PADT on Local TV Talking About 3D Printing

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The general public’s interest in 3D Printing has taken us all a bit by surprise. We know it is a popular topic but we were shocked when a local TV station (ABC15 – KNXV) called us up and wanted to do some filming of 3D printers in action, answer some questions they had about the technology so they could make sure they got it right in the story,  and talk to someone about 3D Printing.  Tey ended up getting a copy of the reporters head as well. Here is the result:

The List: The Futurist: 3D Printing a beak, a break and something in vain

It is not the first time that PADT has been on TV, but the first time we have made it on beyond background shots or public access.  They edited out all of the brilliant and insightful comments, which is expected.  What was nice is they really did not get anything wrong in the story and they spelled our name right!

A Look at the “First to File” Change to Patents in the US

On March 16th of this year (last Saturday) there was a major change to how you claim rights to an idea in the US, and it came and went without much fanfare.  That is when the US changed from a “first-to-invent” system for deciding who gets to rights to an idea to a “first-to-file” system.  It snuck up on me as well. I remember when the “America Invents Act” was passed and signed in 2011, and I remember thinking “I should remember this”  but it got here and I forgot.  So I did a little research to make sure I understood what was going on and I have shared what I found here.

I recommend you start with the Wired.com article that started me on my search, it is a good overview. After googleing around for a while I found that most of the on-line information was the same, they were just rephrasing the USPTO press releases.  This is my summary:

  • This is a big shift. Instead of documenting when you came up with an idea in a note book on some other type of system, you now just have to file your idea first. This is the more common practice around the world.
  • They passed this law to avoid all of the cost of litigating when you are trying to prove who came up with an idea first.  Now it does not matter, it is whoever gets their paperwork submitted first. 
  • The definition of prior art is also changed, meaning that if you disclose your invention to the public anywhere in the world, you have stuck your claim in the ground and you have 12 months to file a patent before anyone else can. You basically get a one-year head start if you just share your ideas with the public and can document it.
  • But if you use this exception you give up some rights in other countries.
  • If someone is using an idea but did not patent it, and someone else develops the same idea independently, then the first person can still use the idea even if a patent is issued to the second person.  This is prior use and it comes in to play often with trade secrets. You use your trade secret to make a product, then someone else independently develops the same idea and gets a patent, they can not sue you. You have to right to keep using it if you can prove commercial use.
  • A confidential sale of a product containing patented technology no longer starts the 1 year period to file a patent.
  • The cost of getting a patent has changed, mostly going up.
  • How you appeal things has changed. Honestly, I do not understand the current process well enough to get a feel for the new process.

This should get your started with a basic foundation so you can go to the US Patent and Trademark Office site and really dig in to the actual details:

www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/index.jsp

Unfortunately the law itself is not a new law, but it edits the current laws so I found it very hard to follow.  The Wikipedia page is a bit easier to follow and seems to cover most things, even some of the more obscure aspects of the law.  The National Law Review also provides a pretty good summary

What Does this Mean to Me, My Company, My Startup?

It means a lot.  The days of jotting an idea in a book and getting it notarized are now a thing of the past. Whoever is in charge of your intellectual property policies and processes should have already made changes in your organization (I missed that boat by a bit). Here are some thoughts:

  • You still need to keep good track of ideas and when you had them. You still need to prove that you really invented the thing and you did not steal it.
  • You should also link those ideas to when they were first used commercially. Tracking prior use of trade secrets is now very important when avoiding a patent infringement case.
  • Look at filing patents or at least provisional patents much sooner.  This means:
  • You need to budget a lot more for IP protection
  • Or, you need to decide early on that an idea is not worth protecting, you can no longer wait to act because you have the invention event documented.
  • How US patent law relates to foreign patent law has changed. And when foreign countries recognize a US patent has changed. If this impacts you, then get an understanding of it.
  • As always with anything legal, you need to get hold of your lawyer and discuss this with them.  As everyone goes down this path things will change, especially as everyone starts litigating. But in the long run, this should reduce litigation and make things simpler.  Just be aware of the change and adapt to it.

    Innovation Arizona Website: InnovationAZ.com

    Innovation_Arizona_Website

    It is here.  And it is really well done.

    InnovationAZ.com

    Arizona has been a place where the pioneering spirit, innovation, and good old fashioned brain power could combine to make entrepreneurial successes.  But until now, the fact that Arizona is so spread out and that Arizonans tend to be so independent meant that there has been no single place to go to learn about what is going on, what is available, and who the players in this area are.

