Fund a Great Idea: ReadyXO Crayon Box on KickStarter

readyXO-box1

As a parent I know that crayon management has always been a problem in our family, especially when we travel. We could have used the ReadyXO – a simple container that cleverly uses the lid to provide stability so it doesn’t tip over.  Now is your chance to control your crayons and help fund a great entrepreneur, and PADT customer, through KickStarter.

This is a great idea, a simple solution, by an individual entrepreneur who applied good problem solving and engineering to develop a solution to something that most of us have dealt with when we were kids or as parents.

Check out the details at:

              www.kickstarter.com/projects/996897358/readyxo-crayon-box 

Scroll down and read “The Story.” If you didn’t want to get one out of simple necessity, when you hear about the inventor’s journey you will want to back this enterprise immediately.

readyXO-box4  readyXO-box3

One of the best parts of working at PADT is helping our customers make their ideas work. From a new valve actuator on the International Space Station to clever gadgets.  Sometimes we see some great ideas from individual inventors that solve a day-to-day problem with a simple and elegant solution and get to help out just a little on their journey.  This is a fantastic example of that.

Help us help them by pre-ordering your ReadyXO Crayon Box on KickStarter and spread the word through social media.

Phoenix Business Journal: ​A call for revolution: time to push back on long payment terms

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoI don’t rant so publicly often, but this new trend to push very long payment terms on to small businesses is just bad for everyone involved. Join the fight! Read the blog posting, “A call for revolution: time to push back on long payment terms”  and rise up!

Phoenix Business Journal: Businesses should not worry about the software they need and use what they have

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoThis week’s TECHFLASH blog post in the Phoenix Business Journal takes a look at what companies can do to maximize the software investments they have already made. “Businesses should not worry about the software they need and use what they have” I offer up some best practices for maximizing your company’s software investment.

AZ Business: Large tech companies are critical to a startup community

AZB-Logo-FeaturedImgThe May/June 2016 of AZ Business Magazine focuses on innovation and technology business in Arizona. This includes our contribution to the discussion “Large tech companies are critical to a startup community.”  In this article I make a case for remembering the big guys out there that train, spawn, fund, and even buy the startups that are out there.

Do you have an Internet of Things Strategy? PADT Can Help

thing-1-250w“It is not just a trend, it is a Tsunami. One day you will wake up and see a giant wave headed your way, and that wave will be the Internet of Things!”

This was the opening line from a presentation given by the VP of sales for a major engineering software company. It got my attention because it wasn’t hype or hyperbole.  He was just pointing out the obvious. Over the past two years the signs have been there. Smart devices will connected to the internet, and older devices will be made smart and then connected. Those that don’t, will no longer be competitive.

It is not all about smart thermostats. Far from it.  I went to IoT world in San Jose last week and saw a lot of people scrambling to find their solution. And a few that found them.  The best example was an older letter stamping machine, you can guess at the manufacturer, that plugged a modular device from Electric Imp in to their controller and boom – they were connected.  Some back end programming and they now had a competitive IoT device.

iot-networ-graphic-1 It is time to define and execute on your IoT strategy

When we visit customers, we will often ask them what their IoT Strategy is.  The answers vary from “we don’t really think our products have an IoT play” to existing products on the market.  The focus in the media is on consumer IoT products, but the bigger push right now is for industrial Internet, where machines used in manufacturing, energy generation, raw material extraction, and processing are smart and connected.

Customers from consumers to other companies will be requiring the benefits of IoT devices as they look to replace older hardware.  That is why every company that makes physical products needs to develop an IoT strategy.

PADT Can Help

We have been helping our customers define and implement their approach to IoT well, since before it was called the Internet of Things.  From assisting semiconductor companies that make MEMS sensors to making smart medical devices we are plugged in to what is needed to make IoT work.

iot-landing-page-padt-1A good place to start is our IoT landing page at:

www.padtinc.com/iot

There you can find some basic information about how PADT is a more comprehensive and technically capable solution then most design houses that claim to have IoT solutions.  We are uniquely qualified to make sure the “Thing” in your IoT strategy is designed and manufactured right.

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoWe also published a series of articles in the Phoenix Business Journal that provide some fundamental background information on the Internet of Things and how to deal with the challenges it presents:

ansys-iot-wheelSimulation can play a big role in almost every aspect of making your IoT device development faster and more productive.  PADT uses ANSYS, Inc.’s comprehensive Multiphysics simulation tool set to model everything from the chip to the embedded system software.

