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Posted on June 28, 2017, by: Eric MillerToday PADT hit a bit of a milestone, we gave out our 100th microloan over the past 10 years, to a guy named Roger Yester who makes adobe bricks in Peru. Microloans are small loans, created by pooling bite-sized amounts of money from many people, given to individuals or small groups to help them with their business. It may be to buy raw materials to fulfil an order, as is the case with our 100th loan, or to buy inventory for a small store they operate out of stall in the local village. The movement started as an alternative to high interest rate loans from predatory lenders and has grown as a way to fund people all over the world from every economic level. We put $1000 into Kiva back in June of 2007, ten years ago. (I like round numbers). We added another $500 a few years later and have been reinvesting that same capital over and over again since. This re-use of funds has lead to $7,900 lent across 100 loans. We have only had two defaults and have donated $935 to Kiva to cover overhead during that time. The loans have gone to 50 different types of enterprises, mostly agricultural. We have helped buy breeding pigs and chickens in several countries, funded a new motorcycle for a taxi service in Cambodia, and backed a furniture maker in Mongolia. Over the years PADT's investments have supported 5 different beauty salons in Vietnam, Tanzania, Nigeria, Peru, and Jordan. Our most common investment is in clothing sales with 8 different entrepreneurs backed for that industry. We have even given loans to help families send their daughters to secondary school. You can see some of our key loans and more statistics at:www.kiva.org/lender/padtinc. If you think this sounds like something you, your family, or your company might like to do, sign up through this link and they add $25 to our loan pool when you make your first loan: www.kiva.org/lender/padtinc.
Aerospace Summit, Additive Manufacturing Peer Group, and Industry-Education Partnership – A Three Event, Three State Hat Trick
Posted on June 23, 2017, by: Eric MillerSometimes everything happens at once. This June 22nd was one of those days. Three key events were scheduled for the same time in three different states and we needed to be at all of them. So everyone stepped up and pulled it off, and hopefully some of you reading this were at one of these fantastic events. Combined they are a great example of PADT's commitment to the local technology ecosystem, showing how we create true win-win partnerships across organizations and geographies. Since the beginning we wanted to be more than just a re-seller or just consultants, and this Thursday was a chance to show our commitment to doing just that.
Albuquerque: New Mexico Technology Council 3D Printing Peer Group KickoffEveryone talks about how they thing we should all work together, but there never seems to be someone who is willing to pull it all together. That is how the additive manufacturing committee in New Mexico was until the New Mexico Technology Council (NMTC) stepped up to host a peer group around 3D Printing. Even though it was a record 103f in Albuquerque, 35 brave 3D Printing enthusiasts ventured out into the heat and joined us at Rio Bravo Brewing to get the ball rolling on creating a cooperative community. We started with an introduction from NMTC, followed by an overview of what we want to achieve with the group. Our goals are:
- Create stronger cooperation between companies, schools, and individuals involved in 3D Printing in New Mexico
- Foster cooperation between organizations to increase the benefits of 3D Printing to New Mexico
- Make a contribution to New Mexico STEM education in the area of 3D Printing
Once that was done PADT's Rey Chu gave a presentation where it went over the most important developments in Additive Manufacturing over the last year or so. He talked about the three new technologies that are making an impact, new materials, and what is happening business wise. Check out his slides to learn more: NMTC-PADT-New-3D-Printing-2017_06_22
After a question and answer period we had some great conversations in small groups, which was the most valuable part. If you want to learn more, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the email list where we will plan and execute future activities. We are also looking for people to be on the steering committee and locations for our next couple of meetings. Share this with as many people as you can in New Mexico so that next event can be even better!
