This has been a busy year for PADT. So busy in fact that we forgot an important announcement from January. PADT was granted US Patent 9,878,498 for some of the technology we use in our line of devices that remove soluble supports from 3D Printing parts. The official title: METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR REMOVING SUPPORT MATERIAL is actually fairly accurate. It covers the hardware configuration inside the device along with the methods that are used for the systems we make and sell for removing support material from 3D Printed parts.
PADT introduced our first Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) to the market in 2008. We learned a lot from that first SCA-1200 and developed intellectual property around the equipment and methods we used in our second generation systems, the SCA-1200HT and SCA 3600. With over 12,000 total units shipped, these machines take the work out of support removal making 3D Printing faster and easier.
Take a look at the press release below, or the patent itself, to learn more about what makes our systems unique and better. Decades of experience in 3D Printing, product development, and simulation went into developing the ideas and concepts capture in the patent and realized in the reliable and easy-to-use SCA product family.
If you have any questions about our support removal solutions in particular or 3D Printing in general, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480.813.4884.
Additive manufacturing has seen an explosion of material options in recent years. With these new material options comes significant improvements in mechanical properties and the potential for new applications that extend well beyond prototyping; one such application being sacrificial tooling.
Traditional composite manufacturing techniques work well to produce basic shapes with constant cross sections. However, complex composite parts with hollow interiors present unique manufacturing challenges. However, with FDM sacrificial tooling, no design compromise is necessary.
Download the white paper to discover how FDM sacrificial tooling can dramatically streamline the production process for complicated composite parts with hollow interiors.
This document includes insight into:
The advanced composites industry has a continual need for innovative tooling solutions. Conventional tooling is typically heavy, costly and time-consuming to produce. New applications, product improvements and the demand for faster, lower-cost tool creation challenge composite product manufacturers to innovate and remain competitive.
The use of additive manufacturing (or “3D printing”), and specifically FDM, for composite tooling has demonstrated considerable cost and lead time reductions while providing numerous other advantages such as immense design freedom and rapid iteration, nearly regardless of part complexity.
This document includes best practices for:
Additive manufacturing encompasses methods of fabrication that build objects through the successive addition of material, as opposed to subtractive methods such as CNC machining, that remove material until a final shape is achieved. Composite fabrication is one of the most original forms of additive manufacturing.
Whether the process involves wet lay-up, hand lay-up of prepreg materials, or automated fiber placement (AFP), methods of composite manufacture are distinctly additive in nature, building up to final part forms typically one layer at a time. However, the nature of additive manufacturing has been revolutionized with the advent of the 3D printing industry.
Strong, resilient, fiber-reinforced thermoplastics. Lightweight, low-cost composite tooling. Explore these and other characteristics and benefits of additively manufactured composites in the e-book “Introduction to Additive Manufacturing for Composites.”
This e-book covers:
Waking up at 3 A.M. isn’t something I like to do often. However, for this conference I was about to attend, it was worth the early rise! Caffeine is a must to get through a long day of walking around and being educated by all the different new and old manufacturers of 3D printers. If you have been around 3D printing, you know there are really two conferences that are above the rest; AMUG and RAPID. Here are some of the things that were announced that I believe are the most significant at RAPID.
Stratasys didn’t disappoint this year in introducing a new carbon fiber 3D printer, material, and metal technology that will be coming in a year+. We are very familiar with the Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber reinforced material that Stratasys has. It is THE best Nylon 12 carbon fiber material on the market and there are a few factors as to why that is the case. One is that they are using longer strands of Carbon Fiber than the competitor along with 35% carbon fiber filled parts compared to 15%. Soluble support is huge for this material as well, along with 2 to 5 times faster printer speeds. Check out how One Wheel is using this printer to help with manufacturing their cool skateboard:
ANTERO 800 is the new material that Stratasys released recently. This material is being used in many amazing ways. Lockheed Martin/NASA/Stratasys/PADT collaborated in a very successful task to get flight approved hardware for one of the next missions to space. Below is the full story on this new and exciting ESD version of Antero 800 FDM material. Could your company also benefit from using this type of material? We would like to help!
Vero Magenta V and Vero Yellow V are the new Polyjet materials to help with getting more vibrant colors along with deeper red and brighter yellow. 500,000 color combinations can be achieved now with these 2 materials that have been improved upon. Absolutely beautiful parts can be made with a Stratasys J750 or J735.