We highly recommend this white paper, “Engineering the Internet of Things

We also have a recording of a very popular webinar that we did: “Engineering the Internet of Things Devices with ANSYS Simulation

and this video on how ANSYS can drive your IoT Design:

For detailed examples, check out the ANSYS IoT Landing page to get a feel for why so many companies are driving their design with ANSYS simulation software:  www.ansys.com/iot

PADT-Webinar-Logo

Engineering the Internet of Things Devices with ANSYS Simulation

June 21, 2016 (Tue)
1:00 PM AZ & PDT / 2:00 pm MDT

REGISTER

Make sure you subscribe to PADT’s email list so you don’t miss future Events

Talking is the Best Approach

We hope that you find all of the material above, and the information we will provide in the coming months useful. But they are no substitute for giving us a call or sending us an email and setting up a face-to-face to talk about your IoT strategy and device development needs.  If you are doing the work in-house, we have the hardware and software tools you need to be successful. If you need outside help, you won’t find engineers with more applicable experience.

Give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email info@padtinc.com.

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Phoenix Business Journal: Security – This is the biggest challenge for the Internet of Things

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoThis is our final post in a series on The Internet of Things, or IoT.  In “This is the biggest challenge for the Internet of Things” I take a look at the monster that keeps IoT companies up at night – Security.  In the end, security is a big concern when designing your IoT device, but one that can be easily addressed with the right experts, systems, and planning.

Money Radio: Business for Breakfast Interviews PADT’s Eric Miller

money_radioKen Morgan and Mark Asher of Money Radio interviewed PADT’s Eric Miller to learn more about what we do here and how “We Make Innovation Work” as part of the Business Leader Spotlight.

Listen to the interview here:

 

The Record Reporter: Simulation Solutions

record-reporter-logoPADT’s Ward Rand and Eric Miller were interviewed recently by Chris Gilfallan of  “The Record Reporter” about what PADT does and how it impacts the local product development and intellectual property community. It ended up being a great overview and is aimed at helping the Arizona legal profession understand a bit more about what we do.   If you have a subscription you can read the article here.

Phoenix Business Journal: How to deal with all that data from your Internet of Things device

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoThe next step in our look at the Internet of Things, or IoT, is what to do with all that data.  Having sensors track something is great, but it makes a lot of ones and zeros.  Saying “it is Big Data” doesn’t solve the problem.  “How to deal with all that data from your Internet of Things device” I take a look at how planning and using the right tools can give you a handle for this critical part of IoT products.

Spinning Gears: 3D Printing Awards for 2016 AZ SciTech Festival Sponsors

SciTech-Festival-Award-2016-2For several years now PADT has 3D Printed special thank you awards for the fantastic companies that sponsor the Arizona SciTech Festival.  This year we decided to stick with the color of the Stratasys Connex3 but add some moving parts. This gear design spins around and was made as one part, we just wash the support material out of the gaps between parts.

This is a great example of going directly from a CAD model to a custom part.  Each award has the recipient’s name printed on the smaller gear.  Everything was designed in an hour or so and it took about another hour to add in the 30 or so names.  We think these may be the best awards we have made so far.

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Here is a video showing off how they spin:

Awards are kind of simple and fun. But the same technology is applied by PADT to help our customers design and build better medical devices, rockets, aircraft engines, computers, and pretty much any physical product you can think of.  Give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email info@padtinc.com to see how “We Make Innovation Work”

Unexpected Joys at Rapid 2016

While much has been (justifiably) written about HP and XJet releasing new, potentially game-changing products at RAPID 2016, I wanted to write this post about some of the smaller, unexpected joys that I discovered. If I sound overly enthusiastic about the people and companies behind them, it is likely due to the fact that I wrote this on the flight back, staring out at the clouds and reflecting on what had been a wonderful trip: I own no locks, stocks or barrels in any of these companies.