Denver: MSU Advance Manufacturing & Engineering Sciences Building OpeningMeanwhile, in Denver it was raining. In spite of that, supporters of educating the next generation of manufacturers and engineers gathered for the opening of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Sciences Building at Metropolitan State University. This 142,000 sqft multi-disciplinary facility is located in the heart of downtown Denver and will house classes, labs, and local companies. PADT was there to not only celebrate the whole facility, but we were especially excited about the new 3D Printing lab that is being funded by a $1 million gift from Lockheed Martin. A nice new Stratasys Fortus 900 is the centerpiece of the facility. It will be a while before the lab itself is done, so watch for an invite to the grand opening. While we wait we are working with MSU, Lockheed Martin, Stratasys, and others to put a plan together to develop the curriculum for future classes and making sure that the engineers needed for this technology are available for the expected explosion of use of this technology. email@example.com or give us a call. Phoenix: 2017 Aerospace, Aviation, Defense + Manufacturing Conference The 113f high in Phoenix really didn't stop anyone from coming to the AADM conference. This annual event was at ASU SkySong in Phoenix and is sponsored by the AZ Tech Council, AZ Commerce Authority, and RevAZ. PADT was proud to not only be a sponsor, but also have a booth, participate in the advanced manufacturing panel discussion, and do a short partner presentation about what we do for our Aerospace and Defense Customers. PADT-AeroConf-AZTC-2017
We had great conversations at our booth with existing customers, partners, and a few people that were new to us. This is always one of the best events of the summer, and we look forward to next year. If you want to know more about how PADT can help you in your Aerospace, Defense, and Manufacturing efforts, reach out and contact us.
Posted on June 22, 2017, by: Eric MillerIn Phoenix, just North of the airport on a record hot day of 119f, about 30 people gathered into a conference room to celebrate a place that has become a bright success in the region's startup community. The Center For Entrepreneurial Innovations, or CEI, held their first ever Innovation and Impact Celebration. This gathering of sponsors, clients, mentors, and staff of CEI highlighted the success that this outstanding incubator has enjoyed since its grand opening in 2013. Some of the key numbers shared were:
- 247 high paying jobs created by CEI clients
- $28,000,000 raised by CEI clients in investments, grants, and awards
- $69,000,000 in revenue generating by CEI clients
- 3,240 hours given in mentoring and consulting to CEI clients
- Paraffin International won for Graduate of the Year
- Beacon Biomedical was awarded Client of the Year
- Tom Lagerhausen & Tommy Andrews were recognized as Mentors of the Year
- The City of Phoenix received Sponsor of the Year
Posted on May 30, 2017, by: Doug OatisIn my previous article, I wrote about how you get what you pay for with your analysis package. Well, buckle up for some more…but this time we’ll just focus on handling assemblies in your structural/thermal simulations. If all you’re working on are single components, count yourself lucky. Almost every simulation deals with one part interacting with another. You can simplify your boundary conditions a bit to make it equivalent, but if you have significant bearing stresses, misalignments, etc…you need to include the supporting parts. Better hope your analysis package can handle contact… First off, contact isn’t just for structural simulations. Contact allows you to pass loads across difference meshes, meaning you don’t need to create a conformal mesh between two parts in order to simulate something. Here’s a quick listing on the degrees of freedom supported in ANSYS (don’t worry…you don’t need to know how to set these options as ANSYS does it for you when you’re in Workbench): You can use contact for structural, thermal, electrical, porous domain, diffusion, or any combination of those. The rest of this article is going to focus on the structural side of things, but realize that the same concepts apply to essentially any analysis you can do within ANSYS Mechanical.. First, it’s incredibly easy to create contact in your assembly. Mechanical automatically looks for surfaces within a certain distance from one another and builds contact. You can further customize the automated process by defining your own connection groups, as I previous wrote about. These connection groups can create contact between faces, edges, solids bodies, shell bodies, and line bodies. Second, not only can you create contact to transfer loads across different parts, but you can also automatically create joints to simulate linkages or ‘linearize’ complicated contacts (e.g. cylindrical-to-cylindrical contact for pin joints). With these joints you can also specify stops and locks to simulate other components not explicitly modeled. If you want to really model a threaded connection you can specify the pitch diameter and actually ‘turn’ your screw to properly develop the shear stress under the bolt head for a bolted joint simulation without actually needing to model the physical threads (this can also be done using contact geometry corrections) Some other ‘fancy’ things you can do with contact is simulate delamination by specifying adhesive properties (type I, II, or III modes of failure). You can add a wear model to capture surface degradation due to normal stress and tangential velocity of your moving surfaces. You can simulate a critical bonding temperature by specifying at what temperature your contacts ‘stick’ together instead of slide. You can specify a ‘wetted’ contact region and see if the applied fluid pressure (not actually solving a CFD simulation, just applying a pressure to open areas of the contact interface) causes your seal to open up. Now, it’s one thing to be able to simulate all of these behaviors. The reason you’re running a finite element simulation is you need to make some kind of engineering judgement. You need to know how the force/heat/etc transfers through your assembly. Within Mechanical you can easily look at the force for each contact pair by dragging/dropping the connection object (contact or joint) into the solution. This will automatically create a reaction probe to tell you the forces/moments going through that interface. You can create detailed contour plots of the contact status, pressure, sliding distance, gap, or penetration (depending on formulation used).
