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Posted on June 28, 2018, by: Trevor Rubinoff
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Press Release: New Digital Manufacturing Facility for On-Demand Delivery of Production Quality Parts Opened at PADT
Posted on June 21, 2018, by: Eric MillerPADT is very proud to announce that our new manufacturing facility that uses 3D Printing technology to make production parts in volume, is open for business. When we bought our first Additive Manufacturing machine in 1994 we dreamed of the day when we could have several machines quickly making complete plastic parts in one step. Carbon's Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis™ (DLS) was the technology we were waiting for. It is here now, and we are now making real parts with injection molded quality. We chose to leverage Carbon's technology because of the three key differentiators in their system:
- Digital light projection is much faster than a laser or print head.
- Oxygen permeable optics enables accurate project while keeping the part from sticking to the optics.
- Programmable liquid resins produce parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution and surface finish.
- On-Demand Manufacturing Web Page
- Background on Carbon's DLS Technology, including a great video that explains it all.
- Our On-Demand Manufacturing Brochure
Posted on May 22, 2018, by: Eric MillerYou know you have been doing something for a while when you win an award called the DINO! 3D Printing has been around for over thirty years, and the Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) has been the user-driven organization that has been a foundation of the industry since its beginning. At their 30th annual conference this year, they handed out awards to individuals who made a significant contribution to Additive Manufacturing. We are very honored that PADT Co-Founder and Co-Owner, Rey Chu, received one of those awards. DINO stands for Distinguished INnovator Operator. We agree with AMUG that "“Rey’s contribution to additive manufacturing innovation throughout his career made his selection a simple choice for our awards committee.” Rey started his three decades in the industry by initiating the Rapid Prototyping Lab at AlliedSignal Engines in Phoenix thirty years ago, now Honeywell Aerospace. In 1994 he co-founded PADT, bringing his Additive Manufacturing experience to our customers for almost twenty-five years now. Anyone who has been a PADT 3D Printing customer knows that what sets our services apart is our deep technical knowledge about the technologies and our dedication to delivering an outstanding product. If you have not experienced our world class services for SLA, SLS, FDM, PolyJet, DLS, and Metal Additive Manufacturing, please contact us to see how a team led by a seasoned veteran gets things done. Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML As always, just give us a call at 480.813.4884 or send an email to email@example.com to learn more
Posted on May 21, 2018, by: Eric MillerSeveral recently commercialized technologies have made the dream of being able to print large, we are talking feet instead of inches, parts a reality. In fact "The age of large format 3D printing is here, and it is going to be huge."
Posted on May 7, 2018, by: Joe WoodwardLast week I had the distinct privilege to head down to the University of Arizona and help judge projects for the 2018 Engineering Design Day. It is always fun to see all the different, multidisciplinary projects that combine teams from the mechanical, electrical, biomedical, optical, chemical, mining, and environmental departments. Projects range from a new Secure Wireless Protocol, to autonomous UAVs, to medical devices of all types, to automated manufacturing process equipment used to cover electronics with epoxy. That last team had the forethought to demonstrate the equipment by programming it to put ketchup on hot dogs to give to the hungry judges. Good job, team! In the morning, groups of judges visit 5 design teams and score their presentations and projects on a number of criteria. They also decide if any of those teams should be nominated for any of the 27 cash awards given out this year. In the afternoon, the same groups of judges go around to each of the nominated groups for a specific award and judge the project based on the criteria for that award. PADT sponsors the Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies Award for Best Use of Prototyping, which this year, went to the Noncontact Detection of Bioelectric Fields project team. This innovative product is able to detect and monitora human heartbeat from a distance without the usual EKG wires and probes. This was my sixth year judging, and I am always impressed with the amount of work and skill that the students put into their projects. I am also surprised each year by seemingly on-going confusion over what constitutes a physical prototype, not only from students but from the industry judges. Among ten other nominations was the Laser-Guided Ankle Positioning for Total Ankle Arthroplasty team, which won the Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design. These two teams, the winner and the runner up, stood out from the rest because in their presentations they used one small phrase for which I am always listening; “We made this to see if…”, or “to try out …”, or “to find out…” They made a prototype specifically to learn from it. Since PADT is the southwest leader in 3D printing and rapid prototyping technologies, many of the nominations are made because the team had a large amount, or good use of, 3D printing in their final design. The teams may even have jumped directly to 3D printing as a first pass, but many times much less expensive material could have been used. (i.e. don’t 3D print a $35 tubular housing when a $2 piece of PVC will fit the bill.) Most of the other teams get nominated for the Best Use of Prototyping Award because they had many iterations of their design. “Our first one broke, so we added a support here on the next one,” is a very common phrase heard in the presentations. In my opinion, that constitutes a lack of foresight, planning, and analysis, but not a good use of a prototype. The best prototype is one that is not only inexpensive but made to gather