    With today’s launch of InnovationAZ.com that has changed.  After spending a some time delving through the pages I can tell you that the Arizona Commerce Authority has done a great job pulling this dynamic and changing community together in one place on the web. Sections include:

    • Programs for entrepreneurs
    • Resources for anyone involved in innovation
    • A review of the Tech Community in Arizona including who is here, what makes the state such a successful place for technology companies, and what industries thrive here.
    • A comprehensive guide to funding of all types that is available in the state

    Check it out, I already learned a thing or three I did not know before I scanned the sight. While you are at it check out the sister sites:  azaerospace.com and azsolarstate.com.

    On the Road for Three Different Shows, Three Different States

    It’s been a busy couple of weeks for PADT, jetting around the four-corner region for technical conferences.  Three in fact.

    The first was the 2013 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Annual Meeting & Exhibit in Denver, Colorado.   We were focusing on simulation for this event, with Flownex and ANSYS. We were not however, focusing our camera phone, this is the best picture we got:

    PADT-SME-Mining-Denver-2013Next was an event near and dear to our heart, the 2nd Annual Aerospace & Defense Requirements Conference put on by the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority. Since so many of our employees grew up in the Arizona Aerospace community, it was great to see old co-workers and a large number of our customers at the event, held at the Scottsdale Hilton. At this event we were able to highlight how all of PADT’s services and products can benefit our Aerospace and Defense customers.

    PADT-AZ-A_and_D-2013

    And just this week, our team in Utah was at the  Wasatch Front Materials Expo (WFME) for the local Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) conference at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.  This was a great opportunity to show of the use of FDM and PolyJet 3D Printing technology from Stratasys for prototyping and tooling.

    PADT-at-WFME-2013

    Look for a PADT booth at these upcoming Events:

    05/02/2013:    2013 ANSYS Convergence Conference – Irvine CA

    05/30/2013:  2013 ANSYS Convergence Conference – Santa Clara CA

    06/03/2013 – 06/07/2013:  ASME Turbo Expo 2013

    06/12/2013 – 06/13/2013: 2013 ANSYS Convergence Conference – Houston TX

    07/15/2013 – 07/16/2013:  ACTEAZ 2013 ACTE Summer Conference

    We hope to see you there!

     

     

    Direct Coupled-Field Elements in Mechanical APDL

    We received one of those tech support calls last week that you hate getting.  It was something like “I need to transfer my ANSYS model to this other FEA package, how do I do that?”  We of course asked “Why do you need to go to this other package?” The answer was “Because they have elements that solve for stress and thermal degrees of freedom in the same element.”  Well, so does ANSYS Mechanical APDL, and it has for years.  But as a Workbench user they had only been exposed to Multiphysics that uses Load transfer as the mechanism to solve different domains in the same run

    Therefore, a The Focus posting is born.

    In this posting we will go over the basics of direct coupled-field elements and simulation to make everyone aware of what is available.

    Direct Coupled-Field vs. Load Transfer

    When most people talk about Multiphysics they are talking about Fluid-Structural Interaction (FSI) or some other interaction between two different models where the program solves each physics by itself and transfers the resulting values from one physics as a load on the next physics.  This is called load transfer Multiphysics and it is very useful and powerful.  But it requires a solve for each physics for each step in your solving process, and often more because you have to iterate back and forth between physics till things converge before you can move to the next substep.

    There is a whole other way to do Multiphysics if you have the same mesh for each physics: you can modify your finite element equations to cover all the different physics in one set of equations, therefore in one matrix, and therefore in one pass through the solver for each solve.  This capability has been in the ANSYS Mechanical APDL solver for a very long time and has been expanded over time to cover some surprising combinations of physics.

    So when should you use one over the other? That depends. Here are some thoughts:

    • Load Transfer Approach:
      • Your meshes need to be or are different
      • Fluid flow with something other then heat-transfer
    • Direct Approach:
      • The interaction between two physics is strongly coupled
      • The interaction is non-linear
      • Acoustics is involved
      • Piezoelectric is involved
      • Porous fluid flow is involved
      • Diffusion is involved

    In general, if you can use Direct Coupling and you know MAPDL well, it is the preferred way to go, it is just a lot easier to do. But if you are not familiar with MAPDL for running and post processing, you may be better off with the Load Transfer approach.