Posted on May 25, 2017, by: Eric MillerWhen Nathan Huber moved to Arizona from Colorado to join PADT he learned a lot, and one of the things he learned fast was that the inside of cars get very hot in the summer here. In fact, the shift knob on his car was untouchable in July. This coincided with his learning more about metal 3D Printing and an idea occurred, what about 3D Printing a metal shift knob designed to cool off faster, and that looked cool. Oh, and use ANSYS to drive the design. He blogged about it before (here and here), and Additive Manufacturing online picked up the story and added to it on their blog post "3D Printing a Metal Shift Knob for Faster Cooling" Check it out, they did a nice job of explaining what we did and how Nathan used several of our tools like ANSYS Mechanical and our Concept Laser metal system to realize the design.
Posted on May 24, 2017, by: Eric MillerWe are very pleased to announce the launch meeting of the newest New Mexico Technology Council peer group: 3D Printing. After the success of other peer groups, and a similar committee in the Arizona Technology Council, PADT is partnering with the NMTC to start a group focused on all things Additive Manufacturing, which is the more technical name for 3D Printing. Schools, businesses, and individuals who have any involvement or interest in this exciting and transformative technology will be able to network and organize to get greater value from 3D Printing. This includes understanding the technology, working together on research projects, and getting to know what services are available locally. It will also serve as a platform to coordinate the use of 3D printing in STEM education. For this launch event, PADT's Rey Chu will share his thoughts on the latest and most interesting advancements in 3D Printing. We will kick off the meeting with introductions around the room, then listen to Rey share his views on what is new and interesting in this industry, then talk about the peer group, answer questions, and start planning our next activities. At around 6:45 or so we will commence with the networking. Please contact PADT at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions before the event. We hope to see you there. Don't forget to register, and please let anyone else you think might be interested know about the event.
Posted on May 18, 2017, by: Doug OatisJust like any other marketplace, there are a lot of options in simulation software. There are custom niche-codes for casting simulations to completely general purpose linear algebra solvers that allow you to write your own shape functions. Just like with most things in life, you truly get what you pay for. For basic structural and thermal simulations pretty much any FE-package should suffice. The difference there will be in how easy it is to pre/post process the work and the support you receive from the vendor. How complicated is the geometry to mesh, how long does it take to solve, if you can utilize multiple cores how well does it scale, how easy is it to get reactions at interfaces/constraints…and so on. I could make this an article about all the productivity enhancements available within ANSYS, but instead I’ll talk about some of the more advanced functionalities that differentiate ANSYS from other software out there.
Automatic expansion of radiating surfaces across symmetry planes
Different enclosures to simplify view factor calculations
Long story short…you don’t have to know what the Stefan-Boltzman constant is if you want to include radiation in your model (bonus points if you do). You don’t have to mess with a lot of settings to get your model to run. Just insert radiation, select the surface, and run. Additional options and technical support is there if necessary.
