Pictures and Impressions from the 2018 Colorado Additive Manufacturing Day

Someone in the business of giving advice on social situation once said that you need four ingredients for an event to be a success: great conversation with the right people at the right location with the right food and beverage.  All of that came together last week in Littleton Colorado for PADT’s third annual Colorado Additive Manufacturing Data. The weather cooperated and we were able to gather under a tent at the St Patrick’s Brewing Company right on the Platte River to spend the afternoon talking about 3D Printing.

PADT’s very own Norm Stucker hosted, kicking off the event with a welcome from Littleton’s Mayor, Debbie Brinkman.  This was followed by presentations:

  • PADT’s Co-Owner Rey Chu shared his thoughts on being successful with AM
  • Scott Sevcik, VP of Manufacturing Solutions at Stratasys went over the Stratasys Product Roadmap
  • I gave a high-level overview on Design for Additive Manufacturing
  • The ANSYS Additive Manufacturing simulation tools were reviewed by PADT engineer Doug Oatis

After a break, that involved getting more pints of beer, eating an amazingly large amount of pizza, and networking; we returned to the tent for our keynote addresses and a panel.

The first Keynote was from William Carver of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) on how they are using AM for their Dream Chaser spacecraft.  This was followed by Ryan Bocook taking a look at Boom Supersonic‘s use of the technology for the development of their brand new supersonic airplane. For many of us, seeing how these two companies make 3D Printing a part of their design, test, and manufacturing processes was very informative. It was real world, real issues, and real solutions.

The day was capped by a fascinating panel on that very topic: Making Additive Manufacturing Real.  The speakers consisted of:

The panel was moderated by Maj. General Jay Lindell (USAF, Ret) who serves as the Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.  Not only does he have the longest and coolest title, he did a great job of getting the panel to share their experiences to the benefit of all who were there.

For me, the best part (the Dark Lager does not count) of the event was the interaction between users across industries.  So many great examples and stories.  Bad nerd jokes were told, advice was shared, stories about challenges were told, and business cards were exchanged. We live in an online world and you can have some community through the internet. But to build great relationships and to truly share knowledge, you need to get everyone together under a huge tent on a sunny day at a brewery by a river.

If you want to take part in our next Colorado Additive Manufacturing day, a 3D Printing user event in Arizona, Utah, or New Mexico, any of our online webinars, or any other PADT event make sure you sign up for the PADT Additive & Advanced Manufacturing Email List or the PADT General Information Email List on our OptIn page. If you have any questions about any of the content or 3D Printing in general, do not hesitate to contact us.

Please enjoy the pictures we captured of the day below and we hope to see you at our next event.

 

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How to Simplify Aircraft Certification – Stratasys Webinar

The aerospace industry’s adoption of additive manufacturing is growing and predicted to revolutionize the manufacturing process. However, to meet stringent FAA and EASA requirements, AM-developed aerospace products must be certified that they can achieve the robust performance levels provided by traditional manufacturing methods. Current certification processes are complex and variable, and thus obstruct AM adoption in aerospace.

Thanks to a newly released aerospace package released by Stratasys for their Fortus 900mc printer and ULTEM 9085 resin, Aerospace Organizations are now able to simplify the aviation certification process for their manufactured parts.

Join PADT’s 3D Printing General Manager, Norman Stucker for a live webinar that will introduce you to the new Stratasys aerospace package that removes the complexity from FAA and EASA certification.

By attending this webinar, you will learn:

  • How Stratasys can help get more parts certified for flight quicker and easier.
  • The benefits of Aerospace Organizations using the Fortus 900mc and ULTEM 9085 resin
  • And much more!

Don’t miss your chance to attend this upcoming event,
click below to secure your spot today!

 

If this is your first time registering for one of our Bright Talk webinars, simply click the link and fill out the attached form. We promise that the information you provide will only be shared with those promoting the event (PADT).

You will only have to do this once! For all future webinars, you can simply click the link, add the reminder to your calendar and you’re good to go!