Metal We have been asking (and have been asked) for metal for the longest time! When is Stratasys going to jump into the metal game? One of the main reasons why I went to RAPID this year was to see Stratasys Metal parts. They did not disappoint. As far as what density these metal parts are, the process for printing, and when a machine will be available, that is still the big unknown. One thing mentioned at the conference is that they are wanting to make metal 3D printing affordable to all with the ability to 3D print metal 80% cheaper than anything available right now. How this compares to what Desktop Metal, Mark Forged, HP, and others who proclaim to make metal parts cheaper than the Laser or Electron Beam options is yet to be known. Stratasys wants to be able to provide value to the metal market by focusing on areas that are lacking, which is Aluminum. Always good to have competition against the large companies of metal as it makes everyone get better at what they are doing. Read more about this machine and what Phil Reeves (VP of Strategic Consulting from Stratasys) has to say in an exclusive interview with TCT. Also below are a few pictures I took in the Stratasys booth of their metal parts that were on display.
Software was featured big time at RAPID because it unlocks the ability to 3D print amazing parts like this that was featured in the EOS booth. Lattice structures and topology optimized parts!
There were a lot of companies present at RAPID that highlighted where the industry is headed. Materials with vibrant color capabilities was one such area receiving a lot of attention. While competitors have introduced machines that are capable of printing in a wide variety of colors, they still fall short when compared to the Stratasys Polyjet offerings. Machines such as the J750 and J735 both offer a similar range of color compared to other companies on the market, but surpass them when it comes to material options, applications, and overall usability.
I enjoyed talking with all the major 3D printer manufactures at RAPID. One questions I would ask each of them is, what makes your system better than the competitors? I loved hearing the sales pitch about their machines and there was some great insight gained by asking this.At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you are wanting to use the 3D printer. At PADT we have many different 3D printers, and while we see and understand the appeal of the various different offerings on the market today, there is a reason why we continue to resell and support the brands we do. Let us know how we can help you out and any questions that you have with 3D printing.
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 email@example.com.
PADT’s Salt Lake City office has been involved with fulfillment of medical 3d Printing of several cases where customers are exploring the value of multi-color and multi-material medical 3D models by using the Stratasys J750 or the Connex 3. One of those cases was presented at the Mayo Clinic’s Collaborative 3D Printing in Medical Practice 2018 course, which was held in Arizona this year.
An Intermountain Healthcare facility in Salt Lake City needed help with 3D printing a patient-specific anatomy, as they were looking to better their understanding of the value of 3D printing using multi-color printer beyond their existing in-house capabilities. In the picture below, Rami Shorti, PhD., a senior Biomechanical Engineering Scientist at Intermountain Healthcare, wrote:
“A patient with a horseshoe kidney and multiple large symptomatic stones, who had failed Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy and Ureteroscopy Treatment, was used to evaluate the benefit of using different imaging modalities intraoperatively.”
Working with us in Salt Lake City, Rami Shorti, PhD, prepared the patient-specific medical imaging segmentation, post-processing of the patient anatomy, and finally generated for us a 3D printable CAD model that we were able to print using a Stratasys Objet 260 Connex 3. Since our office is located just around the corner from the hospital, we were able to work closely with Rami to identify the colors and finish of the final part.
The Connex 3 printer was introduced in 2014 as the only printer in the world that could combine three different model materials in a single print pass. Most 3D printers can only print with one material at a time, which is one of the main reasons why this technology is preferred for medical use cases along with its added precision. In 2017, Stratasys introduced the J750, which again is an industry first, becoming the only printer in the world that can print 6 different materials at the same time. Combinations of hard plastics and rubber materials allow for a range of shore hardness values along with the ability to mix three primary colors to print 500,000 different colors.
With a quick turnaround needed, we decided to use the Connex 3 and were amazed that we were able to print the parts in two batches. Within 48 hours of receiving the STL files from Dr. Shorti, we were able to 3D print, post-process, and deliver the parts in time for the surgeon to review the time-sensitive surgical planning guides using the mockup. To enhance the transparency of the parts, we simply applied a few coats of Rust-Oleum Clear Gloss to the 3D printed part. Now we were able to relax and wait for it to dry. Below is a picture of the finished products displayed at the Mayo Clinic event.
“3D printing added a level of benefit because of its ability to showcase the stones, renal pelvis, and renal arteries and veins simultaneously through the image fusion step done in Mimics software and with the use of specific materials and contrasting colors. In addition, its ability to be held and manipulated in space was observed to be beneficial especially for patient education.”
