PADT to Present 3D Printing at Digital Printing Presses Conference in Scottsdale

The merger of modern 2D printing and 3D printing is getting closer and stronger.  As a sign of the convergence, this years Digital Printing Presses Conference has invited PADT to give a presentation to the digital printing press community on 3D Printing.  The conference runs from April 30th through May 2nd in Scottsdale, Arizona. PADT will be presenting during the opening session on April 30th.

Learn more about the event here.

If you happen to be one of those people at the crossroads of 2D and 3D printing, this would be a great event to attend and see how both industries are progressing.

Here is the official press release with more details:

PRLog (Press Release) – Apr. 4, 2014 – SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT) is honored to announce that they have been invited to speak on the opening day of the 5th Digital Printing Presses Conference.   The event sponsors, the Information Management Institute, recognize that the growth of 3D Printing is having a major impact on digital printing, and they asked PADT to explain the technology and how it impacts the industry. If you are needing some digital printings visit xerocopy. The presentation: “3D Printing: What it is Now and How it is Changing the Way Things are Made” will be given by one of PADT’s co-owners, Eric Miller.

The talk will focus on how the technology works, applications and how it is changing manufacturing. In addition he will discuss strengths and weaknesses of the technology, the business climate, and future directions for the technology. Additive Manufacturing technology encompasses a wide range of processes that can be used to directly create physical objects from a computer model.

3D Printing refers to a subset of Additive Manufacturing that allows the creation of parts without any special training or expertise, the users simply prints a part just as they would a document on a traditional digital printer.  As the technology evolves the differences between Digital Printing and 3D Printing are disappearing. Because of this, many providers of Digital Printing services are investigation, or adding, 3D Printing as a service that they can offer their customers.  This presentation will focus on exploring this new synergy.

Mr. Miller points out that “3D printing is on everyone’s mind, especially how it will impact their particular industry. Our goal is for everyone who attends to get a firm grasp on what the technology can and can’t do, and know enough to make decisions on how they can use it in their area of digital printing.” The event is being held on April 30th through May 2nd of 2014, at the Saguaro Scottsdale Resort in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona.  Mr. Miller will be presenting during the first session from 1:00 to 6:30 on April 30th.  To learn more about the event, visit: http://www.imiconf.com To learn more about PADT and 3D printing, visit: http://www.padtinc.com

PADT Announces New Product and Video: Detoxinator 1200

(Tempe, AZ) PADT is pleased to announce the release of a new product: The Detoxinator 1200.  Based on their proven success with the Support Cleaning Apparatus used in the 3D Printing industry, PADT has modified the design for the medical market.  A well known celebrity has also signed with PADT to promote the product.

The best way to learn more is to watch the new video, just released today:

Detoxinator-1200
Watch the Video here.

Orbital Sciences Launches Iridium NEXT Production

Orbital-GilbertWe were pleased to note that long time PADT customer Orbital Sciences Corporation is starting production of 81 satellites at its Gilbert, Arizona facility.  This new constellation of satellites will replace the existing constellation of Iridium satellites now in low earth orbit.   It is exciting to see this project moving to this next critical step, and we can’t wait to read about the launches in 2015.  We know that many people at Orbital and at their suppliers have been working hard and long to get to this point. 

AZCentral has a nice video of the ribbon cutting

Satnews Daily has a good article with details about the whole project.

And the Wall Street Journal has a more business look on the project in their article

IridiumNEXTSatConfig
You can learn more about the Iridium NEXT project here

All of us tech-oriented people in Arizona should get excited about this major milestone. Although both Orbital Sciences and Iridium are headquartered in Virginia, both have extensive facilities here in Arizona.  In fact the Iridium business operations is about one quarter of a mile from PADT’s Tempe office  in the ASU Research Park. Satellite design, test, manufacturing and support are big business in the state of Arizona.  Some of the other Arizona based companies involved in making or providing equipment for satellites are: ViaSat, Garmin, General Dynamics, Honeywell Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Paragon Space Development, and many others. Most are PADT customers.  

Congratulations to everyone involved and a big thanks to the people in the state, county, and city that help set up the Free Trade Zone that helped make it possible.

TechShop Chandler: A Place for Makers, Builders, Inventors, and Engineers

The other day some visitors to PADT asked if we wanted to tour their new facility. Some place called TechShop Chandler. I had heard some about them, a place where you can have access to tech tools and technology, but I didn’t know much more than that. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised when we stopped by for a tour. 