specific information or to be configured quickly to try out different scenarios. The winning team this year used a breadboard circuit first to layout all their electronics. They then converted to a pin-board to quickly make sure that they could isolate their components from the sensor signals when everything was packed in tighter, before following through with the final PCB design. (See guys, I was listening.) The ankle positioning team printed several individual pieces of the system to then have an orthopedic surgeon try out the different configurations to see what worked best and get his input on any missing features needed for the final design. Last year’s winners of this award made an esophageal guidance system so doctors would know if they were in the esophagus or the trachea. Their final product was an incredibly small sensor, but the first thing they did was use two beakers and a salt-bridge to see if they could tell the acidity level accurately enough to distinguish the two environments. They then made a full prototype of the proposed sensor array that was about 50 times larger than the final product. It was much easier to build and test, and modify, the larger prototype than the miniaturized final sensor array. These are all good examples of using physical prototypes. I was glad to see that we had only eleven nominees this year, down from 21 last year. I look forward to seeing if the trend continues next year as the judges listen for the phrases above. Of course, I meant to write this article last year when I came back from Design Day, and the year before that, but I’ll talk about procrastination in my next article. …when I get around to get it.
ANSYS Technical Support Team from PADT Recognized as Silver Customer Service Department of the Year in the American Business Awards
Posted on May 3, 2018, by: Eric MillerWe are honored, pleased, and humbled to announce that PADT won a very special national award, a 2018 Silver Stevie for our ANSYS Technical Support Team. This is a very special award for us because what it recognized goes to the heart and soul of who PADT is. Technical support across the company is where we put our blood, sweat, and sometimes tears. For ANSYS, Stratasys 3D Printers, SCA's, scanners, or consulting; whatever product or service it is that we support for customers, how we interact with those customers so that they can be successful with those products and services is really what makes PADT different. And now a bunch of independent and outside judges looked at what we do and how we do it, and they said: Outstanding Job! In fact, they said, "PADT defines what premium customer service looks like." As an ANSYS Elite Channel Partner, our technical support is key to keeping and growing customers. These tools are incredibly capable and diverse. Also, they are not cheap. When a customer purchases ANSYS software they expect a higher level of service, and this award confirms that we deliver. The official award was: Silver Stevie (R) Winner: Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Software - Up to 2,500 Employees Our customers also agree, based on the response to surveys that we send them when support tickets are closed, 92% of respondents said we solved their problem and 96% were satisfied or very satisfied. Having great customers with real and challenging issues is also key to our success. And we would not have received this award without backup from our backup, the ANSYS Customer Excellence team around the world. Without their help, we literally would not have had answers for our customers. Everyone who does support earned this award. But, their families also deserve a big thank you. thanks. Doing tech support is hard and can be frustrating. You are basically taking on other peoples problems and trying to fix them. All day. Every day. And sometimes we take that home. Sometimes our engineers will check a test run at 2:00 am. Or they will get an idea at the dinner table and send an email. And although we applied for and won an award that focused on our ANSYS team, the same outstanding support is supplied to all of our customers. It is one of the key ways that "We Make Innovation Work." Here is a link to the Stevie Awards page itself: Check out the other companies. We are very happy to be listed with them. You can also find links there to the process, and especially the judging. We had to submit a lot of data. You can read the official press release here or here as a PDF. Do you want award-winning support for your ANSYS products? If you are in the Southwestern US and you are not currently our customers, contact us and we would be honored to have you join our group of happy customers. Not an ANSYS user? Let's talk about how to get these fantastic tools into your organization. And don't worry, as stated above, this level of service is available for everything PADT does, so reach out and let's see how we can work together. Contact us at 480.813.4884 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission to the Moon: Stratasys Joins Forces with Lockheed Martin and PADT to Engineer Advanced 3D Printed Parts For NASA’s Orion Mission
Posted on April 17, 2018, by: Eric MillerSometimes we get to help on some very cool projects and helping Lockheed Martin and NASA leverage Additive Manufacturing Technology from Stratasys on their Orion Mission is one of those special opportunities that we will never forget. The right combination of material and 3D Printer allowed the team to create functional parts for the Orion vehicle as it prepares to journey to the moon and beyond. Working with Stratasys, Lockheed Martin, and NASA has been rewarding and we are honored to have been part of this historic project. I could go on and on, or you could read the details in the press release below. A link to a PDF version is here. PADT is unique in the world of 3D Printing because of our in-depth technical knowledge and experience. We don't just print parts or sell machines, we provide world-class design, simulation, and testing services as well. That how we are able to contribute to projects like this. If you are facing engineering challenges of any kind, and especially if you working to adopt 3D Printing technology to your engineering projects, just give us a call at 480.813.4884 or send an email to email@example.com.
