 75 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, its Littleton, Colorado office, Albuquerque, New Mexico office, and Murray, Utah office, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

ANSYS 2015 Hall of Fame Announced – Los Alamos National Labs and SynCardia Models are Finalists

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Every year for a while now ANSYS, Inc. has chosen models made by users of the ANSYS software tools for their Hall of Fame.  This year had some very cool models across CFD, Structural, and Electromagnetic – including some great Multiphysics applications. Visit the ANSYS website to see all the winners here.

The three commercial winers of "Best in Show" were varied but powerful examples of how simulation can be used to improve performance and reliability of products:

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Andritz Hydro used ANSYS Mechanical to model their assemblies to see if replacing welds with bolted joints would reduce weight and cost while keeping reliability.  They used sub-modeling, bolted joints, and contact.  

BRP used ANSSY CFX, ICEM CFD, and Mechanical to capture the forces caused by cavitation on their outboard marine engine. This engine pushes a boat at 75MPH (!!!) through the water, so yes, they get cavitation.  They used ICEM CFD for meshing, CFX to predict the cavitation and capture the cavitation loading, and Mechanical to see how the loading impacted the gear train and shafts. They were able to obitmize the desgin quickly using this process.

Spinologics used ANSYS Mechanical APDL to model the process of using a rod to straighten a deformed spine (scoliosis). They use the scriptability of the APDL to automate the creation of the models.  Very cool stuff.  Check out the video on the link.

We also want to mention two customers that were involved as Finalists.  

syncardia-heartSynCardia is often mentioned in this blog because, well, they make a frick'n artificial heart that saves lives every day.  We modeled an early iteration on the heart as a multiphysic problem probobly 5 or 6 years ago, it could have been longer ago. More recently Stony Brook University and the University of Arizona did a much more detailed model in ANSYS Fluent that looks at not just pressure and velocity, but Platelet dispersion patterns in the artificial heart.  Check out the video here:  https://storage.ansys.com/hof/2015/video/2015-stonybrook.mp4

2015-lanl-bgLos Alamos National Labs is another long time PADT customer and we were fortunate enough to be involved in the study that was recognized as a finalist. They used ANSYS Fluent to model something called vortex-induced motion or VIM in off-shore oil rigs.  Basically waves hit the platform and create these big swirling vortices.  These in turn put loads on the structure that can sometimes be very large.  The purpose of this study was to find a way to accurate predict VIM with simulation so they could then evaluate various solutions. A true Fluid-Solid Interaction (FSI) and because of the size of the structures and all that turbulence, High Performance Computing (HPC) problem. We hope to publish a paper on some related work this year… watch this space for more.

 This competition is a great way to see what others are doing, and if you submit your models, to show off what you have done.  Contact your ANSYS rep to learn more or drop us a note.

 

Christmas Right-Left Gift Exchange Story: Fairy Tale Style

Left-Right-Christmas-Story-2014For our Christmas parties at PADT we generally have over 40 employees so a traditional secret Santa gift exchange takes to long. So a couple of years ago we downloaded a right-left gift exchange story from the internet and it was a big hit. We ran out of stories on the internet, so we started writing our own, usually in some sort of over-the-top style.  This year we have a cationary fairy tale. Here is how it works. 

Everyone gets their gift and forms a big circle in the middle of the room.  Someone with a strong voice reads the story and every time the world LEFT is read, everyone passes the package they have to the left. Every time the world RIGHT is read, everyone passes the package they have to their right.  You should pause a bit at each LEFT/RIGHT to give people a chance to pass.  

You can find previous years stories here:

– Film Noir Christmas
– Science Fiction Christmas
– Romance Christmas

The Wooden Horse

In a village, that sits on the left bank of the river Dreamwald, there is a good and generous family, the Leftmulds. The father is the last barrel wright left in the duchy of Cornwil-o-day-leffon.  He has a wife, two gorgeous twin daughters, and a son name… Albert.  Albert was willful and spoiled.  He thought he was always right and he always wanted what he wanted right now.

One day, about right when the cows needed to come in from pasture, Albert stormed in to his father’s workshop, walked right up to his father, and said:  You have left me no choice but to go on strike.  I demand you make me a wooden horse toy right now.

“Albert” his father said “You left the door open. Please close it.”