– Rami Shorti, PhD., senior Biomechanical Engineering Scientist, Intermountain Healthcare
PADT is excited to continue our work with Intermountain Healthcare, and grow this relationship as new opportunities arise to leverage multi-material printing.
My first time to Miami was a success! Last year, Stratasys held the partner kickoff in New Orleans and that was when they launched the F1, 2, and 3 series. Since then they have sold over 800 units of these types of FDM 3D printers in the USA. This year in Miami, they did announce something new but it still has a few quarters to go until there is an official release. To say I am excited about what is coming is an understatement! In fact, Stratasys is going to be releasing one new printer here in a few weeks. I am excited for the direction they are going. During this partner kickoff, they mentioned a huge price drop on all of their Polyjet printers! Send us a message for the latest pricing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for PADT employees that were in attendance, we had quite the representation this year. Rey Chu (Co-Owner of PADT), Mario Vargas (Manager of Hardware Sales), Norman Stucker (Colorado Territory Manager), Anthony Wagoner (Utah Territory Manager), Kathryn Pesta (Sales Operations Manager), and me (James Barker, Sr. Application Engineer).
Pictured above from left to right is Mario Vargas, Kathryn Pesta, James Barker, and Anthony Wagoner.
Above is a picture of the Stratasys Panel that was open to some Q&A. 2nd from the right is S. Scott Crump who is the inventor of FDM (fused deposition modeling) printers 30 years ago. Below is a picture of the anniversary info for Stratasys along with Objet (Polyjet technology 20 years) and the merger between the two companies is now 5 years old!
My introduction to 3D printers started 8 years ago with an Objet Eden 500 printer at L-3 Communications where I ran their 3D print lab. 6 months later we got an additional Polyjet printer which was a Connex 500. Amazing that we were able to justify purchasing another high quality machine after a few months of operating the Objet Eden 500! A few years later we got our first Uprint FDM printer from a sister company that no longer had a need for it. After using the Uprint for a few months, I was made aware of some of these thermoplastic materials that could only be printed on the production grade FDM machines. I created a business case to get the Fortus 450 and had every material option available at that time to print with (ABS family of materials, ASA, PC, Nylon 12, Ultem 9085, and Ultem 1010). I love both of these technologies and am confident that they provide the best solution for either rapid prototyping or tooling applications. We even have many customers that are printing production parts with these very precise 3D printers.
One customer that is printing production quality parts is Laika Studios, who has produced these movies: Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline. The presentation they made for us on their stop motion animation was so much fun! 10 years ago for Nightmare before Christmas there were 800+ hand sculpted faces made. For Kubo and the Two Strings, there were 64,000 facial expressions that were all 3d printed with a Stratasys J750. Another fun fact about the movie is that it took 60 hours of 3D printing for one second of film time to be created which is why it takes 2-3 years to complete a film. Moonbeast is a 3ft long puppet that is entirely comprised of 3d printed parts which is the largest character they have done to date. If you have watched Kubo and the Two Strings, it appears to be computer animated but in reality it is stop animation with 3D printed parts! Here is a fun short video (13 seconds) of what the Stratasys printer looks like as it is printing and then support material being removed from the head with different facial expressions.
Matt Gimble, who works for Penske as a Production Manager, shared with us many of the different applications that have helped them save a lot of money since they’ve incorporated 3D printing. Racing is rapidly evolving and is very technical nowadays with a huge emphasis on engineering. 3D printing gives them the tools to meet the new challenges. There are many different great uses they’ve had for 3D printing – from a redesigned rear gear pump design, to a new exhaust tailpipe. Even production parts are made with Stratasys’ newest material, Nylon 12CF. This is a high strength chopped carbon fiber filled Nylon 12. Many that use this material are awe-inspired with its performance! The Superspeedway side view mirror is made out of this material and saved Team Penske 4-6 weeks – which is how long it takes for the mold to be made. Then what if the mold needs altering? Crew Helmet Light/Camera mount is also made in this great thermoplastic/composite material called Nylon 12CF.