1. Essentium Materials – Carbon Nanotubes and Microwaves to improve FDM mechanical properties
Over the past year, I have studied, written and made presentations about the challenges of developing models for describing Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) given their complex and part-specific meso-structure. And while I worked on developing analytical and numerical techniques for extracting the best performance from parts in the presence of significant anisotropy, the team at Essentium has developed a process to coat FDM filaments with Carbon nanotubes and extrude them in the presence of microwave radiation. In the limited data they showed for test specimens constructed of unidirectional tool-paths, they demonstrated significant reduction in anisotropy and increase in strength for PLA. What I liked most about their work is how they are developing  this solution on a foundation of understanding the contributions of both the meso-structure and inter-filament strength to overall part performance. Essentium was awarded the “RAPID Innovations award”, first among the 27 exhibitors that competed and are, in my opinion, addressing an important problem that is holding back greater expansion of FDM as a process in the production space.
Website: http://essentiummaterials.com/

2. Hyrel 3D – Maker meets Researcher meets The-Kid-in-All-of-Us
I only heard of Hyrel 3D a few days prior to RAPID, but neglected to verify if they were exhibiting at RAPID and was pleasantly surprised to see them there. Consider the options this 3D printer has that you would be hard pressed to find in several 3D printers combined: variable extrusion head temperatures (room temp to 450 C), sterile head options for biological materials, a 6W laser (yes, a laser), spindle tools, quad head dispensing with individual flow control and UV crosslinking options. Read that again slowly. This is true multiple degree-of-freedom material manipulation. What makes their products even more compelling is the direct involvement of the team and the community they are building up over time, particularly in academia, across the world, and the passion with which they engage their technology and its users.
Website: http://www.hyrel3d.com/

3. Technic-Print: New Chemistry for Improved FDM Support Removal
If you manufacture FDM parts with soluble supports, keep reading. A chemist at Technic Inc. has developed a new solution that is claimed to be 400% faster than the current Sodium-Hydroxide solution we use to dissolve parts. Additionally, the solution is cited as being cleaner on the tank, leaving no residue, has a color indicator that changes the solution’s color from blue to clear. And finally, through an additional agent, the dissolved support material can be reclaimed as a clump and removed from the solution, leaving behind a solution that has a pH less than 9. Since PADT manufactures one of the most popular machines that are used to dissolve these supports that unbeknown to us, were used in the testing and development of the new solution, we had an enriching conversation with the lead chemist behind the solution. I was left wondering about the fundamental chemistry behind color changing, dissolution rates for supports and the reclaiming of support – and how these different features were optimized together to develop a usable end-solution.
Website: http://www.technic.com/techni-print-lp

 

4. Project Pan: Computationally Efficient Metal Powder Bed Fusion Simulation
I presented a literature review at AMUG (another Additive Manufacturing conference) last month, on the simulation of the laser-based powder bed fusion. At the time, I thought I had captured all the key players between the work being done at Lawrence Livermore National Labs by Wayne King’s group, the work of Brent Stucker at 3DSIM and the many academics using mostly commercially available software (mostly ANSYS) to simulate this problem. I learned at RAPID that I had neglected to include a company called “Project Pan” in my review. This team emerged from Prof. Pan Michaleris’s academic work. In 2012, he started a company that was acquired by Autodesk two months ago. In a series of 3 presentations at RAPID, Pan’s team demonstrated their simulation techniques (at a very high level) along with experimental validation work they had done with GE, Honeywell and others through America Makes and other efforts. What was most impressive about their work was both the speed of their computations and the fact that this team actually had complex part experimental validations to back up their simulation work. What most users of the powder bed fusion need is information on temperatures, stresses and distortion – and within time frames of a few hours ideally. It seems to me that Pan and his team took an approach that delivers exactly that information and little else using different numerical methods listed on their site (novel Hex8 elements, an element activation method and intelligent mesh refinement) that were likely developed by Pan over the years in his academic career and found the perfect application, first in welding simulation and then in the powder bed fusion process. With the recent Autodesk acquisition, it will be interesting to see how this rolls out commercially. Details of some of the numerical techniques used in the code can be found at their website, along with a list of related publications.