Webinar: Additive Manufacturing & Simulation Driven Design, A Competitive Edge in Aerospace

PADT recently hosted the Aerospace & Defence Form, Arizona Chapter for a talk and a tour. The talk was on “Additive Manufacturing & Simulation Driven Design, A Competitive Edge in Aerospace” and it was very well received.  So well in fact, that we decided it would be good to go ahead and record it and share it. So here it is:

Aerospace engineering has changed in the past decades and the tools and process that are used need to change as well. In this presentation we talk about how Simulation and 3D Printing can be used across the product development process to gain a competitive advantage.  In this webinar PADT shares our experience in apply both critical technologies to aerospace. We talk about what has changed in the industry and why Simulation and Additive Manufacturing are so important to meeting the new challenges. We then go through five trends in each industry and keys to being successful with each trend.

If you are looking to implement 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing) or any type of simulation for Aerospace, please contact us (info@padtinc.com) so we can work to understand your needs and help you find the right solutions.

 

Phoenix Business Journal: ​Arizona solidifies position as a leader in space technology

Just-Published-PBJ-1NASA launched the OSIRIS-REx mission on September 8, 2016. Not only is this a cool mission to explore our solar system, but it’s a big deal because Arizona has a ton at stake in its success.  “Arizona solidifies position as a leader in space technology” goes over what ASU, UofA and KinetX, Inc. contributed to this great project.

There is Plenty of Space in Arizona: PADT Joins Discussion on Channel 8’s Arizona Horizon to Talk about the Space Industry in Arizona

arizona_horizonPADT’s Eric Miller was asked to return to take part in a discussion about the somewhat hidden Space industry in Arizona.  Eric was joined by Kjell Stakkestad, CEO of KinetX Aerospace to answer questions and provide insight into this critical part of Arizona’s high tech industry landscape.

The show features some serious but not-so-fun topics… and the title for the video reflects those.  So ignore the title and see what Eric and Kjell have to say starting at 17:55.

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Press Release: 3D Printing Expertise from PADT Advances Aerospace Industry

ula-rocket-duct-made-from-3d-printed-partsMany of you may have seen the recent launch of an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance (ULA).  We are honored to have lent our expertise to ULA’s 3D Printing efforts that resulted in the use of parts on that rocket made with additive manufacturing.   We will be talking about that and other ways we help the Aerospace Industry at the 32nd Space Symposium this week in Colorado Springs Colorado.  Please stop by!

Read more in the press release.  A PDF can be found here.

Press Release:

3D Printing Expertise from PADT Advances Aerospace Industry

Product design and development leader provides additive manufacturing support for United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.April 11, 2016PRLog — Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies Inc. (PADT), the Southwest’s largest provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing services and products, is highlighting its expertise this week at the 32nd Space Symposium,  the premier global, commercial, civil, military and emergent space conference.

During the symposium, PADT experts in additive manufacturing will be on hand to discuss the company’s technical expertise, logistics, sales and service capabilities in the exciting aerospace sector, which contributed to the successful launch on March 22 of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V rocket made use of lightweight thermoplastic 3D printed parts, with the application of Stratasys technology supplied by PADT and consulting from PADT on how best to apply that technology to engineering, tooling, and production.

Stop by and visit PADT’s booth 1310 at the 32nd Space Symposium, April 11-14, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. http://www.spacesymposium.org/.

“PADT continues to be both a great supplier of both polymer and metal additive manufacturing technologies and an additive manufacturing technical consultant to ULA, supporting our Atlas V, Delta IV and future Vulcan Centaur launch vehicles,” said Greg Arend, ULA manager, Additive Manufacturing. “By consulting with PADT, we were able to understand how these technologies enhance our design and manufacturing process, saving time, money and weight. PADT’s knowledge of the use of both polymer and metal materials was instrumental in helping us achieve our success.”

In addition to supplying ULA with Stratasys’ polymer 3D Printing machines, PADT consulted with them early on andled a tour of Oakridge National Labs to help them understand the state of the art for both metal and polymer applications and produced a technological roadmap for both technologies that has largely been followed.  Assisted by PADT, both companies made use of additive manufacturing for engineering prototypes, then advanced to the production of tooling for manufacturing and developed the confidence needed to move to flight hardware.