The above Fuel Probe was re-engineered and is lighter than its predecessor, plus more ergonomical to help with delivering fuel in a timely manner. Pre-preg carbon fiber sleeves when wrapped around a soluble support material and after the autoclave heating process, the soluble core is dissolved in a sodium hydroxide cleaning tank leaving only the carbon fiber. PADT is a manufacturer for the cleaning tanks that are sold with any Stratasys FDM 3d printer. The core is made out of ST-130 material which is perfect for this application or sacrificial tooling. Ultem 1010 was used as well to create carbon fiber layup tools in a fraction of the time it would have taken for the steel molds to be made. Typical turnaround is 1-3 days, as compared to 4-6 weeks. These are all great applications by Team Penske! Well done!!
We learned a lot at the partner kickoff. Luckily I was able to get this great picture with S. Scott Crump and Mario Vargas! To this day Scott is still inventing and is a major contributor to innovating at Stratasys. While talking with him and Mario, he started talking about these many adventures that he goes on. Scuba diving off the island of Tortuga and having many sharks swimming above isn’t for the faint of heart, yet it is where Scott seems to find his happy place.
My wife flew out Thursday night to come see Miami with me. It was my first time visiting Florida and we had a phenomenal time there. We put 800 miles on the rental car driving all around. Driving down the Florida Keys all the way to Key West was a blast and if you ever go to Key West, make sure to get a Cuban sandwich from the restaurant Bien! It is MUY MUY BIEN! The islands are so beautiful! We also went to the Everglades where we got an airboat tour and where I even held a 4 year old Alligator and gave it a kiss on the back of its head. My little girls shriek every time they see the picture!
We had a great time in Florida! As we now look to the future, watch out for some exciting updates about new products that are coming! Stratasys, in my opinion, is going to continue being a leader in the Additive Manufacturing realm and I can’t wait to help announce some of the new equipment once it is available!
Any questions you have, you can direct them to me at James.email@example.com. Thanks!
Nerdtoberfest, PADT’s annual fall open house is coming up soon!
This year our fall open house will offer attendees a glimpse at some of our core offerings, introductions to a few new additions, and free food and drinks! Come experience this innovative technology first-hand, including:
It is no mystery that I love my Subaru. I bought it with the intention of using it and I have continually made modifications with a focus on functionality.
When I bought my roof crossbars in order to mount ski and/or bike racks, I quickly realized I needed to get a fairing in order to reduce drag and wind noise. The fairing functions as designed, and looks great as well. However, when I went to install my bike rack, I noticed that the fairing mount was in the way of mounting at the tower. As a result, I had to mount the rack inboard of the tower by a few inches. This mounting position had a few negative results:
These issues could all be solved if the fairing mount was simply inboard a few more inches. If only I had access to the resources to make such a concept a reality…. oh wait, PADT has all the capabilities needed to take this from concept to reality, what a happy coincidence!
First, we used our in-house ZEISS Comet L3D scanner to get a digital version of the standard left fairing mount bracket. The original bracket is coated with Talcum powder to aid in the scanning process.
The output from the scanning software is a faceted model in *.STL format. I imported this faceted CAD into ANSYS SpaceClaim in order to use it as a template to create editable CAD geometry to use as a basis to create my revised design. The standard mounting bracket is an injection molded part and is hollow with the exception of a couple of ribs. I made sure to capture all this geometry to carry forward into my redesigned parts, which would make the move to scaled manufacturing of this design easy.
Continuing in ANSYS SpaceClaim, as it is a direct modeling software instead of traditional feature-based modeling, I was able to split the bracket’s two function ends, the crossbar end and fairing end, and offset them by 4.5 inches, in order to allow the bike rack to mount right at the crossbar tower. I used the geometry from the center section CAD to create my offset structure. A mirrored version allows both the driver and passenger side fairing mount to be moved inboard to enable mounting of two bike racks in optimal positions. The next step is to turn my CAD geometry back into faceted *.STL format for printing, which can be done directly within ANSYS SpaceClaim.
After the design has been completed, I spoke with our 3D printing group to discuss what technology and material would be good for these brackets, as the parts will be installed on the car during the Colorado summer and winter. For this application, we decided on our in-house Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) SINTERSTATION 2500 PLUS and glass filled nylon material. As this process uses a powder bed when building the parts, no support is needed for overhanging geometry, so the part can be built fully featured. Find out more about the 3D printing technologies available at PADT here.
Finally, it was time to see the results. The new fairing mount offset brackets installed just like the factory pieces, but allowed the installation of the bike rack right at the tower, reducing the movement that was present when mounted inboard, as well as making it easier to load and unload bikes!!
