3D Printed Parts Create a Tricked-Out Truck

PADT’s Austin Suder is a Solidworks CAD wizard, a NASA design-competition (Two for the Crew) winner and a teaching assistant for a course in additive manufacturing (AM)/3D printing. Not bad for someone who’s just started his sophomore year in mechanical engineering at Arizona State University.

PADT's Austin Suder 3D printed these custom LED reverse-light housings in carbon fiber PLA, then added heat-set inserts to strengthen the assembly and mounting structure. (Image courtesy Austin Suder)
PADT’s Austin Suder 3D printed these custom LED reverse-light housings in carbon fiber PLA, then added heat-set inserts to strengthen the assembly and mounting structure. (Image courtesy Austin Suder)

In last month’s PADT blog post about adding heat-set inserts to 3D printed parts we gave a shout-out to Austin for providing our test piece, the off-road LED light unit he had designed and printed for his 2005 Ford F-150. Now we’ve caught up with him between classes to see what other additions he’s made to his vehicle, all created with his personal 3D printers and providing great experience for his part-time work with Stratasys industrial printers in PADT’s manufacturing department.

Q: What has inspired or led you to print multiple parts for your truck?

I like cars, but I’m on a college budget so instead of complaining I found a way to fix the problem. I have five 3D printers at my house – why not put them to work! I understand the capabilities of AM so this has given me a chance to practice my CAD and manufacturing skills and push boundaries – to the point that people start to question my sanity.

Q: How did you end up making those rear-mount LED lights?

I wanted some reverse lights to match the ones on the front of my truck, so I designed housings in SolidWorks and printed them in carbon fiber PLA. Then I soldered in some high-power LED lights and wired them to my reverse lights. These parts made great use of threaded inserts! The carbon fiber PLA that I used was made by a company called Vartega that recycles carbon fiber material. (Note: PADT is an investor of this company.)

Q: In the PADT parking lot, people can’t help but notice your unusual tow-hitch. What’s the story with that?

I saw a similar looking hitch on another car that I liked and my first thought was, “I bet I could make that better.” It’s made from ABS painted chrome (not metal); I knew that I would never use it to tow anything, so this opened up my design freedom. This has been on my truck for about a year and the paint has since faded, but the printed parts are still holding strong.

An adjustable-height "topology optimized" trailer hitch Austin designed and printed in ABS. The chrome paint-job has many passersby doing a double-take, but it's just for fun, not function. (Image courtesy PADT)
An adjustable-height “topology optimized” trailer hitch Austin designed and printed in ABS. The chrome paint-job has many passersby doing a double-take, but it’s just for fun, not function. (Image courtesy PADT)

This part also gets questioned a lot! It’s both a blessing and a curse. In most cases it starts when I’m getting gas and the person behind me starts staring and then questions the thing that’s attached to the back of my truck. The conversation then progresses to me explaining what additive is, to a complete stranger in the middle of a gas station. This is the blessing part because I’m always down for a conversation about AM; the downside is I hate being late for work.

Q: What about those tow shackles on your front bumper?

Unique ABS printed tow shackles - another conversation-starter. (Image courtesy PADT)
Unique ABS printed tow shackles – another conversation-starter. (Image courtesy PADT)

Those parts were printed in ABS – they’re not meant for use, just for looks. I’ve seen towing shackles on Jeeps and other trucks but never liked the look of them, so again I designed my own in this pentagon-shape. I originally printed them in red but didn’t like the look when I installed them; the unusual shading comes because I spray-painted them black then rubbed off some of the paint while wet so the red highlights show through.

Q: Have you printed truck parts in any other materials?

Yes, I‘ve used a carbon-fiber (CF) nylon and flexible TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) on filament printers and a nylon-like resin on a stereolithography system.

The CF nylon worked well when I realized my engine bay lacked the real estate needed for a catch can I’d bought. This was a problem for about five minutes – then I realized I have the power of additive and engineered a mount which raised the can and holds it at an angle. The mount makes great use of complex geometry because AM made it easy to manufacture a strong but custom-shaped part.     

Custom mount, 3D printed in carbon-fiber reinforced nylon, puts aftermarket catch-can in just the right location. (Image courtesy Austin Suder)
Custom mount, 3D printed in carbon-fiber reinforced nylon, puts aftermarket catch-can in just the right location. (Image courtesy Austin Suder)

After adding the catch can to my engine, I needed a way to keep the hoses from moving around when driving so I designed a double S-clip in TPU. The first design didn’t even come close to working – the hoses kept coming loose when driving – so I evaluated it and realized that the outer walls needed to be thicker. I made the change and printed it again, and this time it worked great. In fact, it worked so well that when I took my truck to the Ford dealership for some warranty work, they went missing. (It’s OK Ford, you can have them – I’ll just print another set.)    