- Advanced Material Models
Posted on April 19, 2017, by: Eric MillerWhen I was asked to take part in a demonstration put on by one of our local communication companies, Cox Communications, showing off what a "smart home" looks like, I of course said yes. I love gadgets, and smart gadgets more. On top of that it was another chance to evangelise on the power of 3D Printing. And I got to hang out in a brand new luxury condo in Downtown Phoenix, a post kid lifestyle change that is very appealing. Plus we deal with customers designing and improving Internet of Things (IoT) devices all the time, and this is the perfect chance to see such products in action. So I packed up one of our Makerbots, none of our Fortus machines fits in the back of my Prius, and headed downtown. The first thing that shocked me was that I had the printer, my iPhone, iPad, and laptop connected to their network in about one minute. The printer showed up on the Makerbot Print app on my iPad and I was printing a part in about three minutes. The whole point of the demonstration was to show how the new high-speed Internet offering from Cox, Gigablast, can enable a true smart home. So I was focused on the speed of the connection to the Internet, which was fast. What I didn't get till I connected was that the speed and bandwidth of the WiFi in the house was even more important. When everything was connected, we had 55 devices on the local network talking to each other and the Internet. At one point I was downloading a large STL file to the printer while on a teleconference on my iPhone and my "roommate" was giving a violin lesson to one of his students in Canada. Oh, and the roomba started to vacuum the floor. On the balcony someone was giving a golf lesson and a doctor was diagnosing a patient in the master bedroom. That was on top of the smart kitchen gadgets. And it all worked. Yes, it all worked. I'm trying to convey shock and surprise because the reality is that nine times out of ten when I show up for some event, at a customer, or at a friends house and we try and connect things to the internet... it doesn't work. If you are a technical guy you know that feeling when your vacation or visit for dinner turns into an IT house call. All I could think of was how awesome it was that everything worked and it was fast. So I went to work printing little plastic Arizona style houses with COX on the roof. And then a reporter showed up. "3D Printing, interesting. Hmmmm... they are cool and all but really, what does that have to do with a smart house?" Damn reporters and their questions. I was still reveling in the fact that everything worked so well, I hadn't taken to time to think about the "so what." Then I thought about it. 3D Printing in the home is just now starting to take off, and the reason why is actually high-speed internet connections. If you wanted a 3D Printer in your home in the past you needed the printer, a high end computer, and some good 3D modeling software on that computer. Basically you had to create whatever you wanted to make. Unless you are a trained engineer, that may not be so easy. But with a well connected home you have access to places like Thingiverse and Grabcad to download stuff you want to print. And if you do want to create your own, you can go to Tinkercad or Onshape and use a free online 3D modeler to create your geometry. All over the web, even on a pad, phone (I don't recommend trying to do modeling on a phone, but it does work), or on a basic computer. The files are stored in the cloud and downloaded directly to your printer. No muss, no fuss. All you need is a reliable and fast connection to the internet and in your home.
High speed internet and a smart 3D printer makes anyone a maker.And when we had a three hour break, I went downstairs to a coffee shop on the ground floor of the condo and worked, while monitoring my builds using the camera in the smart 3D Printer. Pretty cool when you step back and think about how far we have come from that first Stereolithography machine that PADT bought in 1994. We had to use floppy disks to get the data from our high-end Unix workstation to the machine. Now it sits on the web and can be monitored. This may be what we have been waiting for when it comes to 3D Printers in the home moving beyond that technologists and makers. I've been focused on my experience with the 3D printing in the smart home, but there was a lot more to look at. Check out these stories to learn more: Phoenix Business Journal: Cox shows off a smart home with 55 connected devices and fast gigabyte internet The Arizona Republic: Cox 'smart home' in Phoenix displays future at the push of a button I also did a piece for the Phoenix Business Journal while I was at the event on "3 keys to success for smart home devices" based on what I learned while playing with the other devices in the smart home. All and all a good day. Oh, and being a 10 minute walk from my favorite pub made the idea of living downtown not such a bad idea, which doesn't have much to do with high speed internet, connected devices, or 3D Printing. But one of my goals was to check out post-child urban living...