Albert replied: “I don’t care if I left the door open, you promised me a horse and I want it now. “

His father said “I told you, when you clean the right side of the barn, and there is no mud left on the floor, and there is no hay left outside, I will give you your horse”

“I hate you!  I wish you had left me with the stork!  I’m leaving right now”

And with that, he stormed out.  All is father said was “You still left the door open my son. Something is not… correct with you”

Albert ran from the village. Right past the mill, right past the well, and right out the gate into the dark and ominous Dreamwald forest.  He soon slowed, for the run had left him out of breath. But he kept walking and walking.  Presently he noticed an old woman in black standing right in the middle of the path. He walked right up to her and said. “Excuse me old woman, but you are in my way, I would ask that you step aside right now.”

The old woman peered from beneath her hood and said “I’m waiting for you Albert. You left a wish at the wishing stone last night.  I’m here to make it right.”

“You have my wooden horse?” Albert asked, having left off the idea of getting past this women.

“I do, but you must promise to give me whatever I want. Promise right now.  “

He was left with no choice “I promise”

There was a boom and a crash and right next to Albert there was a gorgeous wooden horse. It left him breathless, and for the first time in his life, something left him speechless as well. It was more than he had hoped for.

“Is it all right?” asked the old crown.

“Oh yes” he replied “It is defiantly all right.

And then she began to cackle.  The noise left his ears ringing it was so loud. And them POOF, Albert was no longer in the woods. He was inside a hut, tied right to a spit, left spinning over an open fire.

The old women continued to cackle as she pinched his left arm and licked her licks.

He screamed “Oh no!  This is not right!  In fairy tales the little child outsmarts the old witch. You have not left me a chance to even try!”

“You looked so tasty, I didn’t think it was right to play that silly old game. I decided to just put you right on the spit and roast you right away.”

Albert began to sob as the heat of the flames became more and more uncomfortable.  He was left with a feeling of utter despair.

Then, to his left, he heard the sound of sleigh bells, then he heard the stomping of many animals. Then one of the hut doors, the one on the left, opened up and a man in a big rid suit stepped inside and pointed at the old lady.

“Ismerelda!  You have left me no choice. Yes this boy is naughty, but you are worse.  You have no right to cook him, no matter how selfish and lazy he is!”  He lifted a staff in his right hand and brought it down with a thud on the ground. A blinding flash of light filled the hut and then snow began to fall right from the ceiling.  Big, wet flakes fell right on to the witch and quickly covered her, freezing her right where she stood.  The snow also fell right on the fire, till there were no flames left.

Albert freed his right hand, then his right ankle, and then untied his… other arm and leg.

“Thank you Santa! I thought I was left for dead!”

As the old man walked to the other door in the hut, the right door, he turned and said.  “Don’t thank me little boy. Thank your good parents and sisters. When you left them, you left them heartbroken and they asked for my help.  So I came right away and did what I could. Let this be a lesson to you.  You need to learn Wrong from Right!”

And with that, he left the hut, jumped into his sleigh, flew away, and left Albert with nothing but his thoughts.

In Memoriam: Dr. Mark Johnson

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A picture of Mark in his office at PADT. The equations on the white board were not put there for the picture. This was taken after a meeting where he and members of his team solved a tough rotor dynamics problem for a customer.
It is with incredible sadness that we must inform you that our friend and co-owner of PADT, Mark Johnson, passed away on November 25th from complications due to melanoma. He was with his wife, resting comfortably when he left us. This is a huge loss to anyone that ever knew Mark.

He joined PADT in the early days with the goal of building the company’s product development capability.  His focus and the focus of his team was using engineering to make the world a better place.  They did this directly through their work in alternative energy and medical devices and indirectly by helping companies from a wide range of industries.  There are hydrogen powered cars and buses today humming down the street using pumps and blowers that were Mark’s creations. Doctors are using devices every day to treat patients that Mark helped to design and test.  He also participated in the Startup and Medical Device engineering community in Arizona, serving as a judge, mentor, and board member across multiple organizations.  And as a co-owner of PADT, he helped direct the company, contributing strongly to our culture and reputation in the community.

Before joining PADT, Mark had a similar impact at Garrett (AlliedSignal, Honeywell), The University of Arkansas, and Ballard.  Few people in our industry had such a strong understanding of engineering fundamentals and his ability to apply that basic knowledge to help customers across industries will be sorely missed.

Outside of work, Mark was a loving father and husband, who always took time to be with his wife and two children.  Those of you who knew him outside of work know how important they were to him, and he to them.  

Since his passing many people have asked how they can honor Mark or share their thoughts on him.  We are recommending that those who wish to honor him simply follow his example.  Look for the good in people, help others when you can, and always ask questions.  Mark was a master questioner and often answering those questions revealed more to the person he was asking the question of than anyone else.  He often began meetings with new customers and partners with a simple statement: “I want to warn you, I like to ask questions, lots of questions.”