I am very happy with the end result. The new parts assembled perfectly, just as the factory pieces did, and I have increased the functionality of my vehicle yet again. Stay tuned for some additional work featuring these brackets, and I’m sure the next thing I find that can be engineered better! You can find the files on GrabCAD here.
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:
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One of the newest materials available for the Stratasys Fortus 450 users (other machines could have this capability at a later date) is the Nylon 12CF. Nylon 12CF is a Carbon Fiber filled Nylon 12 filament thermoplastic. The carbon fiber is chopped fibers that are 150 microns long. This is Stratasys’ highest strength and stiffness to weight ratio for any of their materials to date as shown below.
Often times, when Stratasys is getting close to releasing a new material, they will allow certain users to be a beta test site. One beta user was Ashley Guy who is the owner of Utah Trikes, which is located in Payson, Utah. He is having so much success with this material that he is making production parts with it. Watch this video to hear more from Ashley and to see some of his 3D printed parts.
Talking with Ashley, he has helped us with understanding some of the tips and tricks to get better results from printing with this material. One change that he highly recommends is to adjust the air gap between raster’s to -.004”. This will force more material between the raster’s so there won’t be as many noticeable air gaps. Here is a visual representation of the air gap difference using Stratasys software Insight:
The end goal at Utah Trikes is to produce production parts with this material, so by adjusting the air gap, the appearance of the parts look close to injection mold quality after the parts have been run through a tumbler. Some key things that I really like about this material is that the support material is soluble and easily removed using PADT’s own support cleaning apparatus (SCA Tank) that aid with the support removal. After the support has been removed, they are placed in a tumbling machine to smooth the surfaces of the part with different media within the tumbling machine. Any post process drilling or installing of helicoil inserts or adding bushings to the part is done manually.
Jerry Feldmiller of Orbital ATK, who also did a beta test of this material at his site in Chandler, Arizona, mentions these 3 tips:
Jerry also supplied his Nylon 12CF Tensile Test that he performed for this new material as shown below. He mentions that the Tensile Strength is 8-15 ksi depending on X-Y orientation.
~5 ksi in Z-axis, slightly lower than expected.
This part is used to clamp a rubber tube which replace the old ball valve design at ATK. Ball valves are easily contaminated and have to be replaced. After two design iterations, the tool is functioning.
Jerry also follows a guide that Stratasys offers for running this material. If you would like a copy of this guide, please email me your info and I will send it to you. My email is James.firstname.lastname@example.org
Now onto Stratasys and the pointers that they have for this material. First, make sure the orientation of the part is built in its strongest orientation. Nylon materials have the best layer-to-layer bond when comparing them against the other thermoplastics that Stratasys offers.
Whenever you print with the Nylon materials (Nylon 6, 12, and 12CF), it is advised to print the sacrificial tower so that any loose strands of material are collected in the sacrificial tower instead of being seen on the 3D printed part. You also want to make sure that these materials are all stored in a cool and dry area. Moisture is the filaments worst enemy, so by storing the material properly, this will help tremendously with quality builds.
It is also recommended for parts larger than 3 inches in height to swap the support material for model material when possible. Since the support material has a different shrink factor than the model material, it is advised to print with model material where permitted. This will also speed your build time up as the machine will not have to switch back and forth between model and support material. We have seen some customers shave 5+ hours off 20 hour builds by doing this.
This best practice paper is the quick tips and tricks for this Nylon 12CF material from our users of this material. The Stratasys guide goes into a little more detail on other recommendations when printing with this material that I would like to email to you. Please email me with your info.
Let us know if this material is of interest to you and if you would like us to print a sample part for testing purposes.
PADT and Stratasys have worked with Lockheed Martin to establish a new Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at Metropolitan State University in downtown Denver. The Lockheed Martin Additive Manufacturing Laboratory is the first-of-its-kind facility in Colorado. It is focused on giving students and industry access to the equipment and faculty needed to develop the next generation of manufacturing tooling, based on the use of 3D printing to make the tooling.
This is PADT’s third successful contribution to the creation of Academia + Industry + Equipment Manufacturer lab, the others being at ASU Polytechnic focused on characterization of 3D Printed parts and at Mesa Community College, focused on training the needed technicians and engineers for running and maintaining additive manufacturing systems. These types of efforts show the commitment from Stratasys, industrial partners, and PADT to making sure that the academic side of new manufacturing technology is being addressed and is working with industry.
We reported on the grand opening of the facility here,and are very pleased to be able to announce the official partnership for the Laboratory. Great partners make all the difference.