A New Company (1994)
A New Company (1994)
PADT’s founders felt that the tools and skills they used as aerospace engineers to design, analyze, and prototype turbomachinery had applications in other industries. In the summer of 1994, they left their corporate jobs to form Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc., better known as PADT.
The first office was a one-person executive suite in Tempe, Arizona, crammed with four people and three computers. From this tiny room, they started calling potential customers. Slowly but surely, work began to come in, and the company was off and running. With the purchase of a 3D Systems SLA250 3D printer at the end of 1994, PADT became the first independent Rapid Prototyping service provider in Arizona.
A Growing Concern (1995-1999)
A Growing Concern (1994-1999)
After outgrowing the executive suite, PADT moved to a mixed-use facility in Gilbert, Arizona, where they could have room for more people and additional 3D Printers. The number of customers that PADT was working with continued to grow until it became apparent that the founders and a few moonlighters could not keep up with demand.
The next step was finding and hiring like-minded engineers and technicians to grow the company. Many of the people who make up the core of PADT today joined the company between 1995 and 1999.
During this period, PADT also forged its most important business partnership. PADT became a sub-distributor and then a channel partner for Ansys. Sales professionals joined the technical team, and PADT’s engineers began their journey to become one of the most respected technical support organizations in the world of simulation.
A full Service Firm (1999-2002)
A Full Service Firm (1999-2002)
In 1999, PADT decided to grow its product development consulting team and sought and won funding under the U.S. Government’s Small Business Initiative Research (SBIR) program. Leveraging simulation technologies, in-house 3D Printing, and engineering experience, these projects sought to break through the technical barriers around efficiency and sizing of rotating pumps and blowers along with core hydrogen fuel cell technology.
The company formed specific groups to tackle the entire product development project from concept to prototype. Success in this new area and a growing reputation for Simulation and 3D Printing began to pay off, and PADT saw its fastest growth to date, expanding headcount and customer base.
An Established Company (2002-2009)
An Established Company (2002-2009)
In March 2004, PADT’s 10th-anniversary open house gathered over 250 customers to celebrate a decade of being in business and expanding the company into an adjacent space. The move raised the company’s physical footprint to 24,000 square feet. The lobby was now slightly larger than PADT’s original executive suite.
During this period, PADT transitioned from a startup to become an established and stable company that continued to see consistent growth in each business area. With that foundation, the company focused on increasing its customers’ breadth and depth of solutions.
PADT became a channel partner for Stratasys 3D printing machines, added injection molding capabilities to manufacturing, expanded its product development lab, and established long-term partnerships with vendors.
The product development team also started to focus on assisting customers with developing medical devices with the creation of PADT Medical. The sales, support, and consulting team for simulation added advanced fluids simulation (CFD) as well.
An Industry Leader (2009 And 2013)
An Industry Leader (2009 – 20013)
PADT celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2009 and was now recognized by many as an industry leader. Having broken through the barrier of 50 employees and over 750 named customers, they had built a worldwide reputation.
Through this period, PADT continued to grow and solidify its reputation as a trusted partner to companies large and small. It was also time for PADT to give back to the Arizona technology community by participating as angel investors and mentors through the Arizona Technology Investor Forum (ATIF) and other organizations. The company also became very active in the Arizona Technology Council and several charity efforts.
During this time, PADT also made two very significant investments. The first was to purchase the building they occupied from ASU in 2010. Acquiring and managing this 44,000 square foot facility with two other tenants added “property management” to its growing list of businesses. The second investment was opening an office in Littleton, Colorado, supporting the company’s growing success in Colorado and Utah. Our first office with employees outside of Arizona.
Some other milestones that occurred during this period include:
- The growth of PADT’s compute cluster to over 100 nodes.
- Launch of the company’s first commercial product, the Support Cleaning Apparatus
- Being chosen by Stratasys, Inc. to distribute their complete line of FORTUS, DIMENSION, and uPrint prototyping machines
- The launch of the company’s first online store, PADTMarket.com
- Replacement of its original SLA250 Machine with two more modern SLA systems
- The addition of Polyjet, CNC, and Cross Sectional Scanning Tools to its rapid prototyping services
- Becoming a reseller for the Flownex System Fluid-Thermal Simulation tool, CGI Cross Sectional Scanning Systems, NDI Laser Scanners, and Geomagic Software
PADT’s leadership status was affirmed by the Arizona Business and Technology community in 2011 when they awarded the company the ASU WP Carey Spirit of Enterprise Leadership Award and the Arizona Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Pioneering Award, presented by the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority.