In that this blog is mostly read by people in technology, the best way you can honor his memory is to carry on his mission of using technology to make the world a better place. Help a startup, develop a more efficient system, commercialize a new technology that improves the lives of the less fortunate, enhance patient care, or help to explore and understand our universe.  There are so many ways that those of us involved in engineering and science can make a huge difference, just as Mark did.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts about Mark in the comments below. If you would like to send a note or card to his family, please mail it to:

Mark Johnson Memorial
PADT, Inc
7755 S Research Dr, Suite 110
Tempe, AZ  85284

The family has asked that any donations be made to Heifer International or Hospice of the Valley.

PADT Colorado Plays Catch on Google StreetView

padt-colorado-streetview-catch-tnTechnology has changed so much in our world that sometimes it is hard to get your head around it.  The fact that Google is driving and walking around the world taking a picture of streets everywhere is something easy to say, but had to comprehend. Everyone now has the chance of having their blurred face saved for posterity – if you are in the right place at the right time.

On my current visit to PADT’s Colorado office someone mentioned that Manoj and Stephen were caught on Google Street View outside our office. I figured they were snapped while running out the front door to leap into a car and speed off to do an impromptu demo or provide face-to-face technical support to a struggling customer.  something heroic and super hero like in a technical-guy sort of way.

So I went to Google maps and put in “PADT Colorado” and clicked on street view:
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Looks like a nice summer day on main street in historic downtown Littleton. You can see the US, Colorado, and PADT flags on the balcony of our office.  I bet if I move down the street I’ll see them racing out the door.

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Nope, I don’t see their cars either, maybe they are in the parking lot. Wait, that kind of looks like Manoj on the left side of the street in the blue shirt.  Let’s go one more pic down the road.

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There they are, Manoj and Steve!  Being the engineers that they are, they of course recognized the Google StreetView car and Manoj is waiving at it. Hey, what is that… a football?  They weren’t rushing to solve a technical emergency, they were playing catch in the grass on a sunny bright day!  No computers, laptop bags, or pocket protectors. 

Much cooler thing to get caught doing on street view.  Bravo.

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The next pictures shows Stephen saying hello to the world as well.  Awesome.

They both made PADT proud in their 1500 pixels of fame.

Coming Soon to CEI

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Check out this great video from CEI about PADT’s new office in Phoenix.
Watch this space for more details as we get closer to launch.

Fantastic Night at the 2014 GCOI – Winners, Awards, and Fancy Attire

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PADT was on hand in force at the 2014 GCOI ceremony: (L to R) FORTUS 250mc, Andrew Miller, Ward Rand, Eric Miller, Mario Vargas, Renee Palacios, and Brad Palumbo

Every year in November the Arizona technology community gathers to celebrate innovation in the state.  The 2014 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) was a great event for the state and for PADT.  This years winners ranged from high school students to legislators to internationally recognized leaders in the software industry.  And, unlike most tech events in the state, everyone was dressed up all fancy.  The gala is put on by our friends at the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

This is a special event for PADT for a variety of reasons.  We have been a sponsor of the GCOI for several years, hauling out our equipment and samples for a booth to show off Mechanical Engineering in the state.  This year we were also honored to provided a judge to help choose the winners and we also made the trophies for those who won.  In addition, PADT was the winner of the 2011 Pioneering Award.  Every year we add more good memories to this event which puts an exclamation point on the year.

Congratulations to the Winners

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Pat Sullivan of ACTI! and Contatta Receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award

This years nominees was a great indication of the strength of technology companies and educators in the state.  As always, the students who received recognition were the most inspiring.  It is truly amazing what they have achieved while still in High School.

It was especially nice to see PADT customers Syncardia and Securaplane receive awards. Both companies are based in Tucson and are leading the way in their industries.  Syncardia produces the only FDA approved total artificial heart,  truly saving lives on a daily basis. Securaplane provides the aviation industry with a variety of security and power sub-systems.  

We were also pleased to see Pat Sullivan take home a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  Pat started ACT! in the early days of personal computing, and many of us at PADT have been users of his software, and we still use it today at PADT. In addition, we are an investor in Pat’s new company, Contatta, through the Arizona Tech Investors.

This year the judges decided to add a special award, the Judges Award, for outstanding contributions to the technology community.  The first ever winner was the Society of Women Engineers.  This group is a big favorite of PADT because of their hard work to diversify the field and support many in school and in their careers.  

Check out the article in the Phoenix Business Journal to see a full list of winners.

3D Printed Awards

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Holding her very own “Governor’s Celebration of Innovation” Award.