    The Coupled-Field Elements

    You access the coupled-field capabilities in the solver through the use of the coupled-field elements.  Although there are some legacy elements that can be used as well, we will focus on the three standard coupled-field elements. They all have the same capability, and just vary in topology:

    • PLANE223: 2D 8 Node Quad
    • SOLID226: 3D 20 Node Hex
    • SOLID227: 3D 10 Node Tet

    All of these support the following physics, DOF’s, forces and reaction loads:

    Field DOF Label Force Label Reaction Solution
    Structural UX, UY, UZ FX, FY, FZ Force
    Thermal TEMP HEAT Heat Flow
    Electric Conduction VOLT AMPS Electric Current
    Electrostatic/Piezo VOLT CHRG Electric Charge
    Diffusion CONC RATE Diffusion Flow Rate

    You use a combination of KEYOPTS and material properties to enable the various types of coupling.  Take a look at the element documentation to see how it all works.

    In addition to these, there are some specialty elements worth discussion. The first are FLUID29/FLUID30. These are the Acoustic field elements. These solve for displacement and pressure. They also can share the displacement DOF’s with structural elements where they touch.

    Unfortunately the electromagnetic coupled field elements have been put on legacy status, as ANSYS Maxwell is where the development effort is going in this area. But you can still use them for coupled-field simulation that involves the MAG degree of freedom.  The elements are: PLANE13, SOLID5, SOLID98. ANSYS MAPDL still has actively supported electromagnetic elements, but they are electromagnetic only and do no support displacement or thermal degrees of freedom.

    Flow in a fully saturated porous media can be modeled with the Coupled Pore-Pressure elements. These elements: CPT212/213/215/216/217, solve for pressure and deflection and are used for things like modeling nuclear waste issues, soil subsidence, oil well stability, and bone deformation and healing.

    We should also mention that ANSYS supports circuit simulation using the CIRCU124 element.  This element can be coupled to other elements that have VOLT, CURR, or EMF capability.

    image

    Running Direct Coupled-Field Multiphysics in ANSYS Mechanical APDL

    When I wrote this section heading it seemed like a good idea. But this is supposed to be a short blog entry and not a full one day training class. So I will wimp out and share where you can find more information in the help:

    There is a whole manual dedicated to coupled-field analysis: Mechanical APDL // Coupled Field Analysis Guide. Within that guide is the Direct Coupled-Field Analysis section, Chapter 2.  In it you will not only find discussions about how to do what you need to do, but also a whole bunch of simple examples that are very helpful.

    In general, you run like any other simulation.  There is really nothing special or unique and you do not have to deal with managing the load transfer like you do with load transfer coupled field simulations.

    Running Direct Coupled-Field Multiphysics in ANSYS Mechanical

    This is a question that comes up a lot. Unfortunately only one type of direct coupling is supported, Thermal-Electric.  What we recommend people do is they build their models in ANSYS mechanical for one of the physics, then use code snippets to change the elements to the proper direct coupled-field type and to also do any post processing. It will run when you solve, but it will come back with an error, and you need to post processes via APDL code or you need to post process in MAPDL interactively.

    NEW INFO:  Edward points out in the comment below that you can get this to work.  I’ll repeat it here:

    “We’ve had some success post-processing U-TEMP-VOLT analyses in Mechanical. Mechanical seems to accept a model as solved, so long as it sees a result file of the correct type in the Solver Files directory. The coupled field analysis in this case output a .rst file, so we used a Static Structural object as the base model. 
    We could access the structural results directly and used User-defined results to access most of the thermal and electric results.
    I seem to recall that we also had success using a Thermal analysis as a base and then changing the result file extension from .rst to .rth, but I can’t find my test model to confirm this.”

    I can verify that both of these approaches work. I added a /sys, copy file.rst to file.rth to a code segment for the thermal base.  But it was simpler to just use the structural as the base.  If you do this you can do your post processing for the most part in ANSYS Mechanical. [E. Miller 3/28/2013)

    Thoughts

    So this was, as promised, a very high level overview. The fact of the matter is that there are a significant number of users, especially in the MEMS industry, that use these direct coupled-field elements all the time.  They are powerful and robust with as many uses as you can dream up, truly expanding the reach of what you can model and the accuracy of those models.