Just-right 3D printed clips keep hoses anchored and out of the way. ((Image courtesy Austin Suder)
Just-right 3D printed clips keep hoses anchored and out of the way. ((Image courtesy Austin Suder)

Other parts I printed in TPU included clips for the brake-lines. I had seen that my original clip had snapped off, so when I had the truck up on jacks, I grabbed my calipers and started designing a new, improved version. Thirty minutes later I had them in place.

I also made replacement hood dampeners from TPU since they looked as though they’d been there for the life of the truck. I measured the old ones, used SolidWorks to recreate them (optimized for AM), printed a pair and installed them. They’ve been doing great in the Arizona heat without any deformation.      

New hood-dampeners printed in TPU have just the right amount of give. (Image courtesy Austin Suder)
New hood-dampeners printed in TPU have just the right amount of give. (Image courtesy Austin Suder)

My last little print was done on my SLA system in a material that behaves like nylon. (This was really just me showing off.) The plastic clips that hold the radiator cover had broken off, which led me to use threaded sheet-metal inserts to add machine threading to the fixture. I then purchased chrome bolts and made some 3D printed cup-washers with embossed text for added personalization and flair.  

Even the cup-washers got a 3D printed make-over on Austin's F150: printed in white resin on an SLA system, these parts got a coat of black paint and then some sanding, ending up with a two-color custom look. (Image courtesy PADT)
Even the cup-washers got a 3D printed make-over on Austin’s F150: printed in white resin on an SLA system, these parts got a coat of black paint and then some sanding, ending up with a two-color custom look. (Image courtesy PADT)

Q: What future automotive projects do you have in mind?

I’m working on a multi-section bumper and am using the project to standardize my production process – the design, material choice, sectioning and assembling. I got the idea because I saw someone with a tube frame car and thought it looked great, which led to me start thinking about how I could incorporate that onto my truck.

When I bought my F-150, it had had a dent in the rear bumper. I was never happy with this but didn’t have the money to get it fixed, so at this point the tube-frame look came full circle! I decided that I was going to 3D print a tube-frame bumper to replace the one with a dent. I started by removing the original bumper, taking measurements and locating possible mounting points for my design. Then I made some sketches and transferred them into SolidWorks.

The best part about this project is that I have additive on my side. Typical tube frame construction is limited by many things like bend allowance, assembly, and fabrication tooling. AM has allowed me to design components that could not be manufactured with traditional methods. The bumper will be constructed of PVC sections connected by 50 ABS printed parts, all glued together, smoothed with Bondo and filler primer then painted black. This is a large project!  It will take a lot of hand-finishing, but it will be perfect.

Q: If you were given the opportunity to work on any printer technology and/or material, what would you want to try working with?

Great question! If I had the opportunity to use AM for automotive components, I would redesign internal engine components and print them with direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), one of PADT’s other AM technologies. I would try printing part like piston rods, pistons, rocker arms, and cylinder valves. Additive is great for complex geometries with exotic materials.

Go Austin! Can’t wait to see what your truck looks like when you visit over semester break.

To learn more about fused deposition modeling (FDM/filament), stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS) and DMLS printers and materials, contact the PADT Manufacturing group; get your questions answered, have some sample parts printed, and share your success tips.

PADT Inc. is a globally recognized provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development and 3D Printing products and services. For more information on Insight, GrabCAD and Stratasys products, contact us at info@padtinc.com.

Press Release: NASA Awards a $127,000 STTR Research Grant to PADT and ASU for Advanced Research in 3D Printing

For as long as PADT has been involved in Additive Manufacturing, we have been interested in how the process of building geometry one layer at a time could be used to more closely represent how nature creates objects.  Nature is able to create strong, lightweight, and flexible structures that can not be created using traditional ways of manufacturing like machining, molding, or forming.  3D Printing gives engineers and researchers the ability to explore the same shapes that nature creates.

As you can imagine, strong and light structures are very beneficial for objects that need to be launched into space.  That is why NASA just awarded PADT and Arizona State University, a Phase 1 STTR grant to explore how to make just this type of geometry.  We are excited to work with ASU to define what the possibilities are in this first phase and then apply for a Phase 2 grant to bring real-world applications of this technology to industry.

