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.

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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.

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

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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
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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:

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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!

 

 

Spaceport Colorado

HDR Chosen for Feasibility Studies for Spaceport Colorado

Spaceport ColoradoWe received great news last night that the team PADT has been working with, HDR, has been chosen to do the feasibility study on developing the Front Range Airport into Spaceport Colorado.  The Denver Post has a good summary of the effort.

Norman Stucker, our General Manager for Colorado Operations, has been a contributor to this effort to grow commercial space in Colorado. PADT has been very pleased with the support of the local business community, the governor’s office, and the legislature on this effort.

This is another important and successful step in a long but very exciting journey. Stay tuned for more!

PADT Presented with 2012 IEEE Phoenix Section Small Company of the Year Award

PADT IEEE Small Company AwardPADT is very honored to have received the “Small Company of the Year Technical Contributions Award” from the Phoenix Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at their annual award banquet held on February 9th, 2013. 

Quoting the award, it was given: “In Recognition of Developing Outstanding Engineering Services and Technologies for Companies Throughout the Southwest.”  It was a very special honor to receive this particular award because it is recognition from the local electronics business community, an important part of PADT’s customer base. As a company focused on providing products and services to customers that develop physical products, what most people consider mechanical engineering, being thanked for our contributions by a group of very hard core electrical engineers was truly touching.

Phoenix IEEE 2013 Awards BanquetThe awards banquet was well attended, there are a lot of electrical engineers in Phoenix.  Seven of PADT’s staff were able to attend, including three of the four owners.  The networking before the dinner was an enjoyable time and we were able to talk with many customers and managers of groups that we have serviced for a long time, many for over 15 years.  Some were even customers back in 1994 or 1995 when the company was just starting out.

Phoenix IEEE 2013 Awards Banquet Program

PADT IEEE Small Company AwardIt is always a privilege to be listed with other companies who are so successful and well known.  Being a co-sponsor with Freescale, Intel, and On Semiconductor, who are all also customers, was icing on the evening’s cake. 

 

 

PADT Award ShelfIt might be time to start looking for another shelf in the lobby for awards.  We placed this one between our Governor’s Celebration of Innovation and ASU Innovation Awards.  The shelves are getting so crowded that I had to move my FDM Kachina models to another shelf!

In all seriousness, we truly do appreciate the recognition that these awards signify.  They are acknowledgement from our peers and the community that what we do here at PADT is different, that by doing a good job at something you really enjoy doing, you can make a difference. 

There was time during the ceremony for a short acceptance speech. We missed filming the beginning which basically said “Thank you very much, this is an truly an honor, coming from a group made up of Electrical Engineers to a company that provides Mechanical Engineering products and services.  Most of you here are customers of PADT, and what we…” 

Here is the bulk of it:

Monster in the Closet: PADT Goes Live with 512 Core HVPC CUBE Cluster

imageThere is a closet in the back of PADT’s product development lab. It does not store empty boxes, old files, or obsolete hardware.  Within that closet is a monster.  Not the sort of monster that scares little children at night.  No, this is a monster that puts fear into the heart of those who try to paint high performance computing as a difficult and expensive task only to be undertaking by those who are in the priesthood.  It makes salespeople who earn fat commissions by selling consulting services and unnecessary add-ons quake in fear.

This closet holds PADT’s latest upgrade to our compute infrastructure: a 512 core CUBE HVPC Cluster.  No data center, no special consultants, no expensive add-ons. Just 512 cores chugging away at solving FLUENT and CFX problems, and pumping a large amount of heat up into the ceiling.

Here are the specifics:

CUBE C512 Columbia Class Cluster

  • 512 AMD 2.4GHz Cores (in 8 nodes, 4 sockets per node, 16 cores per socket)
  • 2TB RAM (256 GB per node of DDR3 1600 ECC RAM)
  • Raid Controller Card (1 per node)
  • 24TB Data Disk Space (3TB per node of SAS2 15k drives in RAID0)
  • Infiniband (8 Port switch, 40 Gbps)
  • 52 Port GIGE switch connected to 2 GIGE ports per node
  • 42 U Rack with thermal convection ducting (chimney)
  • Keyboard, monitor, mouse in drawer
  • CENTOS (switching to RedHat soon)

We built this system with CFD simulation in mind.  The original goal was to provide a proof of concept to expand our CUBE HVPC offering, showing that you can create a cluster of this size, with very good speed, for a price that small and medium sized companies can afford.  We also needed a way to run large problems for benchmarks in support of our ANSYS sales efforts and to provide faster technical support our FLUENT and CFX customers.  We already have a growing queue of benchmarks waiting to get into the machine.