    Over the years we have found some good tricks for using these elements effectively:

    1. Pick one of the physics and get a static run of that physics by itself running first. Debugging your model this way is usually faster and clears out any issues before you deal with the direct coupling issues. If you have more than two physics, add them in one at a time.
    2. Pay attention to units. When you start mixing voltage and distance or what not, it is easy to get confused. If you are doing MEMS devices, you need to make sure you are using the MEMS units and that you are consistent.  Unlike ANSYS Mechanical, ANSYS Mechanical APLD is unitless and requires the user to make sure the are consistent across physics.
    3. Try not to use the legacy elements if you don’t have to. They may not be around in the future.
    4. If you are doing EMAG, you may want to look at using load coupling with Maxwell or MAPDL instead of using the legacy direct coupled elements.  Maxwell and the newer elements in MAPDL have more capabilities and are more efficient.
    5. Make sure you really understand how your physics interact. Go through the thought experiment of predicting the interaction on as simple of a problem as you can, while keeping it relevant. Think about what loads interact with what structures and what that interaction implies.

    Introduction to the ANSYS Parametric Design Language (APDL) Book Now Available on Amazon!

    PADT-Intro-APDL-Amazon-PagePADT’s popular “ANSYS Customization with the ANSYS Parametric Design Language Guide” Has been updated and reformatted as a book and published as “Introduction to the ANSYS Parametric Design Language”  in both softcover and Kindle formats.

    This book started life as a class that PADT taught for many years. Then over time people asked if they could buy the notes.  And then they asked for a real book.  The bulk of the content came from Jeff Strain with input from most of our technical staff.  Much of the editing and new content was done by Susanna Young and Eric Miller.

    Here is the Description from Amazon.com:

    The definitive guide to the ANSYS Parametric Design Language (APDL), the command language for the ANSYS Mechanical APDL product from ANSYS, Inc. PADT has converted their popular “Introduction to APDL” class into a guide so that users can teach themselves the APDL language at their own pace. Its 12 chapters include reference information, examples, tips and hints, and eight workshops. Topics covered include:
    – Parameters
    – User Interfacing
    – Program Flow
    – Retrieving Database Information
    – Arrays, Tables, and Strings
    – Importing Data
    – Writing Output to Files
    – Menu Customization

    At only $75.00 it is an investment that will pay for itself quickly.  Even if you are an ANSYS Mechanical user, you can still benefit from knowing APDL, allowing you to add code snippets to your models. We have put some images below and you can also learn more and purchase your copy on Amazon.com.  They can ship anywhere in the world.

    PADT-Intro-APDL-cover

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      PADT-Intro-APDL-pg100-101

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    Arizona SciTech Festival Open House Pictures (2/26/2013)

    PADT SLS Prototype of Hands Holding Gears
    PADT SLS Prototype of Hands Holding Gears

    The kind people from the Arizona ScitTech Festival posted some pictures from the Open House that PADT held as part of the SciTech Festival and How It’s Made Arizona.

    Some great pictures of our guests and our fantastic employees.

    View the slide show here.

    We can’t wait to do it again next year.

    Six Things to Do when Shopping for a 3D Printer

    Stratasy-Mojo-3D-Printer-in-Shopping-CartPADT has been in this prototyping business for a while, even before we called the machines that make physical parts directly from computer models a 3D Printer.  When we started it was rapid prototyping and we have purchased maybe a dozen machines for our own use, and sold several hundred to our customers.  As the cost of these systems comes down and the number of people interested in having their own 3D Printer goes up, we thought it would be a good time to share our experience with choosing systems with the community.

    Here are six things that every person should do when they are shopping for a 3D printer. We even recommend that you write these down and fill out a form before you contact the first vendor.

    Thing 1:  Understand What you will use your Parts For

    This seems obvious. You would not be looking for a 3D printer unless you knew you needed one and you knew what you needed it for.  But in reality it is very easy to get caught up in how powerful and just plane cool this technology is and you start thinking about what you can do, and you forget what you need to do.  The best way to approach this is to not think about which technology you may end up with, that will point you in one direction or another. Just assume you push a button and a prototype of your part comes out. What would you actually use it for?

