PADT uses this section of our blog as a way to share news and information with the rest of the world. To keep up to date on PADT news you can:
Posted on October 25, 2017, by: Eric MillerThe addition of a new UnionTech RSPro 450 further establishes PADT as the leader in Additive Manufacturing technology in the Southwestern US. With a build volume of 17.7 x 17.7 x 15.75 inches, this state of the art Stereolithography(SLA) machine will triple the company’s capacity to 3D Print with SLA technology. It not only allows the printing of larger parts, it can also create multiple smaller parts in less time. It will join PADT’s two existing SLA machines along with the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), PolyJet, and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) solutions currently producing parts daily for their customers across the country. “When we started the company in 1994, one of our first purchases was an SLA machine. It started our 3D Printing services business, and the technology is still heavily used today.” Said Rey Chu, a co-owner of PADT and the leader for PADT’s Advanced Manufacturing efforts. “This new system gives us added capacity in size, speed, and material choices. We looked at a wide range of SLA systems and felt that UnionTech provided the quality and robustness we need to keep our customers happy.” The new system was delivered the second week of October and will be calibrated and producing customer parts by the end of the month. One of the advantages of the machine is the easy setup and strong calibration capabilities. The team will be able to produce parts that are about 75% larger than they can currently. The additional volume and speed will allow for three times as many parts to be printed in a given week than is possible with the current two smaller and older machines. Initially, a new rigid ABS-like material will be used that produces very strong and precise parts with white plastic. PADT’s existing pre- and post-processing tools will be applied to this process with little change.
The UnionTech RSPRO 450 SLA SystemUnionTech systems are the most popular machines for SLA Additive Manufacturing outside of the United States. They have proven to be reliable, easy-to-use, accurate, and fast. They are also an open system, allowing users to use any SLA compatible resin that can usually be acquired at a more affordable price than proprietary material solutions. Stereolithography is the oldest commercial 3D Printing process. It uses photo-curable liquid resins to build parts one layer at a time. A vat in the machine is filled with liquid material, and a plate is placed just under the surface. Then an ultraviolet laser draws on the very top layer of the liquid, and all of wherever the laser traces, the liquid turns to a solid. The plate is lowered, a new layer of liquid is spread on top, and the laser creates a new layer. The process repeats until the part or parts are made. The UnionTech machine is a refined and proven application of this technology that was a perfect match for PADT’s current needs. Also, the company itself was great to work with, and the local sales and support team have been outstanding. As the team learns the system, they are finding it to be easy to use as well as simple to maintain and calibrate. The initial quality of parts has been outstanding.
PADT’s 3D Printing ServicesPADT has been the Southwest’s leading provider of 3D Printing services since the company was started over 23 years ago. The company has survived industry consolidation and a vastly changing landscape by focusing on providing high-quality 3D Printed parts to customers using Fused Deposition Modeling, Polyjet Printing, Selective Laser Sintering, and Stereolithography systems combined with one of the most experienced and knowledgeable teams in the Additive Manufacturing space. Located in the ASU Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, PADT’s advanced manufacturing facility currently features ten machines dedicated to printing parts for customers. The lab includes a full machine shop, part finishing facilities, and an advanced scanning and inspection capability. This added capability is yet another reason why so many companies large and small count on PADT for their 3D Printing needs. Contact us today to learn more about our 3D Printing Services or:
PADT Partners with 3D Printing Disruptor Carbon to Offer Production Part Manufacturing to the Southwest
Posted on October 23, 2017, by: Eric MillerThe long-term promise of 3D Printing has always been using the technology to replace traditional manufacturing as a way to make production parts. The various technologies that are considered Additive Manufacturing have been fantastic for prototyping and making tools that are used to manufacturing end-use parts, but rarely work well for production. Carbon is literally turning the 3D printing world upside down by introducing real production capabilities with their systems. And now that PADT has joined Carbon’s Production Partner Program, on-demand manufacturing using 3D Printing is now a reality in the Southwestern US. The Production Partner program establishes vetted service providers with 3D Printing and manufacturing experience as manufacturing centers. This allows customers who are early adopters of CARBON’s exciting technology, to find a trusted source for their production parts. PADT was chosen to participate because of our twenty-plus years of experience as a 3D Printing service provider and more than $5,000,000 in injection molding projects, along with in-house product development, scanning, simulation, and inspection. PADT will be adding three Carbon M2 printers to our existing 3D Printing facility at our main office in the ASU Research Park in Tempe, Arizona. The first two machines will be available for production in early 2018, and the third machine will be online by early summer. Customers will then be able to order production quality parts in volume and receive them within a week. PADT’s investment and this partnership make the dream of On Demand manufacturing of complex plastic components a reality. “We have been looking for a low volume plastic manufacturing solution that uses 3D Printing for some time.” Said Rey Chu, co-owner of PADT “Since we started the company we have been providing soft tooling and rapid injection molding. Once we saw the Carbon DLS technology in action, we knew we found our solution. The part quality and material properties are as close to injection molded as we have ever seen.”