The image above is the glamour shot.  Here is what it looks like in the closet:

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Keeping with our theme of High Value Performance Computing we stuck it into this closet that was built for telephone equipment and networking equipment back at the turn of the century when Motorola had this suite.  We were able to fit a modern rack in next to an old rack that was in there. We then used the included duct to push the air up into our ceiling space and moved the A/C ducting to duct right into the front of the units.  We did need to keep the flow going into the rack instead of into the area under the networking and telephone switches, so we used an old video game poster:

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Anyone remember Ratchet and Clank? 
Best PS2 games ever.

It works well and adds a little color to the closet.

So far our testing has shown some great numbers. Not the fastest cluster out there, but if you look at the cost, it offers incredible performance.   You could add a drive array over Infiniband, faster chips, and some redundant power. And it will run faster and more reliably, but it will cost much more.  We are cheap so we like this solution.

Oh yea, with the parts from our old CFD cluster and some new bits, we will be building a smaller mini-cluster using INTEL chips, a GPU or two, and a ton of fast disk and RAM as our FEA cluster.  Look for an update on that in a couple of months.

Interested in getting a cluster like this for you computing pleasure?  A system configured like this one will run about $150,000 (video game poster is extra). Visit our CUBE page to learn more or just shoot an email to sales@padtinc.com.  Don’t worry, we don’t sell these with sales people, someone from IT will get back with you.

PADT has an Immediate Opening for a CFD Engineer

We just posted a new job opening on our website for an Experienced CFD Analysis Engineer.

The bottom line is that we are looking for someone who really likes variety, who really knows their stuff, and who likes doing both services and support work.  This position will join the rest of PADT’s CFD team in conducting CFD consulting, training, mentoring, support, and application engineering. Lots of fun, very challenging, and rewarding.

If you are interested, or if you know someone that is interested, send a resume to jobs@padtinc.com.  Put [PADTJOB] in the title.

 

Suite Available in PADT’s Building at the ASU Research Park

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We have a suite opening up on May 1, 2013 in the PADT Innovation Center at the ASU Research Park in Tempe.  Everyone drives through this business park and says to themselves “I’d really like to locate here some day.”  Well now is your chance.

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Located just off Elliot and the 101, the suite is just a hair under 7,000 square feet.  It is a good mix of office and lab space and is fully air conditioned with a lot of amenities that are perfect for a high-tech company. The previous tenant designed and tested high-end smart meters from this facility.  So if you make electro-mechanical type stuff, or are a medical device company, this suite would probably be perfect. Another advantage is that PADT is one of your neighbors, and your landlord.

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If you are interested, or if you know of someone that is interested, give Scott Rand a call at 480.813.4884 or drop him an email at scott.rand@padtinc.com.  He would be more than happy to show it to you and show you around.

Stratasys and Objet Merger Complete

Stratasys

It is now official. Stratasys and Object have completed their merger to form a company worth over $3.0 Billion.  Actually, as we prepare this update it is up to $3.37B.  Obviously the markets thing this merger is a good thing.

And now Stratasys has a new logo and what we think is a great slogan: “For a 3D World”

You can read the press release here.

As a long time Stratasys distributor and a user of Objet’s and Stratasys systems in our rapid prototyping services business, we are very familiar with both product lines and look forward to the synergy of the merger.  These are two truly complimentary product lines.

Right now this merger will have no impact on how we do business with our existing customers for any of the product sales or services we offer, including sales of new systems, maintenance of existing machines, material ordering, or prototyping services with either FDM or PolyJet.  As the two companies combine organizationally we will keep everyone informed.

Learn more about the Stratasys line of Mojo, uPrint SE, Dimension, and FORTUS 3D Printers here.

Writeup on PADT Customer Ulthera in BizJournal

We just noticed a nice write-up in the Phoenix Business Journal on one of PADT Medical’s customers: Ulthera.

We are pleased to see them get the recognition they deserve for the success they have worked so hard to obtain.