Press Release: PADT, Avnet and Tiempo Development Introduce Design Days, Hosted by Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation
Posted on February 16, 2017, by: Eric MillerPADT and CEI have partnered with Avnet and Tiempo Development to offer a free technical advice to local startups at CEI. Anyone needing advice on mechanical design, electrical design, or software can now sign up for an hour with an engineer from one of these fantastic local technology leaders. CEI has been a great host for these events with just PADT for a while now, and we are pleased to announce that we have added electrical and software to what is offered, and we are officially anouncing it to the whole community. Check out the press release to learn more or visit the the CEI website: info.ceigateway.com/padt-design-days Official copies of the press release can be found in HTML and PDF.
Posted on February 8, 2017, by: Eric MillerDid you know that PADT does scanning of parts? No? You are not alone. We recently ran into several customers who were sending their scanning out of state and didn't know that they could have it done by PADT, someone who is already a trusted partner. So we thought it would be a good time to do an update on our Scanning services and provide some additional background on what it is.
Part Scanning 101The idea behind part scanning is that you want to take a part in the real world, and get an accurate model in a computer. To do this you somehow measure the part with a computer, getting a three dimensional representation of the parts surface. Today, there are six basic ways to do this:
PADT offers Structured Light and Cross Sectional ScanningAll of these methods create points in space. The more sophisticated the software, the more automatic the process of assembling the points to define the surfaces of the full object. These points are sometimes called a "point cloud." The Point cloud can them be turned in to a faceted representation of the object. For many people, this is all they need. This faceted representation can be rendered on a computer screen or 3D Printed. It can also be used with inspection software to determine the accuracy of the part relative to its original specification as well as variations across multiple copies of the same geometry. If users need more, like a full CAD model, that can be created from the point cloud using specialized software. PADT uses Geomagic DesignX. This tool not only creates usable geometry, but it can export in the customer's native CAD format. To do accurate part scanning you need:
- A precision scanning device
- Software to take the measured data and create an accurate point cloud. This includes repair and cleanup tools.
- Software to convert the point cloud into a usable 3D CAD model
- or, Software to conduct accurate inspection on the measured geometry.
Why does Part Scanning Take so Long and Cost So Much?When people ask for their first part scanning quote, they can often be surprised by the cost. The scanning process doesn't look that hard. And to be honest, the amount of time you actually spend scanning most parts is pretty short. The time is spent on the preparation, scanning hard-to-reach areas, the clean up, and then converting the data in to usable formats. If we are working with a light based scanner, we have to prepare the parts so that they reflect the light properly. Sometimes we have to cover the part with a find powder, sometimes we may even have to paint it. What we need is for the reflection and color of the part to not interfere with the scanning. If we are using cross sectional scanning, the part needs to be cast inside a rigid material, so the part we are scanning does not distort as we remove layers. In addition, if the part is not a solid light or dark color, it may need to be died to provide contrast for the camera. Both processes also require some study to determine the orientation of the part relative to the scanner and how the scanning process will take place. Once all this is worked out, the scanning often goes very fast. If there are nasty little parts that are hard to get to or that confuse the device, the engineer may have to modify things, do some special localized scanning, or even make castings that are then scanned. As is usual with technical processes, a very small portion of the surface being scanned may take up the vast majority of the scanning time. Once the scanning is done, the real hard work begins. Although software is much better than it was in the past, the resulting point cloud needs to be massaged and cleaned. Stray data is removed, and points from different scans need to be positioned and combined. Then everything must be checked. If a CAD solid model is needed, then the engineer must spend considerable time dealing with complex features and transition areas. As with the scanning, the bulk of the time spent creating a CAD model is spent on a relatively small percentage of the geometry. All of this adds up. Plus, to be honest, things rarely go as planned and unexpected issues arise that need to be dealt with.