Most Everything you Need

The tag line on their website reads: “TechShop is a vibrant, creative community that provides access to tools, software and space. You can make virtually anything at TechShop. Come and build your dreams!”  I have to say, that tag line looks pretty dang accurate.

The facility is located in the ASU Chandler Innovation Center just east of downtown Chandler. A great location close to the 202, and some good food and drink (not that that matters much… but if you are working on a project and need a break… just saying).  The building has been completely renovated and provides a great space.

Even in this new location (there are seven other location) in Chandler, they have fully functioning labs that contain the equipment and software one would need to truly build almost anything.  That in itself is pretty useful, but what is more important is they offer training on all of the tools they make available, often the missing piece in other attempts we have seen to offer technology and tools to people.

The offering of equipment and tools that we saw was very comprehensive and included a computer lab with full CAD software tools, a full wood shop with CNC routers, a full sheet metal shop, welding, machining, injection molding, electronics, laser cutting, 3D printing, and even industrial sewing.  They have lots of room for working and for meeting. 

On top of all that, they host programs for schools as well as meetups for the community. 

How it Works

TechShop describes their membership system like a gym.  You pay a monthly membership fee and, once you have successfully completed the training, you have access to the equipment, computers, and software at the facility.  As you would expect, they have discounts if you sign up for automatic renewal, a yearly membership, or if you add family members.  They also offer students (18 and older) and Active Duty Military a significant discount.  Corporations can negotiate memberships as well.  Check out the costs for TechShop Chandler here.  Just to give you an idea, the basic one month membership with no discounts is only $175/month.  Pretty affordable once you get your head around how many resources you get access to.

What do YOU want to make?

That is the heading at the top of their website, and it fits.  If you are a hobbyist,  inventor,  engineer,  student, or fabricator, you should check out TechShop.  Even if you have equipment at work or at home, it is a great resource to gain training and access to a wider variety of tools and equipment. All in a clean and positive environment working side by side with other like-minded members. 

Check them out on the web:

www.techshop.ws/ts_chandler.html 

Or give them a call and set up a visit: 480 327-0820.

For those of you reading this outside of the Phoenix area, there are locations in:

  • San Carlos, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Allen Park, MI (Detroit)
  • Round Rock, TX (Austin)
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Arlington, VA

With many more planned.

Desktop 3D Scanning with Geomagic Capture


Geomagic-Capture

If you have been following PADT closely for a while, you know that we have been working hard to find good scanning solutions for our customers since we started the company twenty years ago.  For many years we recommended professional inspection service providers that used traditional CMM devices to reverse engineer or inspect parts, we just didn’t have a good scanning solution in-house.

A few years back we found a great solution for many of our customers when we started using and selling Cross Sectional Scanners (CSS) from CGI. This technology works great with plastic parts and is highly accurate, especially for parts with internal features. However we still needed a solution for metal parts and parts that you can’t chop up when you inspect them.

sean-head-laser-scanSo we kept looking at scanners, we tried a variety of hand-held laser scanners.  We even made it on the local news using it on a local news anchor to scan his head. But we could not get the ease of use and accuracy we wanted for engineering.

Then Geomagic introduced the Geomagic Capture system and we gave it a try.  We feel that we now have a desktop scanning solution that we can recommend to customers and we have proven we can do engineering services work with. So we now sell the Geomagic Capture scanning system and provide non-destructive 3D scanning as a service.

Here is a great introductory video that shows the system and how it works:

Not a Laser

The big difference with this system is that it is not a laser scanner. It actually is a blue Structured-Light scanner.  Basically it projects a pattern of lines onto an object, and measure how the lines deviate from being straight. That deviation gives a very accurate measurement of the location of points on the surface of the object.  No laser, no reflective dots, no problems with stray data.  
geomagic-capture-scanner

In our testing the system seems to work on a variety of surface types and shapes.  If the object is reflective or too dark, you simply cover it with a chalky powder and everything is good.  Not using lasers, the device is also relatively small and compact.

A System: Hardware and Software

One of the reasons why we like this particular scanner over others is that it is a solution that contains both hardware and software. In fact, the scanner technology itself has been around for some time. What makes this scanner our choice is that Geomagic, experts in dealing with the output from scanners, developed the software that gathers and massages the data coming from the scanner. This makes a huge difference in ease of use.

Our engineers are still learning all the ins-and-outs on the system, but they were able to do productive work with it almost right out of the box.  The software steps you through the process and give really nice visual feedback while you are setting up a scan. This avoid the need to scan, review, fix something, try again, check… round and round.  And once you have good point data, you have the full suite of Geomagic tools to convert it into an STL file or into a usable CAD model.