Posted on March 16, 2018, by: Eric MillerWe are very proud of our Additive Manufacturing intern Austin Suder who just won Future Engineers “Two for the Crew” Challenge, presented by the ASME Foundation and NASA. The challenge asked to invent a multifunctional object that combined two items into one for 3-D printing by crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS). As a winner he will receive a trip to Washington DC, a MakerBot 3D printer donated to the orginization of his choice, and best of all, his design will be printed on the ISS and used by the astronauts. Austin's design was a Carabiner Tool Clip that combined a way to easo;u secure a tool and hold the sockets and drivers that the tool needs. After designing the part he then used simulation to iterate on the design with virtual testing, and then he 3D Printed a prototype on his home 3D Printer. Austin started this project by researching what problems the astronauts faced. He found that a big problem was that tools would drift off in the micro-gravity environment of the station. This was annoying when they are working inside the station, and a critical problem when they are on a space walk. He also realized that they used a separate "holder" to keep the sockets and screw driver heads that the tool needed. Using this knowledge he developed a simple to operate carabiner to secure the tether on the hand tool to the astronaut and then use that same part to hole the sockets and drivers. But he did not stop there. He also learned what he could about the MadeInSpace 3D Printer that is on the station, and adapted the design to make sure the printer could make easily. Austin then used simulation to make sure the design was strong and robust. Then he printed his samples on his own home printer. Local Phoenix station ABC15 stopped by PADT yesterday to interview Austin and here is their story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofAZjlFOONM Much of Austin's knowledge and skill comes from his involvement in his school robotics team, and he will be donating the MakerBot he won to that team. We hare very proud of Austin's accomplishments. He works at PADT as an intern in the Advanced Manufacturing department focused on 3D Printing, doing CAD, running the machines, cleaning parts, and being our in-house expert on desktop 3D Printing. He will be graduating from High School this year and attending ASU as a Mechanical Engineer. We can not wait to see what he does next!
Press Release: ZEISS Industrial Metrology Signs PADT as an Authorized Distributor of its COMET® Series of Blue Light 3D Optical Scanners
Posted on February 27, 2018, by: Eric MillerScanning is one of the fastest growing parts of PADT's business, and with the announcement of a new agreement to distribute for ZEISS Industrial Metrology, we are growing even faster. Blue Light 3D Optical Scanners are amazing devices that allow users to create accurate surface maps of almost any geometry. We have been using this technology in-house for our scanner services for some time, now we wanted to also make them available to our customers. You may remember when PADT announced that we had partnered with Steinbichler to provide 3D optical scanners. Well, we are not dumping Steinbichler. Their technology was acquired by ZEISS Industrial Metrology. We have been waiting for the acquisition to finish up and for the Steinbichler team to be fully integrated before we signed up to represent these fantastic devices again. That happened and we are back selling them in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. What we like about these optical devices are the incredibly accurate lenses, from ZEISS, and the large and accurate CCD chips. This combination gives fantastic quality. In addition, we can swap out different lenses for specific applications and the software that comes with the system is outstanding. After beating our device to death last year on services work, we feel very comfortable recommending it to all of our customers. Here is a video on the primary product we are selling, the ZEISS L3D 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lClcv5sui8Q And that is also the advantage of buying your optical scanning solution from PADT. We use this stuff every day on a variety of applications. So we understand our needs, and we know how to get the most out of the hardware and software. So when you are making your decision on what to buy, and when you need support once you have made your investment, you know PADT is the best option to help you out. Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML. Visit our web pages for ZEISS equipment and software here. Here are links to the latest brochures as well:
Press Release: New Expansion into Texas Grows PADT’s ANSYS Sales & Support Across the Entire Southwest