Part Scanning Services at PADTNow we get to the important part of this post: hiring PADT to do your scanning. We added this capability to support our 3D Printing customers that wanted copies of physical parts. But as we looked at it, we found that we also had customers who needed inspection and reverse engineering of legacy parts. We studied the problem for some time and found the right tools and people to make it happen. Our primary scanner is a Zeiss Comet L3D 5M STructured light scanner. It used to be called a Steinbichler, till Zeiss bought them in 2015. Although it is portable and easy to manipulate, the Comet L3D 5M is highly accurate. It allows us to scan everything from small medical devices to the front end of acar, and to know that the resulting geometry will be accurate and usable. This is the best option for inspection and reverse engineering of high-precision parts. We also have a Geomagic Capture scanner. Although less accurate it is more portable and simpler to operate. It is ideal or taking to a customer and getting geometry for reverse engineering or part copying. If parts have internal features, and are made of plastic, we use our Cross Sectional Scanners. These high precision devices do a fantastic job and are really the best way to capture inside surfaces. Our customers love it to see how injection molded parts are coming out on well used molds. If anything else is needed, our experts can outsource to a niche supplier.
Want to do it Yourself?If you need to do your own scanning, no worries. PADT also sells all the tools we use inhouse to customers that need the capability internally.
Next StepsHopefully this posting has answered most of your questions and you are eager to try 3D Part Scanning. The best place to start is to get a quote from PADT. However, if you still have questions then feel free to contact us and fire away. We are passionate bout this capability and love talking about it. Either way, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480.813.4884 and ask to talk about Part Scanning. We also have some information on our website at www.padtinc.com/scanning.
Posted on January 31, 2017, by: Eric MillerCutting corners rarely pays off, and that is especially true in product development when you skimp on physical or virtual prototyping. In "Why accurate prototypes are important to product development success" I take a look at why accurate prototyping is so important, with some real world lesson learned as examples.
Phoenix Business Journal: Um, the coffee machine needs more water and 5 rules to improve your user interface design game
Posted on January 12, 2017, by: Eric MillerUsually getting coffee is just getting coffee, but a recent trip turned into some deep thoughts on user interface design. "Um, the coffee machine needs more water and 5 rules to improve your user interface design game" explains my encounter with the office caffeine dispenser as well as five key rules that everyone should follow when developing a user interface for a product.
Posted on November 1, 2016, by: Trevor Rubinoff
Click Here to Register
Click Here to Register
Can't make it? Keep an eye out as we will be hosting events in other locations as the roadshow continues on!
In the meantime, click here for more information on the ANSYS Startup Program.
Posted on October 19, 2016, by: Eric MillerThe teams are set, the judges have confirmed. Details on the fake company has been shared. It is time to see how the professionals pitch a tech startup. The area's best startup incubators and accelerators are facing off in this head to head competition to take home the awesome Unicorn Cup and bragging rights. The teams are:
Thomas Schumann and Patti DuBois from CEI Nate Mortenson from Tallwave Wiley Larson from ASU Lauren McDannel and John Johnson from Seed SpotOur distinguished panel of judges consists of
Rebel Brown of Cognoscenti Carine Dieudé of Altima Business Solutions Jim Goulka of ATI Christie Kerner of ASU David McCaleb of ATIPerfect Pitch is a contest where teams present the same fictitious technology startup company. A group of expert judges will determine who gave the best pitch. The event is part of PADT's Nerdtoberfest celebration of engineering and manufacturing in Arizona, and takes place from 4:30-6:00 on Thursday, October 27th at our Tempe offices. Everyone is invited! We will have an overflow area set up if we get more than can fit in our seminar room where you can watch live. We will also be streaming the event live to the world (watch this blog and social media for the link). If seeing the best of the best pitch is not enough, here is some info about our fictitious Company: barqk! At barqk!, we deploy the latest cloud based machine learning and big data algorithms to convert your dog’s barking into words on your mobile device so that you can understand your pet’s needs, if they are sick, and be made aware of danger. Dog owners face significant problems communicating with their pets. Although you can train a dog to obey commands, the dog cannot tell it’s owners what it needs or wants. This leads to significant stress for the owner and may lead to death when the animal cannot communicate an obvious and present danger. Barqk! has created a cloud connected wearable device for dogs that records their barking and uses machine learning and big data algorithms to convert dog-speak into human-speak. The translated words are sent via text or through our app to the owner’s phone. Initially the owners provide feedback to the network, and the responses of all owners to every dog’s bark are collected as big data then fed through our proprietary algorithms that use Bessel functions and advanced machine learning approximations to develop a consensus on what a given bark means. Over time a translation for each dog will be developed and we expect 87% accuracy.
