Every year in November the Arizona technology community gathers to celebrate innovation in the state. The 2014 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) was a great event for the state and for PADT. This years winners ranged from high school students to legislators to internationally recognized leaders in the software industry. And, unlike most tech events in the state, everyone was dressed up all fancy. The gala is put on by our friends at the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority.
This is a special event for PADT for a variety of reasons. We have been a sponsor of the GCOI for several years, hauling out our equipment and samples for a booth to show off Mechanical Engineering in the state. This year we were also honored to provided a judge to help choose the winners and we also made the trophies for those who won. In addition, PADT was the winner of the 2011 Pioneering Award. Every year we add more good memories to this event which puts an exclamation point on the year.
Congratulations to the Winners
This years nominees was a great indication of the strength of technology companies and educators in the state. As always, the students who received recognition were the most inspiring. It is truly amazing what they have achieved while still in High School.
It was especially nice to see PADT customers Syncardia and Securaplane receive awards. Both companies are based in Tucson and are leading the way in their industries. Syncardia produces the only FDA approved total artificial heart, truly saving lives on a daily basis. Securaplane provides the aviation industry with a variety of security and power sub-systems.
We were also pleased to see Pat Sullivan take home a “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Pat started ACT! in the early days of personal computing, and many of us at PADT have been users of his software, and we still use it today at PADT. In addition, we are an investor in Pat’s new company, Contatta, through the Arizona Tech Investors.
This year the judges decided to add a special award, the Judges Award, for outstanding contributions to the technology community. The first ever winner was the Society of Women Engineers. This group is a big favorite of PADT because of their hard work to diversify the field and support many in school and in their careers.
Check out the article in the Phoenix Business Journal to see a full list of winners.
3D Printed Awards
Once again, PADT provided the awards for the winners. It is one thing to see people you know and admire win an award, it is even more meaningful when you see them holding an award that you designed and made. Seeing Governor Brewer pose with her special award was kind of cool.
In the past, we have used a combination of 3D Printing and traditional methods to make the awards, but this year we were able to produce everything using additive manufacturing technologies.
The top portion of the awards was created on our Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 polyjet machine. This device uses inkjet heads to deposit layers of photo-curable polymers. It has four heads, allowing us to lay down support material, a base material, and two colors. We used a transparent material for the base, and mixed yellow and magenta to get the different colors that “float” inside the transparent oval.
The base was created on our FORTUS 400 fused deposition modeling machine using ABS plastic. Both of the parts were generated in CAD and printed directly. This application shows the power of 3D Printing. We were able to create 11 unique trophies without the need for tooling, special equipment, or expertise in any given process. We simply visualized what we wanted on the computer, then sent the resulting custom designs to the printers. Specifically, the unique text for each award was extruded as a solid inside the main body, floating above the state of Arizona.