Website: http://pancomputing.com/

5. FDA Participation: Regulating through education and partnership
On a different note from the above, I was pleasantly surprised by the presence of the FDA, represented by Matthew Di Prima, PhD. He taught part of a workshop I attended on the first day, took the time to talk to everyone who had an interest and also gave a talk of his own in the conference sessions, describing the details of the recently released draft guidance from the FDA on 3D printing in medical applications. It was good to connect the regulatory agency to a person who clearly has the passion, knowledge, intelligence and commitment to make a difference in the Additive Manufacturing medical community. Yes, the barriers to entry in this space are high (ISO certifications, QSR systems, 510(k) & Pre-Market Approvals) but it seems clear that the FDA, at least as represented by Dr. Di Prima, are doing their best to be a transparent and willing partner.
Website: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/3DPrintingofMedicalDevices/default.htm

What really makes a trip to a conference like RAPID worth it are the new ideas, connections and possibilities you come away with that you may not stumble upon during your day job – and on that account, RAPID 2016 did not disappoint. As a line in one of my favorite song’s goes:

“We’ll never know, unless we grow.
There’s too much world outside the door.”
– Fran Healy (Travis, “Turn”).

Live Webinar: Stratasys and Aerospace Manufacturing & Design

stratasys-SSYS-TYPEMARK-rgb-400x

Next week, Stratasys will be hosting a live webinar with Aerospace Manufacturing and Design.  Hear from drone manufacturer Monarch about the competitive advantages they have gained by using Stratasys 3D Printing in their design process.

Register Here

Monarch is a drone manufacturer who uses 3D printing to provide a wide range of application-focused drone services for the agriculture, energy and land survey industries.  Building these drones with the use of 3D printing gives them the ability to produce a wide range of drones for specialized applications and build custom drones in a short period of time, giving them a tremendous advantage over the competition.  Monarch chose the Stratasys Fortus 400mc 3D printer because of its ability to build large parts that are strong and rugged enough to fly their drones.  They have taken advantage of these capabilities to design and build drones for special applications that include inspecting crops, wind turbines and solar panels, aerial surveying, accident and crime scene mapping, historical building documentation and many others.

When: May 25th at 1:00pm EST

Register Here

Just One CUBE With Just One Click! A 1.3x Speedup For ANSYS® Mechanical™

Greetings from the HPC numerical simulation proving grounds of PADT, Inc. in Tempe, Arizona. While bench marking the very latest version of ANSYS® Mechanical™ I learned something very significant and I need to share this information with you right now.As I gazed down on the data outputs from the new solve.out files, I began to notice something. Yes change indeed, something was different, something had changed.

A brief pause for emphasis, in regards in overall ANSYS® productivity and amazing improvements please read this post.

However, pertaining to this blog post, I am focusing on one very important HPC performance metric to me. It is one of the many HPC performance metrics that I have used when creating a balanced HPC server for engineering simulation.. But wait there is more! so please wait just a little bit longer, for very soon I will post even more juicy pieces of data garnered from taken from these new ANSYS® benchmark solver files.

To recap in all of its bullets points & glories:

  • For today and just for today, we are focusing on just one of the performance metrics.
    • The Time Spent Computing The Solution!
  • This 1.3x speedup in solve times was achieved using just one CUBE workstation and with just one click!
    • Open ANSYS®and while you are creating your solve.
    • Select, withjust one click either the INTEL MPI or IBM Platform MPI.
    • Next, run your test repeat as necessary using whichever MPI version that you did not start your test with.

The ANSYS® Mechanical™ Benchmark Description:

  • V15sp-5
    • Sparse solver, symmetric matrix, 6000k DOFs, transient, nonlinear, structural analysis with 1 iteration
    • GPU Accelerator or Co-Processor enabled for: NVIDIA and Intel Phi
    • A large sized job for direct solvers, should run incore on machines with 128 GB or more of memory, good test of processor flop speed if running incore and I/O if running out-of-core

CUBE ANSYS Numerical Simulation Appliance Used:

The ANSYS® Mechanical™ Benchmark Results:


TIME SPENT COMPUTING THE SOLUTION TIME SPENT COMPUTING THE SOLUTION
IBM Platform MPI INTEL MPI
Cores 2016 CUBE w16i-v4 2016 CUBE w16i-v4 This Speedup is…X faster!
2 396.1 380.9 1.04
4 239.7 229.6 1.04
6 210.1 196.7 1.07
8 182.9 168.7 1.08
10 167.2 161.4 1.04
12 167.1 160.7 1.04
14 196.1 151.3 1.30
16 184.7 161.7 1.14

justonecubejustoneclickspeedup

Wow! using these latest 14nm INTEL® XEON®  CPU’s, phew, I have been forever changed! As you can see from the data above, in just one simple click, changing from the IBM Platform MPI to using INTEL MPI and look! the benchmark time spent computing times are faster! A 1.3x Speedup!