Posted on October 4, 2016, by: Eric MillerNothing beats seeing a product we were part of hit the shelves, except seeing that product become a success. The Globalstar Spot3 project was even better because we were able to apply the full range of PADT's capabilities to contribute to this success: Product Development, Simulation, and 3D Printing. In "Fast-Forwarding Next-Generation Product Development" PADT's Mike Landis outlines how we applied leading edge technology and a proven process to quickly develop Globalstar's next-generation design, not just for performance but also for manufactuing. The article is a great overview of the service PADT has to offer and how we partner with customers to make their innovation work. If you have a new generation of an existing product line, or a brand new product under development and want a better product to market faster, PADT is here to help with our design, simulation, 3D Printing, test, and manufacturing expertise. Just give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email email@example.com.
Phoenix Business Journal: Getting your product made: 6 suggestions for outsourcing the manufacturing of your product
Posted on September 6, 2016, by: Eric MillerGetting a new product manufactured is one of those critical steps that new companies often assume is just a matter of finding a vendor and outsourcing it. In "Getting your product made: 6 suggestions for outsourcing the manufacturing of your product" I go over some suggestions on how to make this critical step a success.
Posted on September 2, 2016, by: Eric MillerSeptember is here and it is a jam packed month of events, many of them related to BioMedical engineering. We are continuing with ANSYS webinars and talking about 3D Printing as well. See what we have below:
event page for times and an agenda.
September 15: Scottsdale, AZ ANSYS Arizona Innovation ConferenceANSYS and PADT are pleased to announce that we be holding a user meeting in Scottsdale for the entire ANSYS use community. Join us for an informative conference on how to incorporate various productivity enhancement tools and techniques into your workflow for your engineering department. ANSYS Applications Engineers and local customers like Honeywell, Galtronics, On Semi, Ping, and Nammo Talley, will discuss design challenges and how simulation-driven product development can help engineers rapidly innovate new products. See the agenda and register here.
September 19: Phoenix, AZ Seminar: Medical Device Product Development for Startups - The Bitter PillWe will be kicking off our Arizona Bioscience Week with this a free seminar at CEI in Phoenix with a sometimes brutally honest discussion on the reality of medical device product development. No one wants to discourage a good idea, and entrepreneurs make it a long way before someone sits them down and explains how long and expensive the engineering of a medical device product is. In this one hour seminar PADT will share the hard and cold realities of the process, not to discourage people, but to give them the facts they need. Get the details and register here.
September 21-22: Minneapolis, MN Medical Design & Manufacturing MinneapolisPADT Medical will have a booth with our partner Innosurg at this premier event for medical device development. For 22 years, Medical Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis has been the medtech innovation, communication, and solution epicenter of the Midwest. Now over 600 suppliers strong, and with more than 5,000 industry professionals in attendance, the event provides the solutions, education, and partnerships you simply won’t find anywhere else. Learn more here. And if you are attending, please stop by and say hello, we are in booth 1643.
September 21 & 22: Phoenix, AZ White Hat Investor ConferenceThe West was won by innovators, investors, and prospectors who understood the value of discovery and accepted the challenge of investing in new frontiers. PADT will be joining others in the investment community to meet with and hear from companies (32 are signed up to present right now) in the Bioscience space and to also share ideas and network. Registration for this special event can be found here.
This month's webinars look at Signal Integrity and 3D Printing for Production
|Wednesday, September 7, 2016 – 1:00 PM AZ/PDT, 12:00 PM MDT Investigating Signal Integrity: How to find problems before they find you Register|
|Thursday, September 29, 2016 – 4:00 PM AZ/PDT, 3:00 PM MDT SAE Webinar: Additive Manufacturing: From Prototyping to Production Parts Register|
Posted on July 26, 2016, by: Eric MillerHaving the right product development team is critical to the successful development of a new product. In "How to assemble the right product development team" I take a look at what PADT has learned through the years about what makes a great team.
Posted on June 2, 2016, by: Eric MillerAs 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: 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.
Posted on May 25, 2016, by: Eric Miller
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.
PADT Can HelpWe 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. A good place to start is our IoT landing page at: We 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:
- My cat didn’t preheat the oven: Is your company ready for the Internet of Things?
- Sensors and controls: Making a product smart enough for the Internet of Things
- Connectivity: What makes the Internet of Things a big deal
- How to deal with all that data from your Internet of Things device
- Security: This is the biggest challenge for the Internet of Things