The founders of PADT have been involved with additive manufacturing since the late 1980’s and the company was the first service provider in the Southwest in 1994.  Over the years, PADT has built a reputation for technical excellence and a deep understanding of how to apply various 3D printing technologies to enable real world applications.  Their sales team has shown the ability to sell sophisticated engineering products to companies large and small, and to provide excellent support to their customers.

“3D Printing is not just about makers, nor is it just about engineering prototypes,” said Rey Chu, co-owner, principal and director of Manufacturing Technologies at PADT. “Every day users are creating production hardware to produce usable parts that save them time and money. Ducts for rockets are a perfect application of 3D printed parts because they are complex, low volume, and can make single parts that need to be made in multiple pieces using traditional methods.”

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 80 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at http://www.PADTINC.com

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Denver Business Journal: Colorado Companies Bringing Space Costs Down to Earth

dbj-Denver-Business-Journal-logoColorado is a major contributor to the space industry, and they are quickly adopting 3D Printing to keep costs down and get to space faster.  In this article, “Colorado Companies Bringing Space Costs Down to Earth” the DBJ explores how automation and 3D Printing can have a big impact on cost and schedule.  Many of the companies sighted in the article are PADT customers, and PADT’s very own Norman Stucker was quoted extensively for the article.

3D Printed Plastics in Functional Aerospace Parts

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the most widely used 3D printing technology today, ranging from desktop printers to industrial scale manufacturing tools. While the use of FDM for prototyping and rapid tooling is well established, its use for manufacturing end-use parts in aerospace is a more recent phenomenon. This has been brought about primarily due to the availability of one material choice in particular: ULTEM. ULTEM is a thermoplastic that delivers compliance with FAA FAR 25.853 requirements. It features inherent flame retardant behavior and provides a high strength-to-weight ratio, outstanding elevated thermal resistance, high strength and stiffness and broad chemical resistance (official SABIC press release).

During an industry scan I conducted for a recent research proposal PADT submitted, I came across several examples of the aerospace industry using the FDM process to manufacture end-use parts. Each of these examples is interesting because they demonstrate the different criteria that make FDM preferable over traditional options, and I have classified them accordingly into: design opportunity, cost and lead-time reduction, and supply complexity.

Design Opportunity: In this category, I include parts that were primarily selected for 3D printing because of the unique design freedom that layer-wise additive manufacturing offers. This applies to all 3D printing technologies, the two examples below are for FDM in ducts.

ULA Environmental Control System (ECS) duct: As reported in a prior blog post, United Launch Alliance (ULA) leveraged FDM technology to manufacture an ECS duct and reduce the overall assembly from 140 parts to only 16, while reducing production costs by 57%. The ECS ducts distribute temperature and humidity controlled air onto sensitive avionics equipment during launch and need to withstand strong vibrations. The first Atlas V with these ducts is expected to launch in 2016.

ULA's Kyle Whitlow demonstrates the ECS duct that was printed using FDM
ULA’s Kyle Whitlow demonstrates the ECS duct that was printed using FDM

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital aircraft duct: The Flying Eye Hospital is an amazing concept from Orbis, who use a refurbished DC-10 plane to deliver eye care around the world. The plane actually houses all the surgical rooms to conduct operations and also has educational classrooms. The refurbishment posed a particular challenge when it came to air conditioning: a duct had to transfer air over a rigid barrier while maintaining the volume. Due to the required geometric complexity, the team selected FDM and ULTEM to manufacture this duct, and installed it and met with FAA approval. The story is described in more detail in this video.

FDM used to enable a complex duct connection on an Orbis DC-10 aircraft
FDM used to enable a complex duct connection on an Orbis DC-10 aircraft

Supply Complexity: 3D printing has a significant role to play in retro-fitting of components on legacy aircraft. The challenge with maintaining these aircrafts is that often the original manufacturer either no longer is in business or makes the parts.

Airbus Safety belt holder: Airbus shared an interesting case of a safety belt holder that had to be retrofitted for the A310 aircraft. The original supplier made these 30 years ago and since went out of business and rebuilding the molds would cost thousands of dollars and be time-consuming. Airbus decided to use FDM to print these safety belt holders as described in this video. They took a mere 2 hours to design the part from existing drawings, and had the actual part printed and ready for evaluation within a week!