When you purchase the Geomagic Capture system you have your choice of:

  • Geomagic Capture for SolidWorks
    Add-in software for SolidWorks, that presents the Geomagic tools you need in the SolidWorks interface you are used to working with.
  • Geomagic Capture for SpaceClaim
    Add-in software for SpaceClaim, combining best-in-class scanning, facet, and point cloud tools with a robust direct solid modeler, all in the same interface.
  • Geomagic Capture for Design X
    Powerful and comprehensive advanced reverse engineering that allows you to create feature-based CAD models directly from your scan data.
  • Geomagic Capture for Design Direct
    A bundle that includes SpaceClaim and the Geomagic Capture plug-in as a complete solution for those that do not have a CAD system that supports working with point data. This package is best if you have a CAD package other than SolidWorks or SpaceClaim.

Specifications 

Here are the specifications for the system:

Specification Value
Scan Speed 0.3 sec per scan
Field of View (Diagonal)/Near End – Far End 172 – 260 mm
6.77 – 10.24 in
Field of View (X-Y)/Near End – Far End 123×120 – 192×175 mm
4.84×4.72 – 7.56×6.89 in
Clearance Distance 300 mm
11.81 in
Depth of Field 180 mm
7.09 in
Resolution Average Points 985,000 per scan
Average Polygons 1.97 million per scan
Point to Point Distance 0.162 mm
0.000638 in
(at center of volume)
Accuracy / Near End – Far End 60 – 118 microns
Calibration Pre-calibrated

geomagic-capture-brochureYou can also download the brochure here.

Try it on Your Part

The best way to see if this is the right scanner for you is to contact PADT and have us do a scanning job for you.  As always with PADT we will not just do the work, but we will show you what we did and help you to see what your best solution is.

The Pets of PADT – March 2014

You can tell a lot about a person from their pets.  But what can you tell about a company?  We recently decided to share pictures of everyone’s pet to learn a bit more about each other, and to spend a little bit of time ooh’ing and ahh’ing over how cute some of these guys are. 

Enjoy:

Happy PI Day: 3.14

i 8 sum pi and it was greatBest wishes to everyone who loves math and enjoys being irrational and transcendental.  

Have you ever really thought about the fact that dividing  the distance around a circle by the width of a circle is an irrational number? That means that at least one of the distances can not be a whole number.  Have you ever really thought about that… you know who you are if you have.

A bunch of people brought fresh pies in this morning to share, and we shall all spend a little bit of time celebrating Pi.  We will also make fun of those weird people who somehow think e is a better number to get excited about… losers.

Here are some clever pi Pies I found on the interweb.  My favorite is the book pi pie.
google-pies

Introduction to APDL Book Turns One

PADT-Intro-APDL-coverWe got our monthly report from Amazon on our book  “Introduction to the ANSYS Parametric Design Language (APDL)” and we noticed that it has been one year since we published it.  This was our first foray into self publishing so we thought it was worth noting that it has been a year.

Being engineers, we are kind of obsessed with numbers.  The first number is a bit discouraging, 194 units sold.  That is not going to make any best seller lists (more on lessons learned below).  51% were sold on Amazon.com, 19% by Amazon Europe, and 16% on Amazon UK, with 13% sold by non-Amazon affiliates.  

Lessons Learned

This is our first time doing self publishing we have learned some lessons worth sharing:

  1. You can’t publish a work document as an e-book.  
    We figured we would format it for a paper book, then just publish the same file as an e-book.  WRONG.  The formatting, didn’t translate at all. If it was a novel, it would have worked fine, but with all the figures and code, it was a mess. So we took it off the site.  We have received feedback that this has kept some people from buying the book.
  2. Reviews matter.
    We got one review, and it was not good because they bought the E-Book (see 1).We have resisted the temptation to publish our own review… everyone does it… It would be great if anyone reading this could put up a review.
  3. We should have done this 5 years ago.
    The reality is that APDL usage is down as ANSYS Mechanical keeps getting better and better.  So the need to do advanced APDL scripting is not what it used to be. Plus, many new users are never exposed to APDL.
  4. Amazon fiddles with your price.
    It may or may not be a bad thing, but Amazon lowers your price if their affiliates start selling a book for less than you originally set the price at.  So the initial $75 price has gone as low as $55 when demand was high (several copies a week!).  In that the whole thing is an experiment, this has caused no grief but it is something to be aware of.
  5. Overall, the whole process was easy and a nice business model
    Let’s be honest, there is not a huge demand for a book like this. The CreateSpace.com (owned by Amazon) model is a great model for niche publishing like this. It was easy to upload, easy to monitor, and those fat royalty checks (what is the emoticon for sarcasm?) come in once a month. The best part is that because it is print-on-demand, there is no need pay for an inventory up front.