    The key here is to be honest. If the reality is that your receptionist really likes models of Japanese Anime characters, and you plan on making models of such in an attempt to get her attention, then be honest about that. You need a printer with the detail and perhaps color capability for that. But if you really think about it you probably need one to make patterns for doing custom composite layups, so your use will be very different and the so will the system you need.  She probably will be just impressed with your layup tooling. Well, maybe not but your boss will.

    image

    Our experience tells us that customers often get hung up on features that they get excited about, but when you look at the end use of their prototypes, they really do not need some of those features.  We have seen people buy a machine because it was the only one that did this one thing they got fixated on. But in the end, they only make two prototypes that need it a year and the other 137 prototypes they make are kind of sucky.  Make a list of all the uses and put a guess next to them that shows the percentage of parts that fit into that use.  A typical example would be:

    • 35% Mockups for design reviews
    • 25% Models for the machine shop and vendors to help them plan machining
    • 15% Fixtures for testing
    • 10% Consumer testing and marketing mockups for ad campaigns
    • 10% Fit models to build
    •   5% Other

    Thing 2: Benchmark the Machines on your Geometry

    DinoFingersClose-TangoGrayHR

    When we run into someone that is unhappy with their 3D Printer, three out of four timeswe find out that it just does not perform like they thought it would.  And if we dig deeper we find out that when they were shopping for a printer, they just looked at parts that the various vendors gave them. Demo parts. They never made a variety of their own typical parts.  This is especially true if they ended up buying a lower cost machine.

    Here is a secret of every person selling a 3D Printer, that probably is no secret to you. They pick the demo parts they show you because those parts look really good on their technology. And if you are not closely familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each technology, there is no way for you to know that the parts they showed you may be the only parts that actually look good on that technology.

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    Get four or five parts that are typical parts that you would prototype, and have them made on each technology.  Even if the vendor tells you they can only afford to make one sample part for you (with the cost coming down the margins on these machines is low so few in the business can do a bunch of free parts for every potential sale),  go ahead and pay money to get your geometry made.  You may be shocked by the results, especially on some of the newer low cost machines.

    Thing 3: Ignore Hype or the Herd

    Any fast growing industry has a lot of hype, and a lot of mob pressure to go with one technology over another.  3D Printing is no different, and in fact it is worse because this technology is so cool and interesting.  The problem with hype and herd mentality is that the company with the best public relations people or with the “hippest” story gets all the attention regardless of the technology. And it feeds on itself. They get more attention because they got more attention.

    A case in point is the recent introduction of a hand-held fused deposition modeling system.  Very cool, lots of hype and interest.  But really, who could use that for real work?  Even a hobbyist is going to struggle with making anything useful with a tool like that. But there is a lot of hype around it right now and a huge amount of interest. I’ve had a taxi driver mention it to me when he asked what I do.

    It is human nature to want to be part of something big. So it is hard to push that aside and look at each 3D Printer you are evaluating on its own merit. Not what the press is saying, not what other people are touting, not what is the newest and flashiest.  We are talking basic “make me a useable part” here.  Look at it with basic and non-influenced eyes.

    Thing 4: Calculate the Total, Long Term Cost

    Of all the things listed here, this may be the hardest to do. There are so many costs that go into making prototypes. The initial cost of the machine is small compared to all the other costs. What we recommend you do is make a spreadsheet and list cost items in the first column, and create rows for each 3D Printer you are looking at, then fill it out. We like to put in the cost over three years.

    Here are some cost items we recommend people include:

    • System
    • Cleaning system
    • Facility modification costs
    • Build and support material
    • Cleaning materials
    • Maintenance fees
    • Labor to prepare jobs
    • Labor to post process jobs
    • Facility square footage for machines, cleaning equipment, material storage, etc…
    • Scrap rate cost (some systems have a higher scrap rate, you need to include the cost of lost time and material because of that)

    Thing 5: Honestly Prioritize the Features you Want and Need

    It is always a good idea to make a “want” and “need” list, regardless of what you are purchasing.  When you are dealing with a set of technologies with so much buzz around it, we feel it is doubly important.  Sitting down and making a list, then justifying it to someone else clarifies what you should be looking for more than anything.

    We also recommend that you prioritize the list.  Marking things as Want and Need is a first step, then every one of those should also be ranked in order of importance.  You can use a point scheme or you can just put them in order from most to least.  This will help you sort through the gee-whiz stuff and truly understand where the value of your investment in 3D Printing can be found.

    Needless to say, it is critical that you finish Thing 1, and refer to it, when completing this step.

    Thing 6: Figure Out what is Good Enough, then Ask for More

    OK, maybe this one sounds like a sales pitch: “You know what you really want, but really, trust me, you need more.”  Experience tells us that this is actually true. When you are talking 3D Printing we run into customer after customer that felt the system they purchased was “good enough” for their needs then they realize it does not do what they need.  And in most cases it is because they really needed a bigger machine, or they needed a more robust material than they thought.