Once again, PADT provided the awards  for the winners.  It is one thing to see people you know and admire win an award, it is even more meaningful when you see them holding an award that you designed and made.  Seeing Governor Brewer pose with her special award was kind of cool.  

In the past, we have used a combination of 3D Printing and traditional methods to make the awards, but this year we were able to produce everything using additive manufacturing technologies.

gcoi-2014-finished-1bThe top portion of the awards was created on our Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 polyjet machine. This device uses inkjet heads to deposit layers of photo-curable polymers.  It has four heads, allowing us to lay down support material, a base material, and two colors.  We used a transparent material for the base, and mixed yellow and magenta to get the different colors that “float” inside the transparent oval. 

The base was created on our FORTUS 400 fused gcoi-2014-finished-2deposition modeling machine using ABS plastic.  Both of the parts were generated in CAD and printed directly.  This application shows the power of 3D Printing. We were able to create 11 unique trophies without the need for tooling, special equipment, or expertise in any given process.  We simply visualized what we wanted on the computer, then sent the resulting custom designs to the printers. Specifically, the unique text for each award was extruded as a solid inside the main body, floating above the state of Arizona.

You will be Surprised Where Sneeze Germs Travel in an Airplane

sneezing-in-airplane-300x279Ever been on a flight, hear someone sneeze, and then sit in fear as you imagine millions of tiny infectiousness germs laughing historically as they spread through the cabin of the plane?  In my imagination they are green and drip mucus. In reality they are small liquid particles and instead of going everywhere, it appears they fall on just a few unlucky people. 

ANSYS, Inc.  put out a very cool video showing the results of an in-cabin CFD run done by Purdue University that tracks the pathogens as they leave the sick persons mouth, get caught in the climate control system’s air stream, and waft right on the people next to and behind them.  The study was done for the FAA Center for Excellence for Airliner Cabin Environment Research.   

Here is the video, check it out and share with your friends. Especially if you have a friend that doesn’t sneezes out into the open air:

Visit the ANSYS Blog to learn even more.

#betterlivingthroughsimulation

ScitechFestivalLogoCheck out this great article on the Arizona SciTech Festival site about PADT.

“Innovation Personified: Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies”

Our very own Josh Heaps talks about how we use 3D Printers, STEM Education, and gives some advice on how students can best prepare for a stem career. 

Learn more about the Arizona SciTech Festival here.
See more about PADT’s STEM activity here.

AZ Manufacturing Month Closing Party – People Mixing with Lasers, 3D Printers, Robots, and Beer

logo_revazLast Thursday (10/30/2014) PADT was honored to host the closing event for this years “Arizona Manufacturing Month”  The event was well attended with almost 300 people stopping for networking, food, beer, and some examples of the future of Manufacturing in the state.

The event was sponsored by:

A big draw for the evening was the “Future of Manufacturing” Exhibit where local firms showed off what they were doing. Exhibitors included:

Food was provided by Teakwoods Tavern and Grill (the barbecue beef went fast!) and samples of beer were provided by Arizona Manufacturer, Four Peaks Brewing. 

In addition to all of the companies and customers who attended, we were pleased to have a great group of High School Robotics teams that showed up to share their robots with us and take part in a brief awards ceremony for PADT’s “2014 FIRST Robotics Grant” competition. Read more about that here.

All and all a great event and our staff wants to thank everyone for making it an enjoyable and value added gathering.  We hope to see more of you here next year as momentum grows and more and more people learn about the Revolution in Manufacturing that is taking place in Arizona. 

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Here are some snapshots from the event:

Paragon Space Dev Helps Shatter Stratospheric Jump Record

stratex-2 Without hoopla or sponsorship from a major beverage company, Alan Eustace assembled a team of experts to shatter the record from jumping from the stratosphere.  Paragon Space Development, someone we can proudly call a PADT customer, formed the backbone of the team that made the StratEx project so successful. Using their experience with creating self-contained and safe human environments, and their general awesome engineering know-how, they developed a system that used just a space suite instead of a full capsule. This allowed the parachutist to leap from 135,908 ft!

View a video of the successful mission here: nyti.ms/1D7SmnT

Read about it here in the New York Times (Ignore their ignorance on commenting that Eustace could not hear the sonic boom… sigh… it’s a shockwave, not a boom!)

Learn more about the whole project on Paragon’s SratEx page.

This project was about science and setting records, as well as proving out the technology for other uses. See where Paragon is going with this technology on the WorldView page- their answer to commercial space tourism that is practical and inspiring. worldviewexperience.com/ 

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