Posted on February 6, 2018, by: Eric MillerWhen people look at PADT and where we are located, they almost always say "You should open an office in Austin, the tech community there is a perfect fit for your skills and culture." We finally listened and are proud to announce that our newest location is in Austin Texas. This new office will be initially focused on ANSYS Sales and Support across the great state of Texas. We have had customers for other products and services in the state for decades and are pleased to have a permanent local presence now. As an Elite ANSYS Channel partner, we provide sales of the complete ANSYS product suite to any and all entities that can benefit from the application of numerical simulation. Across industries, we bring a unique technical approach to both sales and support that is focused on identifying need and then selecting the right toolset, training, and support to deliver a return on the customer's investment as soon as possible. And the initial product purchase is just the start. Our ANSYS customers are our partners that we grow with, always ready to help them be better at whatever it is what they do. Customers in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado already know this, and it is time for the engineering community in Texas to benefit from the experience. Because we will be there for the long term, we are taking our time to look around the area. Our new salesperson, Ian Scott, is an Austin native and who has worked in the engineering software space for some time. He will be working with existing customers and partners in the area to find the right location for us long-term. But we are already putting plans in place to deliver outstanding training, hold meetings, and maybe even a celebration or two while we settle in. Over time we will add local engineers and additional sales staff to meet the needs of the state, which as you know is big. And we have big plans for PADT and Texas starting with this ANSYS Sales and Support role, it is just the beginning. Make sure you watch this blog, social media, or our newsletter for announcements on a celebration for our new office as well as technical events we will start holding very soon. We look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. If you are in Texas, please reach out to us and send us any suggestions or recommendations you may have. We are really looking forward to growing in Austin and across the Lone Star State. Please find the official press release on this expansion below as well as versions in PDF and HTML.
Posted on December 20, 2017, by: Eric MillerWorking and living in your own bubble it's hard to recognize how others perceive your company from the outside. That is why we were honored and humbled to learn that PADT had been chosen by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 360 companies in the country. Today we found out we are number 249 on their list. We have never been on a list before, let alone a national list with so many other companies in the competition. Here we are, right there on their (entrepreneur.com/360): What is cool about this list is that the companies who won are all over the spectrum. Service providers, retail, manufacturers, and pretty much anything else you can think of. With so many applicants of every shape and size, being recognized was a huge surprise for us. And we owe it all to our employees, customers, and partners. We owe everything we have become to them and we look forward to growing and achieving new and exciting things in the future. Read the press release below to get our reaction and a summary of all that went on recently that got us on this list. You can also read the official version of the press release in html or pdf.
Posted on December 19, 2017, by: Eric MillerFor our Christmas parties at PADT we generally have over 40 employees so a traditional secret Santa gift exchange takes to long. At some point, we downloaded a right-left gift exchange story from the internet and it was a big hit. When we ran out of stories on the internet, we started writing our own, usually in some sort of over-the-top style. This years Christmas party involved sorting employees into Elf Families for some games we played. That made it kind of obvious that we should make the story Elf Family related as well. Here is how it works:
Everyone gets their gift and forms a big circle in the middle of the room. Someone with a strong voice reads the story and every time the word LEFT is read, everyone passes the package they have to the left. Every time the world RIGHT is read, everyone passes the package they have to their right. You should pause a bit at each LEFT/RIGHT to give people a chance to pass.You can find previous years stories here:
Trouble in ElftownWay up on near the North Pole, just to the left of Santa’s workshop and right down the road from the Reindeer farms there sits a little village called Elftown. On the outside, it looked like the front of a Christmas card. Picturesque houses on the right and left side of the main street, and a giant Christmas tree right in the middle of town. But right under the surface things were not right. There was a tension in the town that left on its own, might not just tear apart the community, if left on its own it might destroy Christmas itself. The problem was that there was a war of sorts going on between the elf Clans. Specifically, the Toe clan and the Sweet clan were furious with each other. No one really knew who was right and who was wrong, but everyone was stuck right in the middle of the conflict, and many felt they were left with no option other than violence. It started at the last reindeer games when the Rightly Clan had decided to take the seats that belonged to the Leftover Clan. Now the members of the Leftover Clan were used to being left out of