About Carbon’s Disruptive TechnologyCarbon has introduced a revolutionary way to 3D Print plastic components called Digital Light Synthesis, or DLS. It combines their proprietary continuous printing technology with programmable liquid resins to create parts with the same strength and surface finish of injection molded parts. The part creation is fast because it is a continuous process, whereas most 3D Printing machines build up one layer at a time with pauses in-between. This continuous process is not only fast, but it also avoids the stair-steps created with layered methods. This results in textured surfaces and a surface finish that no other process can approach. https://youtu.be/23at9QglAm8 Programmable materials are the other technology that enables production quality parts. This unique approach joins two liquid resins as the build material; one that hardens with light and the other with heat. The 3D Printer creates the desired geometry of the part by using light to shape the first material. Then a second step uses an oven to harden the heat activated resin, resulting in engineering-grade mechanical properties. Moreover, since the strength comes from a heat cured resin, the properties are the same in every direction. Most 3D Printed parts that use a layered approach are weaker in the build direction. The other significant advantage of including heat activated resins is that they offer a much broader material selection than light activated resins.
PADT’s On-Demand Manufacturing ServiceIn the past, when PADT’s customers needed parts manufactured with production quality, surface finish, and strength we had to use soft tooling or low-volume injection molding. Both are expensive and take time to make tools. 3D printing is leveraged to make those tools faster, but it still takes time and labor. Production manufacturing could benefit from going directly from a computer model to a finished part, as we do with prototyping. When we first saw an early Carbon sample part we knew that this was a technology we needed to watch. As the technology matured further, it became obvious that this was the process PADT was looking for – this was the type of end-use part our customers were requesting. Then, when the Production Partner program was introduced, we knew we needed to take part. Our On-Demand Manufacturing service will be built around the Carbon Digital Light Synthesis process. Initially, we will use three Carbon M2 systems, a cleaning station, and a curing oven. This will be placed in the middle of our existing advanced manufacturing facility, allowing us to add machining, hand finishing, painting, and other post-processing steps into each production process as needed. What sets PADT’s offering apart from other providers of production manufacturing with 3D Printing is that we also provide full product development, simulation, and part scanning services to help customers make sure their designs are correct. Before parts are made, we can use our simulation and design knowledge to make sure everything is correct before production begins. And when the parts are completed, we can use our advanced scanning to inspect and our product development testing to verify performance. By adapting our proven quality to this new technology, we can ensure that every step is done correctly and traceability exists.
Next StepsYou do not have to wait till our production line is up and running. We can start working with customers now on getting their parts ready for manufacturing with Carbon’s breakthrough Digital Light Synthesis. Our experienced staff can evaluate your components and find the best fit, recommend design changes, and work with Carbon to produce samples. And when our line is up, you can hit the ground running and obtain your parts on-demand, when you need them.
- Download the On-Demand Manufacturing brochure
- View the official press release announcing the partnership
- Visit the Carbon website
Posted on September 7, 2017, by: Trevor RubinoffSimulation software enables product development engineers to gain insights that were previously possible only through making and breaking expensive prototypes. However, such software isn’t for every engineer. It can be difficult to learn and master, and often simulation results take time to set up and calculate. But what if simulation could be faster and easier? With its Discovery Live technology, ANSYS revolutionizes product design. This simulation software provides instantaneous simulation results while you design and edit and enables you to experiment with design ideas for on-the-spot feedback. These immediate insights make simulation useful and relevant to every engineer for upfront CAE. Discovery Live’s speed and simplicity represents a quantum leap forward in simulation technology, and it enables you to spend more time with answers instead of questions. With Discovery Live, you can:
- Experiment with design ideas, easily make changes and receive instantaneous engineering insights
- Perform 10 to 1,000 simulations in the same timeframe that was once needed to perform just one simple simulation
- Simulate on newly created models or any imported CAD file
- Investigate more options earlier in the design process and develop new products that get to market faster
- Explore all your “what if” design ideas at little to no cost in time and effort
- Facilitate breakthroughs and innovations and take your engineering efforts to the next level
Press Release: PADT and Stratasys Announce Lockheed Martin Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at Metropolitan State University in Denver
Posted on August 29, 2017, by: Eric MillerPADT and Stratasys have worked with Lockheed Martin to establish a new Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at Metropolitan State University in downtown Denver. The Lockheed Martin Additive Manufacturing Laboratory is the first-of-its-kind facility in Colorado. It is focused on giving students and industry access to the equipment and faculty needed to develop the next generation of manufacturing tooling, based on the use of 3D printing to make the tooling. This is PADT's third successful contribution to the creation of Academia + Industry + Equipment Manufacturer lab, the others being at ASU Polytechnic focused on characterization of 3D Printed parts and at Mesa Community College, focused on training the needed technicians and engineers for running and maintaining additive manufacturing systems. These types of efforts show the commitment from Stratasys, industrial partners, and PADT to making sure that the academic side of new manufacturing technology is being addressed and is working with industry. We reported on the grand opening of the facility here,and are very pleased to be able to announce the official partnership for the Laboratory. Great partners make all the difference. Official copies of the press release can be found in HTML and PDF.