    The last thing you want to do is invest in a 3D Printer then six months later try and turn it in to get one that is bigger, faster, more precise, or that runs a better material.   Now you are still paying for the more expensive system and you wasted money on the less expensive one.  Be honest, upgrade in the beginning to what you really need in the long run not what you think you can get by with in the short run. Because, in the end, you will save money and have better parts.

    Doing the Six Things and Getting that 3D Printer

    You know you want one. You actually probably need one. We have been doing this for a long time and almost every customer that has made an intelligent investment feels like the investment has been a positive one. And by intelligent investment, we do not want to imply that they bought a system from PADT (although statistically that may be true). What we have found is that these companies took their time, they used some variation of the steps listed above, and they treated their purchase as a long term investment.

    You too can make a smart choice and make in-house 3D Printing part of your company, job, or even hobby.  PADT is here ready to help you with that choice.  We can show you the complete line of fused deposition and Polyjet 3D Printers from Stratasys. We can also provide some advice on what we think is a good fit for your needs, and help you capture data for the six things we have outlined here.  And don’t forget, we have a full 3D Printing services offering, with all the major systems and materials. So we can show you the advantages of all of them by providing you with your outsourced parts while you look for an in-house solution.

    Stratasys Objet Polyjet Systems

    Orthosensor on TV

    We always love to see PADT customers get mentioned in the media, so we were very happy to see that Orthosensor’s Knee Balancer making the news:

    Orthosensor-Fox-Video

     

    Although they do not get a shout out by name, we know that device very well because we have worked on it with Orthosensor and their Arizona team is actually located within PADT’s Tempe facility.  You can learn more about this device by visiting here.

    We hope to see more of this product as its use spreads.

    We expect to see even more of this product as more and more doctors start adopting it in their pr

    PADT Joins AMIGOS and Arizona Mining Association

    PADT-Mining-Association-Memberships

    After working with the mining industry in Arizona for years, we have finally gotten around to joining the two professional groups that work with the industry: Arizona Mining & Industry Get our Support, better known as AMIGOS, and the Arizona Mining Association.  We are excited about being able to contribute more to the Arizona mining community through these two groups.

    Mining is still a dominant industry in the state, especially copper mining with the state providing 68% of the copper produced in the US in 2011.  PADT has supplied software and hardware to both large multinational mining companies, equipment suppliers, and small consultants.  We have also provide simulation of mining processes and airflow in mines to several companies.  With the addition of Flownex to our product and services offering, our involvement with the industry has grown even more.

    But, to be honest, by far and away the coolest part of being involved with mining in all of the states we work in is when we get to go visit a mine, or get to look up close at the huge equipment our customers make.  This is some cool engineering.  We plan on doing visiting new mines and exploring more equipment as we get more involved with these groups.

    If you are interested in joining either group, click here.

    2013 Cleantech Open Launch

    CleanTech Open LogoLast night was the kickoff gathering for the Rocky Mountain region of the Cleantech Open at the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. It was a great gathering where all of the fantastic volunteers who run the event and provide mentoring get some much deserved recognition.

    Cleantech-Open-2013-launch-denver-Eric-Miller
    2013-Rocky-Mountain-Cleantech-Open-LaunchBetter yet, midnight was the official start for the 2013 Cleantech Open.  If you are involved in a Cleantech startup of any kind, or know someone who is, we strongly recommend that you apply to participate in this years competition. PADT is involved in a lot of startup organizations, accelerators, and incubators, and we have never seen an activity that adds so much value for their participants, giving those that make it through the process with a huge head start on success.

    Apply here

    Don’t know about the Cleantech Open? Here is a blurb from their website:

    The Cleantech Open provides entrepreneurs and technologists the resources needed to launch and create successful and sustainable clean technology companies. We do this through our accelerator programs which provide participants with training, mentoring, infrastructure, relationships and funding opportunities to help grow them into world-class cleantech companies.

    Since its inception in 2006, the Cleantech Open has awarded over $5 million in cash and services to support cleantech growth companies. The 727 participating companies in the Cleantech Open’s accelerator programs have raised more than $750 million in external capital.

    They also have a great video from last years finals that explains the value of the whole competition:

    PADT is very proud to be a regional sponsor and is looking forward to also volunteering throughout the year.