If you don’t have a copy (and only 190 some of you do so I’m guessing you don’t) head on over to our page on amazon and check it out.  You can spin it around and see the front and back cover!

If you are one of the select few, maybe write a review and help us out a bit?

PADT Turns 20 Today

PADt-20-Logo-Rect-500wAt 11:06 am on March 7, 1994 a clerk at the Arizona Corporation Commission placed their stamp on stack of paper titled: “Articles of Incorporation of Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc.” and a new company, and a new path in life for many people, was started.

2013-07-29 18.20.36Before that moment it had all been talk and ideas, now it was real. Still working their day jobs, the four founders spent their evenings and weekends trying to figure out how to convince customers to hire them, how to get computers to run ANSYS on, and how to raise money to buy a Stereolithography machine. Friends and Family stepped up and invested their money along with the founder’s savings to fund the crazy idea with an (in hindsight) incredibly long name.

After two decades PADT is now established and thriving, investing in other companies, and expanding into new geographies and businesses.  We could not have done it without all of the employees that have worked here through the years, the support of everyone’s family, our software and hardware partners, and of course our very loyal customers.  

There were a lot of reasons why we started PADT, and everyone that has joined us through the years has had their own impetus.  But, one common purpose motivated us in those early days, and still motivates us today:  to create a place where everyone actually wanted to go to in the morning.  That motivation will not make any business books, it has not made anyone super rich, nor will it make PADT the darling of Wall Street.    

What we can say is that after twenty years of going to work day after day, we can look back and confidently state that it is a motivation that still works today, and still makes for a more rewarding work life than many of our peers have experienced over the same two decades.

PADT-Offices
We want to thank everyone that has been on this journey with us. Everyone that has allowed us to make a living doing what we like to do, learning new things every day, and spending it with such fantastic people. 


#padt20

Comprehensive Online Course on 3D Printing Added to Lynda.com

The other day I got an email from Brenda Newhouse, the very talented owner of Newhouse Studios who helped us design and build the PADT website, on a link she had found on Lynda.com for a course on 3D Printing. Our to-do list always contained “produce comprehensive 3D printing online course” but we never got around to it. Now we don’t have to. (yay!)
up-and-running-with-3d-printing
The people at Lynda.com have created a really nice course that shocked us in its detail and accuracy, at least the parts we could look at for free. The listing of topics backs this up.  With the recent hype around 3D Printing, we often see postings that are mostly hyperbole or just wrong. Kacie Hultgren, the creator of this course, really knows what she is doing and covers all of the bases.  The production looks very professional as well… certainly not someone holding a phone while their buddy talks. 

You can get an overview here:

http://www.lynda.com/3D-Animation-Prototyping-tutorials/Up-Running-3D-Printing/151814-2.html 

It looks like Lynda.com charges $25/month, which is very reasonable.  If you are new to 3D Printing and want to learn more, this looks to be a great place to start.

New Open Position at PADT: Product Design Engineer

PADT Employees

We thought we were catching up by recently filling two open positions: CFD Simulation Engineer and a sales position in Utah.  But then another opportunity opened up to add a full time Product Design Engineer in support of PADT’s line of products for cleaning additive manufacturing parts.  Although this position will work with our Product Development team, it is actually part of our advanced manufacturing group since the role focuses exclusively on a single product line which that group designs, manufactures, and supports.   The job description is listed below, and can be found on our Careers Page along with the other currently open positions:

Electrical Engineer/Project Lead 
IT Support Engineer
Sales Support Specialist, 3D Printing
Product Design Engineer

Follow the directions on the Careers Page to apply. And by all means, feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.

Product Design Engineer

Job Overview:

This position primarily performs electro-mechanical engineering design, development, and validation for circulating tank products used alongside 3D Printing equipment. The product design engineer reports to the product manager and develops detailed requirements; creates the design in CAD; performs design analyses as needed; selects materials and components; creates component specifications and procures prototypes; works together with other engineering specialties and manufacturing to optimize performance, ease-of-use, reliability, and cost in the context of the overall product requirements.