Posted on August 22, 2017, by: Ted HarrisHere in the Phoenix area, we weren’t treated to the full total eclipse that others in the USA got to see. Our maximum coverage of the sun was a bit over 60%. Still, there was an eclipse buzz in the PADT headquarters and although we had some rare clouds for a few minutes, the skies did part and we did get to view the partial eclipse from the parking lot. So, how did ANSYS help us view the eclipse? It was in an indirect way – via a pinhole camera I made from an old ANSYS installation software box. The software box, a hobby knife to cut out a viewing port, a couple of post-it notes to allow for a small hole and a clear projection area, and a thumb tack were all that was needed, along with a couple of minutes to modify the box. Here we can see the viewing port cut into the software box. On the opposite side is a pin hole to allow the sun’s light to enter the box. After heading out to the eclipsing grounds (the parking lot), we quickly lined up the pin hole and the projection screen and got our views of the partially obscured sun: Here is a close up of the sun’s image projected inside the box: Others viewing the eclipse here at PADT HQ had a range of filters, eclipse glasses, etc. With the projection method as shown above, though, we don’t have to worry about eye damage. So, in a way, ANSYS did help us view the eclipse safely, by providing a box that was easy to convert to a pinhole camera. While we enjoyed the partial eclipse here in Arizona, we did have a couple of PADT colleagues in the path of totality. Here is a picture from one of my coworkers who viewed the eclipse in South Carolina: We hope you enjoyed the eclipse as well, either in person or via images on the web. We’re looking forward to the next one! Finally, In case you missed an earlier astronomical rarity back in 2012, here is a photo of the planet Venus transiting in front of the sun’s disk (black dot on the left side). The next one of these won’t be until December, 2117.
Posted on July 24, 2017, by: Eric MillerPADT is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Desktop Metal to resell its office-friendly and affordable metal 3D Printing solution. The partnership will also allow PADT to integrate this exciting new technology into its 3D Printer maintenance and part printing services. Desktop Metal’s new system is unique to the industry because it is a complete solution with a patented anti-sintering material that enables easily removed supports and the creation of complete assemblies. With the proprietary sintering furnace the DM Studio System delivers accurate parts quickly. PADT will be representing this new solution in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. “We are very excited to fill this gap in our product offering,” said Rey Chu, co-owner and director of manufacturing technology at PADT. “It enables us to serve customers who need stronger properties than plastic additive manufacturing systems can offer, but who don’t need a direct laser melting solution. We researched our options and watched the development of many different products. We knew Desktop Metal had the right solution when we learned that it had developed a complete package that is easy to use.” The DM Studio System™ is based on the Metal Injection Molding (MIM) process and will start shipping this September. It is the first office-friendly platform for metal 3D printing and is considerably less expensive than existing technology. The Studio System will be sold as a package for $120,000. This includes the metal 3D printer, debinder, and microwave-enhanced sintering furnace. As a leader in additive manufacturing for more than 20 years, PADT is a resource for customers who need 3D Printing as a service, or who need their own systems in-house. The DM Studio System™ will compliment the complete line of Stratasys FDM and Polyjet systems that the PADT resells as well as direct laser melting systems from our partner Concept Laser. Our company’s expertise with fused deposition modeling, sintering, and MIM also make us uniquely qualified to represent this solution. “Our team is looking forward to getting this technology in front of customers,” said PADT’s Manager of Hardware Sales, Mario Vargas. “Metal 3D Printing is something our customers have wanted to add, but they could not find a turn-key solution for prototyping with various metal materials. Desktop Metal leveraged its expertise in metallurgy and software to deliver a complete system that can be run in an office environment. This is very compelling for many of our customers across industries.” In the coming months, PADT will be setting up seminars and contacting customers across the Southwest to help educate the user community on the unique value proposition of the DM Studio System™. Anyone interested in learning more can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480.813.4884, technical experts are available to explain and answer any questions. To learn more right now you can:
- Visit www.padtinc.com/desktop_metal
- View the video
- Download the system brochure
- Download the 3D Printer brochure
- Download the furnace brochure
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 email@example.com 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. firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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...