    If you have any interest in joining those that are using technology and capitalism to solve the mound of energy and environmental problems that we face, consider getting involved in the Cleantech Open.  You will not regret it.

    PADT Adds Stratasys Polyjet 3D Printers from Objet to Product Offering

    Stratasys-Objet1000-350w

    PADT is proud to announce that we are officially certified to resell the full line of Stratasys products, including the newly added Polyjet 3D Printers from Objet.  We were very pleased when Objet and Stratasys decided to merge to become the new Stratasys, and we have been waiting patiently for the legal merger to take place, and then for the two organizations to merge their businesses.  Now that wait is over and PADT just completed our sales and support training for the Polyjet product line and we can offer it to customers in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada.

    Here is a family photo of the line:

    Stratasys_polyjet_machines_portfolio-500wAs you can see, they start with small desktop systems and work their way up to the monster Objet1000, a true beast of a machine capable of printing parts up to 39 inches long!

    Artistic 3D Printed Prototype in Rigid Blue Material
    Objet1000_bicycle-lowDinosaur3Dprinted
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    There are two key characteristics that really sets these systems apart: The variety of materials available and the precision of the parts they make.Because the Polyjet systems use ink-jet printer heads, they lay down small droplets of photocurable material.  So the resolution of each layer can be up to 600 dpi, and the layers themselves can be very thin, as thin as 16 microns.The same ink-jet technology also allows for the use of such a wide variety of material.  Over 100 different materials can be made by mixing two different materials during the build.  This allows materials the have the properties of ABS, Polypropylene, rubber, or transparent plastic.  And materials can vary on a given layer or from layer to layer.Another set of ink-jet heads allow for the deposition of a water soluble support material, that is easily washed away to make the post processing of parts made on a Polyjet machine simple and fast.

    We cold go on and on about this technology, or you can see it for yourself. As we mentioned, this technology is not new to PADT, so we know a lot about it and are eager to share what we have learned over the years.  If you want to learn more, simply contact us and we will be ready to answer your questions, show you some machines, and help determine if Polyjet technology is the right fit for you.

    You can also check out our new Polyjet product pages, where you can find brochures and videos that give a lot more information.

    And look for more information on this blog as we share stories, tips, and hints on the use of these systems.

    View the official press release here.

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    Scitech Festival & How It’s Made Arizona Open House at PADT a Big Success

    ScitechFestivalLogoWe just finished the last group and we can say that tonight’s open house at PADT was a big success.  We had over 100 visitors that came to see our facility and learn about simulation, product development, and rapid prototyping.  Our favorite was all the little kids that made it out to learn about 3D Printing.  They had the best questions and their enthusiasm was infectious.

    There were so many visitors that we didn’t have time to take too many pictures, but hopefully the folks from the Scitech Festival will have lots to share.  Here is one:

    photo

    If you missed the event, have no fear, most of what we talked about is available on our website: www.padtinc.com.

    Or if you have a group that would like a tour, just contact us and we will set it up.

    To see other events that are part of the Arizona Scitech Festival visit: azscitechfest.org.

    Colorado Cleantech Open Launch on Thursday, February 28, 2013

    CleanTech Open Logo

    PADT is honored to be the sponsor for the Cleantech Startup Launch & Learn that is being held at the South Denver Chamber of Commerce.

    Here are the details:

    Come join us for refreshments and networking with the cleantech community at the South Denver Metro Chamber as we launch the Cleantech Open 2013 Business Accelerator in the Rocky Mountain Region.

    This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, volunteers and sponsors to learn more about the organization and help lead the Cleantech revolution in the Rockies.

    Overview of Evening:

    5:00 – Networking, Food and Beverages 

    6:00 – Overview of 2013 Cleantech Open 
           – Hear from Past Alumni 
           – 2012 Accomplishments & Volunteer Appreciation         

    It is FREE, but please register so they can get a good count and have a name tag ready for you:

    http://cleantechlaunch.eventbrite.com/

    First Stop on Arizona SciTech Festival Events: Carl Hayden High School

    The next couple of weeks are going to be busy ones for our team as we shuttle equipment around the valley to take part in a couple of events.

    Tonight we set up shop at Carl Hayden High School for their open house featuring their robotics efforts:

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    Tomorrow we will be at 48-West in Chandler talking about 3D Printing and also showing off the Mojo.

    Then on the 26th we will be having an Open House as part of the SciTech Festival and “How it is Made, Arizona”.

    We hope to see some of you at one of the events!