Specific Tasks:

  • Design and develop new products or improvements to existing products, based on product requirements in collaboration with electrical engineering, industrial design, manufacturing, and other expertise as needed
  • Assist in development of proof-of-concept tests; procure parts and assemble test rigs; perform testing
  • Construct designs and engineering drawings in CAD files used by engineering and manufacturing
  • Generate component specifications, BOMs, and other required product documentation
  • Work with suppliers to develop unique components or understand component limitations
  • Help develop product validation and durability tests
  • Produce and maintain design-related documentation such as design analyses, CAD drawings, BOMs, technical specifications, and test results
  • Troubleshoot production engineering problems when requested; document changes

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • BSME with a minimum 10 yrs experience in electro-mechanical product design
  • Experience with electronic controls, US made band heating elements, motors, fasteners and design for manufacturability a plus
  • Knowledge of manufacturing and assembly processes and variation
  • Comfortable working in a team environment to produce a design
  • Proficient in SolidWorks 3D (preferred) or similar CAD tool
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills

Happy (nerdy) Valentine’s Day

Valentines-day
We could not pass up trying out one of the online aps that generate Valentine’s Day candy hearts. 

Good fun.  It didn’t take long to find a FFT for a standard heart beat (the equation) and maybe only the rotating machinery types among you will get the blue one’s message. 

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

Time and Date Set for PADT’s 20th Anniversary Party

PADt-20-Logo-Rect-500wPADT’s anniversary party committee (yes, there are some “The Office” similarities) has been busy planning and making preliminary arrangements.  The date and time have been set.

The invitations will go out the first week in March, but you do not have to wait to put it on your calendar:

PADT’s 20th Anniversary Party

When April 10, 2014
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
   
Where PADT’s Tempe Office
ASU Research Park
7755 S Research Dr, Suite 110
Tempe, AZ 85284

You can enter it yourself or add it via an iCal file with this link.  

You can also learn more at www.padtinc.com/20

We are sampling food from food trucks this week and will be making our choice on the catering soon.  This will be a fun and meaningful event for us, and we hope that as many of you as possible will join.

#padt20

Another Job Opening at PADT: Sales Support Specialist, 3D Printing

PADt-20-Logo-Rect-500wPADT had a record year in 2013 reselling and supporting Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) systems from Stratasys.  So good, that our team was swamped with all of the activity, especially as Stratasys continues to add new systems and materials.  In order to make 2014 another fantastic year in this area, we have opened a new position: Sales Support Specialist, 3D Printing.  This person will work with sales management, the salespeople, our suppliers, and our admin staff to make the whole process more efficient, and to allow us to be more responsive to our customers needs.  Here is the description for the position:

Sales Support Specialist, 3D Printing

PADT, the Southwest’s leading provider of engineering products and services, has an immediate opening within our 3D Printer sales team for the position of Sales Support Specialist.  This position will report to the manager of the team and has three roles focused on helping the sales team run effectively, efficiently, and exceed business objectives. The first role is to maintain the relationship between PADT and the hardware suppliers that PADT resells for by managing and coordinating the flow of information between parties. The second role includes planning and organizing marketing activities for the products being sold.  This includes providing assistance to the sales team across four states by scheduling and managing technical and administrative resources.  The final role is to work as an inside salesperson, frequently contacting existing customers to sell 3D printing material, maintenance contracts, and other services.  Time will be spent evenly working within these three responsibilities. 

Requirements:

  • BS or equivalent degree
  • Inside sales experience
  • Self-directed, proactive, and very organized
  • Able to communicate quickly and effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Enjoys and is good at multitasking
  • Strong Microsoft Office skills
  • Comfortable making a large number of phone calls
  • Experience coordinating marketing activities such as: trade shows, mailing campaigns, seminars, etc…
  • Enjoys being involved in new, leading edge technology

Preferred but not required

  • Outside sales experience

This position is located at PADT’s Tempe, AZ facility and all applicants must be US Citizens or Legal Residents.

You can also see the position, along with our other open postings and how to apply, on our career page.

Our current openings are:

3D Color Printing: Stratasys Publishes Nice White Paper on Maximizing Multi-Material and Color 3D Printing

connex3-machine
Stratasys just released a nice white paper on the uses of their new color technology in the Objet500 Connex3 system.  This machine is more than just a way to print parts in a variety of colors, it allows you to load three different materials, including colors. 
3D-Color-Printing-Colors-1The paper goes in to some detail on how the technology works, what the advantages are, and offers some use cases where beta testers in industry were able to apply the technology on their projects.  If you are interested in 3D Printing in general, and printing color parts in particular, you should download the white paper.

 3D-Color-Printing-Pressure-Contour-1As always, if you can contact PADT at 480.813.4884 or sales@padtinc.com. Or visit our website.

Triplex-Helmet_960x350