This is PADT’s 14th SBIR/STTR and our second joint project with Dr. Dhruv Bhate at ASU.  Many of you may remember the research and process improvements that Dhruv worked on when he was a PADT employee.  We look forward to sharing our results with the Additive Manufacturing community and moving this exciting application for the technology forward.

Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML

If you have any questions about high-performance computing for simulation, either with local hardware or compute resources in the cloud, reach out to info@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

Press Release:

NASA Awards a $127,000 STTR Research Grant to PADT and ASU
for Advanced Research in 3D Printing

The Grant Represents the Strength of 3D Printing in Arizona Exemplified by the Strong Cooperation Between Industry and Academia

TEMPE, Ariz., August 14, 2018 ─ To further advance their longstanding cooperation, PADT and Arizona State University (ASU) were awarded a $127,000 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I grant from NASA. The purpose of the grant is to accelerate biomimicry research, the study of 3D printing objects that resemble strong and light structures found in nature such as honeycombs or bamboo. The research is critically important to major sectors in Arizona such as aerospace because it enables strong and incredibly light parts for use in the development of air and space crafts.

“We’re honored to continue advanced research on biomimicry with our good friends and partners at ASU,” said Rey Chu, principal and co-founder, PADT. “With our combined expertise in 3D printing and computer modeling, we feel that our research will provide a breakthrough in the way that we design objects for NASA, and our broad range of product manufacturing clients.”

PADT recently partnered with Lockheed Martin and Stratasys to help NASA develop more than 100 3D printed parts for its manned-spaceflight to Mars, the Orion Mission. This grant is another example of how PADT is supporting NASA efforts to use 3D printing in spacecraft development. Specific NASA applications of the research include the design and manufacturing of high-performance materials for use in heat exchanges, lightweight structures and space debris resistant skins. If the first phase is successful, the partners will be eligible for a second, larger grant from NASA.

“New technologies in imaging and manufacturing, including 3D printing, are opening possibilities for mimicking biological structures in a way that has been unprecedented in human history,” said Dhruv Bhate, associate professor, Arizona State University. “Our ability to build resilient structures while significantly reducing the weight will benefit product designers and manufacturers who leverage the technology.”

“PADT has been an excellent partner to ASU and its students as we explore the innovative nature of 3D printing,” said Ann McKenna, school director and professor, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University. “Between the STTR grant and partnering to open our state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing Center, we’re proud of what we have been able to accomplish in this community together.”

This grant is PADT’s 14th STTR/SBIR award.

To learn more about PADT and its 3D printing services, please visit www.padtinc.com.

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 3D Printing 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, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

 

Mission to the Moon: Stratasys Joins Forces with Lockheed Martin and PADT to Engineer Advanced 3D Printed Parts For NASA’s Orion Mission

Sometimes 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 info@padtinc.com.

Press Release:

Mission to the Moon: Stratasys Joins Forces with Lockheed Martin and PADT to Engineer Advanced 3D Printed Parts For NASA’s Orion Mission

Stratasys 3D printers and materials provide extremely high levels of strength, durability and thermal properties to power missions to deep space

Variant of new Stratasys Antero™ 800NA, PEKK-based material offers electro-static dissipative (ESD) functionality for advanced mechanical, chemical, and thermal properties

Minneapolis, MN & Rehovot, Israel and TEMPE, AZ., April 17, 2018 – Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), a global leader in applied additive technology solutions, and Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) jointly announced the companies are teaming with Lockheed Martin Space to deliver next-generation 3D printed parts for NASA’s Orion deep-space spacecraft. Key to the project are Stratasys advanced materials – including an ESD variant of the new Antero™ 800NA, a PEKK-based thermoplastic offering high performance mechanical, chemical, and thermal properties.

The Orion spacecraft leverages a variant of new Stratasys Antero 800NA to build an intricately-connected 3D printed docking hatch door

Orion is NASA’s spacecraft that will send astronauts to the Moon and beyond. Orion’s next test flight, dubbed Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), will be the first integration mission with the world’s most powerful rocket, the Space Launch System, where an un-crewed Orion will fly thousands of miles beyond the Moon during an approximately three week mission.

The following flight, EM-2, will also go near the Moon, but with astronauts on-board, a first since 1972 and will enable NASA to prepare for increasingly complex missions in deep space. The mission will use more than 100 3D printed production parts on board – engineered in conjunction with Lockheed Martin, Stratasys and PADT.