Posted on April 10, 2017, by: Eric MillerWe are very pleased to announce our new newsletter, the PADT Pulse. For a while now customers have been asking for a monthly update on what is going on without having to go through our blog. So we are taking the best of what we did in a given month and sharing it in this newsletter. Not only does it have a recap of important activities, it summarizes our most popular blog posts, shares some outside news of interest, and keeps you up to date on our upcoming events. We hope you enjoy it. Here is a link to the online version. And you can subscribe here.
Posted on April 5, 2017, by: Eric MillerPlease join Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies in welcoming our new engineering services business development manager, John Williams. John will be an integral part of our growth in helping customers turn their innovations into real products through our advanced engineering capabilities, flexible project management skills and careful vendor selection process. “With John joining our team, we’ll be able to take our engineering services business to the next level and expand on our offerings,” said Eric Miller, co-founder and principal at PADT. “His sales and business development experience at the national and international level makes him ideal to handle our diverse client portfolio and position us as a major player in this category.” To help PADT improve its market position in engineering services and product development, Williams will help define long-term organizational goals, build customer relationships, identify new business opportunities, and maintain extensive knowledge of market conditions. “PADT is a diverse and innovative company that presents a number of exciting opportunities,” said Williams. “I look forward to using my experience and reach to raise awareness of the great engineering expertise the company can provide. Once companies realize how PADT can help them solve tough problems and implement their designs, the word will spread that PADT really does make innovation work.” Williams brings more than 16 years of sales experience to the position. He joins PADT from Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. in South Asia where he was the director of business development. Prior to working at Bell Helicopter, John was Regional Sales Director for Textron Aviation for South Asia. Prior to this, he was President of Williams Consulting Group (WCG) in Phoenix, AZ. Before starting WCG, Williams spent 12 years with The Boeing Company where he was last responsible for implementing Boeing's offset programs in India. He also played a key role in successfully winning several large orders for Boeing. Prior to this assignment, Williams was in International Contracts at Boeing Defense Systems where he successfully negotiated and closed several major Commercial and US FMS contracts with foreign governments. Williams holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Northwestern College. He has numerous professional certifications including a Master’s Certificate in Global Leadership from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management; as well as certifications in various U.S. Federal Acquisition Programs.
Posted on March 30, 2017, by: Tom ChadwickOccasionally when solid geometry is imported from CAD into ANSYS SpaceClaim the geometry will come in as solids, but when a mesh is generated on the solids the mesh will appear to “leak” into the surrounding space. Below is an assembly that was imported from CAD into SpaceClaim. In the SpaceClaim Structure Window all of the parts can be seen to be solid components. When the mesh is generated in ANSYS Mechanical it appears like the assembly has been successfully meshed. However, when you look at the mesh a little closer, the mesh can be missing from some of the surfaces and not displayed correctly on others. Additionally, if you create a cross-section through the mesh, the mesh on some of the parts will “leak” outside of the part boundaries and will look like the image below. Based on the mesh color, the mesh of the part in the center of the assembly has grown outside of the surfaces of the part. To repair the part you need to go back to SpaceClaim and rebuild it. First you need to hide the rest of the parts. Next, create a sketch plane that passes through the problem part. In the sketch mode create a rectangle that surrounds the part. When you return to 3D mode in SpaceClaim, that rectangle will become a surface that passes through the part. Now use the Pull tool in SpaceClaim to turn that surface into a part that completely surrounds the part to be repaired, making sure to turn on the “No Merge” option for the pull before you begin. After you have pulled the surface into a solid, it should like the image below where the original part is completely buried inside the new part. Now you will use the Combine tool to divide the box with the original part. Select Combine from the Tool Bar, then select the box that you created in the previous step. The cutter will be activated and you will move the cursor around until the original part is highlighted inside the box. Select it with the left mouse button. The Combine tool will then give you the option to select the part of the box that you want to remove. Select the part that surrounds the original part. After it is finished, close the combine tool and the Structure Tree and 3D window will now look like the following: Now move the new solid that was created with the Combine tool into the location of the original part and turn off the original one and re-activate the other parts of the assembly. The assembly and Structure Tree should now look like the pictures below. Now save the project, re-open the meshing tool, and re-generate the mesh. The mesh should now be correct and not “leaking” beyond the part boundaries.