Now in this specific benchmark example along with the use of the latest  ANSYS® Mechanical achieving a 1.3x speedup without spending another penny is very wise and not so foolish.

Disclaimer: Please check with your ANSYS Software Sales Representative for the very latest on solver updates and information. Because some of the models and compatibility can very on the . You may need to use the MS-MPI, INTEL-MPI or IBM Platform MPI for your distributed solving. If you are not sure please contact your local ANSYS® Corporate Software Sales or ANSYS® Software Channel Partner that was assigned specifically to you and/or your company.

References:

http://www.ansys.com/Solutions/Solutions-by-Role/IT-Professionals/Platform-Support/Benchmarks-Overview/ANSYS-Mechanical-Benchmarks

Phoenix Business Journal: Connectivity – What makes the Internet of Things a big deal

pbj-phoenix-business-journal-logoIn this second article on the Internet of Things, or IoT, we take a look at ways you can connect a smart device to the internet.  “Connectivity: What makes the Internet of Things a big deal” gives some basic information on options and talks about the important decisions you need to make when developing your connectivity plan.

Synergy in Action, or How PADT is More than the Sum of its Parts

PADT-Company-Photo-2016-01-600wPADT talks a lot about synergy as a key strength and a key element of the value we provide to our customers. Our three departments, Manufacturing, Services, and Sales, are in constant communication, always leveraging one another’s expertise to solve problems. Strong internal relationships — a consequence of being under the same roof — precipitate easy and abundant information and resource sharing. Communication, paradigm, alignment, synergy: clear as day.

But what does any of that mean?

When a PADT product development customer meets us for the first time, he or she may be shown a slide that looks like this:

synergy-f01

Strong bilateral communication among the Product Development, 3D Printing, and Analysis groups means that the project is enriched by contributions from experts across several fields, multiplying the value we add in the development process. For instance, the product will likely someday run into a sticky problem without a clear solution. PADT can attack it from multiple angles, such as design adjustment, finite element analysis (FEA) optimization, and the iterative testing of 3D printed prototypes.

Ok, but still: what does any of that mean?

A longtime customer of PADT’s product development group recently ran into an urgent problem without a clear path to a solution. Their manufacturing partner called them and said that a particular subassembly in their design will cost three times more than expected, which would raise the price of the product above the maximum the market would bear. PADT was presented with the problem: how do we reduce the subassembly cost by 66% while maintaining overall performance, and how do we confidently select a solution in under a week?

PADT’s three engineering groups jumped in to help.

The Product Development group held a brainstorming session and came out with two adjustments to bring overall cost down. First, the subassembly of three bonded unique steel parts would be replaced by a single injection molded plastic part. This change reduces component cost to within the target, but also significantly reduces the final assembly’s structural integrity.

synergy-f02
Reduction of 3 parts to 1 part

Secondly, a plastic stiffener truss was added between components to mitigate the reduction in overall stiffness. This change adds a little assembly cost, but also significantly increases the final assembly’s structural integrity, which had been weakened by the first change.

synergy-f03
Addition of Stiffening Member

The Analysis group conducted a series of FEA simulations, first to determine the increased bending under load and second to select a material to balance the conflicting requirements for stiffness, strength, and cost. After multiple simulation iterations, it was determined that Product Development had selected a permissible path forward and that a glass-filled polypropylene provides the best combination of the three parameters.

synergy-f04
Bending under load for Material Choices 1, 2, and 3

The 3D Printing group then printed the new design for qualitative “look and feel” testing and quantitative force/deflection study. The group was able to closely match the properties of the selected material from their collection of printable filaments and top-shelf industrial printers, reproducing even the fine details — subtle fillets, radii — that boost strength but are missed with lower quality printers. Through prototype tests, it was determined that Analysis selected an appropriate material and Product Development selected an appropriate design.

In the end, PADT was able to confidently select a solution to the customer’s unique cost problem in under a week. Thanks to the synergy of three groups — Product Development, Analysis, and 3D Printing — the customer was able to stay on schedule and enter the market at a relevant price.

So how can PADT help my product?

PADT’s system for delivering services is a textbook example of synergy in action, and it represents a uniquely effective solution to your company’s product problems. Whether you’re in concept design or high-volume production, PADT will tailor-make a solution that fits your budget, schedule, and technical requirements.
Give us a call at 1–800–293-PADT or email info@padtinc.com.