My View: Self-driving car death a sad reminder of the importance of regulation

When someone loses their life, it is too late to start regulating a company’s behavior. The recent tragic death of a pedestrian in a collision with an Uber self-driving car showed that “Self-driving car death a sad reminder of the importance of regulation.

Since the feature is called, “My View” I shared my views on this topic in the Phoenix Business Journal. A little more editorial than my normal business/technology posts in the PBJ.

3D Printing Users Lunched & Learned about Dealing with Scanned, Repaired, and Legacy Geometry

PADT-Geometry-Scanning-PartnersThis Thursday we had the first of seven free seminars on how to deal with geometry created with 3D scanning, how to repair faceted geometry, and how to deal with old CAD geometry.  Don’t panic, we have six more scheduled. Scroll down to see the schedule and register for upcoming versions of this seminar. The inaugural session was held in PADT’s Tempe office and engineers from several departments across the company shared the tools we use in consulting and the lessons we have learned over the years to a pack room full with customers that represented everything from the home inventor to engineers from some of Arizona’s largest aerospace and electronics companies.

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As more and more companies do 3D printing we are finding that they struggle with imperfect geometry. Whether it was scanned, from another CAD system, or an STL (3D Printer) file from someone else, when it came time to print parts people were having difficulty getting valid geometry.  So we created a road show to go over the tools we use here to 1) get good scan geometry in the first place, 2) convert scan geometry into something useful, and 3) repair bad STL and CAD files.

Things got kicked off with a presentation on the various ways you can scan 3D geometry.  Our scanning engineer, Ademola, also demonstrated our Geomagic Capture and Steinbichler scanner on some real parts.

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After some food, we moved on to looking at Geomagic Design X.  This is the tool we use to convert our scan data to a fully usable and clean CAD model.  If you have tried to go from scan to CAD without this tool, you know how much work it is.  padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-2015_05_14

Next we looked that the tool that we use to import, modify, and clean existing geometry: SpaceClaim.  As the presenter Tyler Smith said “No matter the source of geometry, SpaceClaim is the tool to help”

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We finished up with topological optimization. Where we spent most of the event talking about how to get good geometry, in this last presentation we talked about how to make the geometry better by using simulation to optimize the shape of your parts.

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It was a great crowd with the kind of questions you hope for when doing a seminar.  If you are in the Southwest, there is still time to attend one of these lunch & learns being held in other locations. Click on the event you want to register.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Or you can contact PADT directly to learn more about the products and services we covered, which included:

 

Tempe Prep Robotics Team Needs your Help to Win at FIRST Robotics National Championship

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Tempe Preparatory Academy’s High School Robotics team, FRC Team #3944 All Knights, was on the winning alliance for the FIRST Robotics Competition, FRC, Arizona East Regional Competition on March 19-21st. And they are therefore on their way to St Louis, Missouri to represent Arizona at Nationals.  Last night they were on local Phoenix channel 12 to show off their robot and announce their GoFundMe campaign to raise the $25,000 in travel and entrance fees.  

PADT has pitched in already and we encourage the rest of the Arizona technology community to go to www.gofundme.com/allknights and donate what they can. Make sure you check out the video.  Great group of kids (the reporter… well I'll let you decide… typical media reaction to technology…) who have a great piece of equipment that they built in just six months.  

Support FIRST, Support Arizona STEM

Donate $25 as a Person, get your company to donate more!

 

PADT Part of “Made in Tempe” Exhibit at Tempe History Museum

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When you are a small company, there are a lot of things you expect to happen. Being in a history museum is not one of them.  This past November 8th  PADT was featured in the latest exhibition at the Tempe History Museum: Made in Tempe.

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It is a strange thing to stroll through a museum, chatting with a docent, and turn the corner and see something you worked on sitting inside a display case. Then, looking up seeing a display describing who PADT is and what we do was a bit emotional.  But the best part was when a visitor comes up and start reading next to you, and then asks out loud “what is that white thing in the middle, are those gears, was that made on a 3D Printer?” And with a bit of a lump in your throat, replying “Why yes, yes it was.” That very moment was capture by someone from the museum in this image:

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As the museum points out on their website:

“Most people think of Tempe as the home of Arizona State University, Tempe Town Lake and Mill Avenue, but Tempe is also the location for hundreds of manufacturing companies, ranging from hot sauce to heart defibrillators and the Tempe History Museum wants to honor their role in the progress of this city.”

And don’t forget Four Peaks Brewing… definitely some great company to keep.

The attendance was very strong, with many people involved in the Museum, the City of Tempe, and technology spending their Friday night mingling and learning about all of the companies.

Here we see Josh mingling with the other guests:

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The highlight of the evening was to cut the ribbon and officially open the “Made in Tempe” Exhibition, standing with fellow Tempe business owners and executives:

Museum1We are very pleased to be based here in Tempe, Arizona.  It is a great home for companies of all types, but especially technology companies who want a city government that actually gets high-tech, gets the need to have good infrastructure and strong schools, supports a world class university, and makes the type of investments that result in a great environment for long term growth.

PADT is proud to now be part of the city’s official history and especially proud to be “Made in Tempe.”

 

PADT’s Hosts 300 Guests for Open House

Sometimes you get lucky.  It was 95F or so, humid as heck, and we had hundreds of people coming for an Arizona Technology Council and PADT Open House combined event.  The good news is one of our long time tenants had just move out to a smaller space across the lake so we had there former bullpen area open and, most importantly, air conditioned. Cancel the tents, break out the vacuums

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Everything came together and we had a great event. Around 300 guests checked in, and suspect a few more sneak in and out before we could grab their contact information.

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The evening started with drinks and food and a lot of networking.  Eight participants in the AZTC partner program were there to talk about the programs and discounts they offer council members.  The Falcon robotics team from Carl Hayden High School was also able to come and show off two of their robots.

After some brief talking by Steven Zylstra, the AZTC President, and Eric Miller, one of PADT’s owners (me), everyone got back to some serious networking and Mexican food eating before the tours of PADT’s facility began at 6:00.

The best part of the networking was watching PADT’s customers, vendors, and friends mingle and get to know each other. Connections were being made all over the room.  Even PADT’s telepresence robot made an appearance and wondered around the room.

During the tours, PADT employees shows off their work (well, the stuff we can show) in Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping. As expected, the 3D Printers were the big hit but we heard back from many attendees that they found the talk on Simulation very interesting.  Us old FEA guys like to get some attention.

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In the end we found that we had a problem. With 30 some PADT employees in attendance, all with smart phones in their pockets, we only took one pictures.  the bottom line was that we were all having such a good time interacting with people that we forgot to snap some shots.  Fortunately, Russ Olinsky, one of the guests, was kind enough to send us a picture from the tour.  (If you have any pictures you can share, please email me (eric.miller@padtinc.com)).

Things wrapped up around 9:00, with most people gone at 8:00.  We hope that all of you who came enjoyed it as much as we did.

We hope to see all of you, and those who could not make it, at our 20th anniversary bash in the spring!