Posted on March 14, 2017, by: Manoj MahendranRemember the good old days of having to peruse through hundreds and thousands of lines of text in multiple files to see ANSYS license usage information? Trying to hit Ctrl+F and search for license names. Well those days were only about a couple months ago and they are over…well for the most part. With the ANSYS License Manager Release 18.0, we have some pretty nifty built in license reporting tools that help to extract information from the log files so the administrator can see anything from current license usage to peak usage and even any license denials that occur. Let’s take a look at how to do this: First thing is to open up the License Management Center:
- In Windows you can find this by going to Start>Programs>ANSYS Inc License Manager>ANSYS License Management Center
- On Linux you can find this in the ansys directory /ansys_inc/shared_files/licensing/start_lmcenter
License Management Center at Release 18.0
License Reporting OptionsVIEW CURRENT LICENSE USAGE As the title says, this is where you’ll go to see a breakdown of the current license usage. What is great is that you can see all the licenses that you have on the server, how many licenses of each are being used and who is using them (through the color of the bars). Please note that PADT has access to several ANSYS Licenses. Your list will only include the licenses available for use on your server.
Scrolling page that shows Current License Usage and Color Coded UsernamesYou can also click on Show Tabular Data to see a table view that you can then export to excel if you wanted to do your own manipulation of the data.
Tabular Data of Current License Usage – easy to exportVIEW LICENSE USAGE HISTORY In this section you will be able to not only isolate the license usage to a specific time period, you can also filter by license type as well. You can use the first drop down to define a time range, whether that is the previous 1 month, 1 year, all available or even your own custom time range
Isolate License Usage to Specific Time PeriodOnce you hit Generate you will be able to then isolate by license name as shown below. I’ve outlined some examples below as well. The axis on the left shows number of licenses used.
Filter Time History by License Name
1 month history of ANSYS Mechanical Enterprise
1 month history of ANSYS CFD
Custom Date Range history of ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct ModelerVIEW PEAK LICENSE USAGE This section will allow you to see what the peak usage of a particular license during a particular time period and filter it based on data range. First step is to isolate to a date range as before, for example 1 month. Then you can select which month you want to look at data for.
Selecting specific month to look at Peak License UsageThen you can isolate the data to whether or not you want to look at an operational period of 24/7, Monday to Friday 24/5 or even Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. This way you can isolate license usage between every day of the week, working week or normal working hours in a week. Again, axis on left shows number of licenses.
Isolating data to 24/7, Weekdays or Weekday Working Hours
Peak License Usage in March 2017 of ANSYS Mechanical Enterprise (24/7)
Peak License Usage in February 2017 of ANSYS CFD (Weekdays Only)VIEW LICENSE DENIALS If any of the users who are accessing the License Manager get license denials due to insufficient licenses or for any other reason, this will be displayed in this section. Since PADT rarely, if ever, gets License Denials, this section is blank for us. The procedure is identical to the above sections – it involves isolating the data to a time period and filtering the data to your interested quantities.
Isolate data with Time Period as other sectionsAlthough these 4 options doesn’t include every conceivable filtering method, this should allow managers and administrators to filter through the license usage in many different ways without needing to manually go through all the log files. This is a very convenient and easy set of options to extract the information. Please let us know if you have any questions on this or anything else with ANSYS.