Airbus used FDM to print safety belt holders for A310 aircraft when the original supplier went out of business
Airbus used FDM to print safety belt holders for A310 aircraft when the original supplier went out of business

Incidentally, the US Air Force has also recognized this as a critical opportunity to drive down costs and reduce the downtime spent by aircrafts awaiting parts, as indicated by a recent research grant they are funding to enable them to leverage 3D printing for the purpose of improving the availability of parts that are difficult and/or expensive to procure. As of 2014, The Department of Defense (DOD) reported that they have maintenance crews supporting a staggering 31,900 combat vehicles, 239 ships and 16,900 aircraft – and identified 3D printing as a key factor in improving parts availability for these crews.

Cost & Lead-time Reduction: In low-volume, high-value industries such as aerospace, 3D printing has a very strong proposition to make as a technology that will bring products to market faster and cheaper. What is often a surprise is the levels of reduction that can be obtained with 3D printing, as borne out by the three examples below.

Airbus A350 Electric wire covers: The Airbus A350 has several hundred plastic covers that are 3D printed with FDM. These covers are used for housing electric wires at junction boxes. Airbus claims it took 70% less time to make these parts, and the manufacturing costs plunged 80%. See this video for more information.

Airbus used FDM to manufacture wire covers for their A350 aircraft
Airbus used FDM to manufacture wire covers for their A350 aircraft

Kelly Manufacturing Toroid housing: Kelly Manufacturing selected FDM to manufacture toroid housings that are assembled into their M3500 instrument, which is a “turn and bank” indicator which provides the pilot information regarding the rate of aircraft turn. These housings were previously made of urethane castings and required manual sanding to remove artifacts from the casting process, and also had high costs and lead times associated with tooling. Using FDM, they were able to eliminate the need to do sanding and reduced the lead time 93% and also reduced per-piece costs by 5% while eliminating the large tooling costs. See the official case study from Stratasys here.

Kelly MFG housing FDM
Toroid housings manufactured for Kelly Manufacturing using FDM for significant cost savings and lead time reduction

These examples help demonstrate that 3D printing parts can be a cost savings solution and almost always results in significant lead time reduction – both of vital interest in the increasingly competitive aerospace industry. Further, design freedom offered by 3D printing allows manufacturing geometries that are otherwise impossible or cost prohibitive to make using other processes, and also have enormous benefit in overcoming roadblocks in the supply chain. At the same time, not every part on an aircraft is a suitable candidate for 3D printing. As we have just seen, selection criteria involve the readily quantifiable metrics of part cost and lead time, but also involve less tangible factors such as supply chain complexity, and the design benefits available to additive manufacturing. An additional factor not explicitly mentioned in any of the previous examples is the criticality of the part to the flight and the safety of the crew and passengers on board. All these factors need to be taken into consideration when determining the suitability of the part for 3D printing.

ReBlog: An Insider’s View on 3D Printing in Aerospace

In all the hype and hoopla around 3D Printing there are teams around the world that are quietly making a difference in manufacturing – making real parts and figuring out the processes, testing, and protocols needed to realize the dream of additive manufacturing.  One such team is at Honeywell Aerospace, and we are proud to be one of their vendors.

They just published a great blog on where they are and what they have achieved and we recommend you give it a read. Very informative.

An Insider’s View on 3D Printing in Aerospace

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If you would like to learn how you can use this same technology to move your manufacturing process forward, fill out our simple form here, call us at 480.813.4884, or send an email to info@padtinc.com.

PADT at the 9th Annual Colorado Space Roundup

PADT is pleased to be an exhibitor at this years Colorado Space Roundup. This is a great event where everyone involved in space gets together and talks about what needs to be done to improve and grow the aerospace ecosystem in the state. We are pleased to see many of our customers here, and have already met some new friends.

The location is at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a very cool facility with a nice view out front. It was also nice to see so many grcrust companies, many who are customers, listed with PADT on the sponsor page.