A lot happened from 2012 to 2013 as the company grew to over 80 employees for the first time and added a second branch office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. PADT also expanded its product offering with CUBE computer systems. This was a custom line of workstations, servers, and clusters, designed specifically for users of simulation software.
PADT’s internal compute infrastructure also grew to over 1,300 cores.
During this period, PADT’s partners ANSYS, Inc., and Stratasys grew considerably through acquisition, allowing PADT to offer new products such as ANSYS Maxwell and ANSYS Simplorer as well as Additive Manufacturing machines from Objet.
A Technical Power House (2014)
A Technical Power House (2014 -2019)
In 2014 PADT celebrated 20 years of being in business, and event we were happy to celebrate with our families, customers, and vendors. Our 20th year also saw the introduction of new products like the Geomagic Scanner and growth in staff to over 80 employees and a sales and support office in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Our 20th year was a mixed bag. We lost one of PADT’s owners, Mark Johnson, at the end of 2014 to cancer. Although PADT has continued on, it is a different place without him.
- The award for most changes in one year happened in 2015:
- Added a full-time engineer dedicated to 3D Scanning
- Added Steinbichler scanners, VR&D Topological Optimization, and SpaceClaim to the product portfolio
- Launched the second generation of the Support Cleaning Apparatus, or SCA
- Offered an HPC solution, CoresOnDemand, to simulation customers
- Opened our fifth physical office, PADT StartUpLabs in Phoenix
- Acquired the Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico customers of CADCAM Systems
- Added an office in Torrance, California
- Launched high frequency electromagnetic simulation as a key focus
- Although nothing matched 2015, some significant progress was made from 2016 through and 2018:
- Introduced a larger capacity support removal system for 3D Printing, the SCA 3600
- Partnered with ASU and Metro State University to create 3D Printing labs for both Universities
- Tripled 3D Printing capacity at PADT with the introduction of a new large format Stereolithography system
- Expanded ANSYS sales and support in Southern California
- Added Texas as a territory for ANSYS Sales and Support
- Partnered with ZEISS Industrial Metrology as a distributor of COMET Optical Scanners
- Introduced On-Demand Manufacturing, based on Carbon’s DLS technology
- Received four significant awards:
- Phoenix Business Journal “2016 Most Admired Leaders” to Co-Owner Eric Miller
- #249 on the 2017 Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America”
- Silver Stevie Award for “Customer Service Department of the Year” from American Business Awards to PADT’s ANSYS Technical Support Staff
- AMUG’s 2018 DINO Award to Co-Owner Rey Chu for his contributions to the 3D Printing Ecosystem
In 2019 PADT celebrated its 25th anniversary. During that year, the company spun off the SCA business as a new company, Oryx Additive. The company and its executives received three more awards: Phoenix Business Journal, Top Tech Exec, AZBIO Special Recognition Award, and an Arizona Corporate Excellence Award. The US Army and NASA both recognized the company’s expertise in CFD and 3D Printing with an SBIR for advanced combustor designs and an STTR for bio-inspired structural design.
A Revitalized Team
A Revitalized Team (2020+)
PADT started its second quarter-century with optimism and enthusiasm. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and everything changed. While our employees and family stayed safe, they also stepped up to help the community and adapt to a new work environment. And through all of it, the company continued to grow and expand.
2020 and the first half of 2021 saw the company reconfigure and reenergize to help more customers succeed in more ways. Some of the key developments during the pandemic period were:
- Growth to over 90 employees
- Promotion of PADT to Diamond Channel Partner status with Stratasys
- Addition of staff and equipment to advance PADT’s metal additive manufacturing R&D capabilities, including a new EOS system
- Addition of EOS metal AM systems to PADT’s product offerings
- Hiring of new senior management for Sales and Support as well as Engineering Services
- Offered new 3D Printing technologies from Stratasys: P3 and SAF
Our team’s challenges and successes over the past 27+ years have shaped PADT into the company it is today, and the unique disruption of the deadly pandemic further molded our team. As we adapt to the changing world, we have been revitalized and ready to meet whatever the future brings.
In March of 2022, about two-thirds of PADT’s staff gathered for the first time in two years for a company photo.
Since 1994, PADT has grown to become the most respected technology company in the region. By sticking to its core principles and growing its skill and technology base. The company has positioned itself to continue this by providing the best solutions to new and current customers.
In May of 2022, about 60 PADT’s staff of 95’ish gathered for our Spring Company Meeting.