The production-grade, thermoplastic 3D printed parts on NASA’s Orion vehicle are produced at the Additive Manufacturing Lab at Lockheed Martin in conjunction with PADT, which now includes the latest in Stratasys 3D printers and materials. Using advanced materials such as ULTEM 9085 and the new Antero material incorporating critical electro-static dissipative (ESD) functionality – NASA could meet key requirements for 3D printed parts to perform in the extremes of deep space. Antero is ideally suited to meet NASA’s requirements for heat and chemical resistance, along with the ability to withstand high mechanical loads.

“Working with PADT, Stratasys, and NASA has enabled us to achieve highly consistent builds that move beyond the realm of prototyping and into production,” said Brian Kaplun, Manager of Additive Manufacturing at Lockheed Martin Space. “We’re not just creating parts, we’re reshaping our production strategy to make spacecraft more affordable and faster to produce.”

Lockheed Martin is one of the first customers leveraging Stratasys’ Antero material – a PEKK-based thermoplastic with advanced mechanical, chemical and thermal properties.

The Lockheed Martin, Stratasys and PADT-engineered collaboration is differentiated by an ability to create consistency and repeatability in mass scale across the entire additive manufacturing part production process. Lockheed Martin is also one of the first customers leveraging Stratasys’ Antero, using the new thermoplastic for a critical part situated just outside of Orion’s docking hatch. The complex part consists of six individual 3D printed components locked together to form a ring on the craft’s exterior. The part is currently on display in the Lockheed Martin booth #603 at the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, CO April 16-19.

“The demands of space travel require extremely high performance materials and the most rigorous manufacturing processes in the industry. Part integrity and repeatability are essential and must pass NASA’s demanding testing and validation process,” said Scott Sevcik, Vice President of Manufacturing at Stratasys. “Based on decades of experience delivering strong and lightweight additive manufacturing solutions for leaders across the aerospace industry, Stratasys technology is ideally suited to match the high-reliability manufacturing processes required for production parts in space exploration.”

“It’s exciting to be a part of the Orion mission and Lockheed Martin’s efforts to transition additive manufacturing from prototyping to production,” said Rey Chu, Principal and Co-Owner at PADT. “Additive manufacturing technology and materials have come a long way to become a full-fledged end-use manufacturing option.”

PADT is currently joining Stratasys in their booth #537 at this week’s 34th Space Symposium. For further detail on how Stratasys is transforming aerospace and space exploration through 3D printing please visit: http://www.stratasys.com/aerospace.

Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) is a global leader in applied additive technology solutions for industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Healthcare, Consumer Products and Education. For nearly 30 years, a deep and ongoing focus on customers’ business requirements has fueled purposeful innovations—1,200 granted and pending additive technology patents to date—that create new value across product lifecycle processes, from design prototypes to manufacturing tools and final production parts. The Stratasys 3D printing ecosystem of solutions and expertise—advanced materials; software with voxel level control; precise, repeatable and reliable FDM and PolyJet 3D printers; application-based expert services; on-demand parts and industry-defining partnerships—works to ensure seamless integration into each customer’s evolving workflow. Fulfilling the real-world potential of additive, Stratasys delivers breakthrough industry-specific applications that accelerate business processes, optimize value chains and drive business performance improvements for thousands of future-ready leaders. Corporate headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel. Online at: www.stratasys.com, http://blog.stratasys.com and LinkedIn.

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D printing 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 in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah. More information on PADT can be found at www.padtinc.com.

Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

 

 

Stratasys and PADT Media Contacts

Stratasys Corporate &
North AmericaCraig.Librett@stratasys.com+1 518 424 2497Joe.Hiemenz@stratasys.com

+1 952 906 2726

Europe, Middle East, and
AfricaJonathan Wake / Miguel Afonso, Incus Mediastratasys@incus-media.com+44 1737 215200
Greater China, Southeast Asia, ANZ, and India

Alison.Yin@stratasys.com

+ 86-21-33196051

Japan and Korea

Aya.Yoshizawa@stratasys.com

+81 3 5542 004

Mexico, Central America, Caribe and South America

Yair.Canedo@stratasys.com

+52 55 4169 4181

Brazil

Caio.Ramos@GPcom.com.br

Nando@GPcom.com.br

GP Communications

+55 (11) 3129 5158

 

For PADT

Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ

Alec.robertson@techthinq.com

+585 281 6399

 

Eric Miller

Eric.miller@padtinc.com

+480 813 4884 x103

 

   

 

 

 

PADT Intern Wins NASA and ASME 3D Printing Competition

We 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:

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!