things. They lived right next to the Santa Express train tracks, but on the wrong side. So they were used to not being treated right. The only thing they had going for them was that their Reindeer Game seats were right on the track on the right side of the finish line. The Rightly Clan were on the left side, but they wanted the right side. So they marched right up and sat down, right there in the middle of the opening ceremonies. It would not be a big deal, the Rightly and Leftover clan fought all the time. The problem was that the Toe Clan had signed a contract right before the games with the Leftover Clan to outsource their toy assembly quota to them. That left the Sweet Clan out in the cold in terms of making their quota, right there two weeks before Christmas without either working-class clan to do the work for them. Right now, they were panicked. And the Toe Clan was mad that the Sweet clan had left negotiations and complained to Santa. So right there with Mr. and Mrs. Clause sitting on their thrones right in front of the crowd, the Toe and and Sweet Clans felt it was right to make the seating controversy about so much more. Harsh words, for elves, were exchanged back and forth. Then a snowball was thrown right at a crowd and it hit Santa right in the face. He stood right up and said “I’m am left with no option but to cancel these Reindeer Games right now! All of you need to leave now, right now! I said Right now I Say… ho ho hooooo!” Everyone left the stadium, but they left with a burning hate for each other. And right before Christmas, it reached a fevered pitch. Each clan was going through their store of toys and weaponizing what they could. Spikes were put right into baseball bats. Toy nerf guns were modified to file nails right out of their barrels. The social-economic stratification of Elftown, based on Santa’s distribution of responsibility to families that was based on payments of “left over” egg nog made right out in the open was the real cause. It was obvious regardless of if you were on the left or right of the political spectrum. As the moon passed right over the North Pole, because it was winter and the sun had left for the season, the families gathered in the main square. The Toes and the Rightly’s on the right, and the Sweets and… their allies, … other side They brandished their vicious modified toys and hurled insults back and fortth. On that Christmas Eve, right in the heart of the north pole, right where the spirit of Christmas was born and nurtured, Elftown was about to explode. And right before that fuse was lit, a small voice could be heard. “Riliburt? Riliburt ? Is that you holding a tennis racket with a spike right in the middle?” And then an even tinier, sweeter voice answered “Annibell? Why yes, I have to support my family, my clan I’m left with no choice” “Riliburt, I need to tell you something right now, right here in front of everyone, it can’t be left unsaid.Riliburt, I love you! That is right. I. Love. You!. “Oh, Annibell, I love you as well! But you are from the Toe Clan and I am a lowly Leftover, our love is not right.” At that point, every elf heart, in the left of every elf chest, skipped a beat. All of the anger stopped, just for a second, as they all contemplated love. Because stripped of the presents, and trees, and eggnog, Christmas was really about love. On the right side of the square, and on… the other side, everyone knew what the right thing was to do. They dropped their weapons right there and merged into a giant pointy eared mass of hugging elves. And right in the middle was the couple that reminded everyone that what they were all about to do was not right. That the Toes, the Sweets, the Rightly’s, and the Leftovers could all get along if they just remember that the right thing to feel was love and that they left hate and anger outside of Elftown. Peace on earth, goodwill towards men was the message they remembered, right there, at the top of the world, in a place called Elftown, just to the left of Santa’s workshop and right down the road from the Reindeer farms.
Posted on December 5, 2017, by: Eric MillerAs we jump into December everyone is starting to realize that 2017 is almost over. And what would the end of a year be without a look back at what happened? 2017 was a big year for PADT, with new offerings, fantastic events, and humbling recognition taking place throughout the year. If anything, this was a year where PADT further established itself as the leader in simulation, product development, and 3D printing in the southwest. Take a look, maybe you were part of some of the critical happenings during the year:
Nerdtoberfest 2017Our annual customer appreciation event, Nerdtoberfest, was another fun and informative evening at PADT’s Tempe offices. Over 200 customers and partners came to see what we had that was new and to socialize with PADT’s employees as well as other attendees. Fun was had by all and a LOT of pizza was consumed.
Looking Forward to 2018After looking back on 2017, all indicators point to 2018 being even better. We look forward to meeting new customers, growing our old clients, and bridging new partnerships. We will see you in 2018!
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 at this Las Vegas print shop. 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