The Greater Phoenix inBusiness magazine just did a profile on PADT and co-founder Eric Miller. “Eric Miller: Riding the Wave of 3-D Printing” gives some history and insite into what makes PADT unique. It even includes some fun facts about the company.
There is something about a kid running down a hallway screaming “mom, you HAVE to see this!” #openhousegoals.
Last night was our annual event where we open up the doors of PADT with a family oriented event sharing what we engineers do. We also invited some students from high school and University to share their engineering activities. With over 250 attendees and more than one excited kid running down the hall, we can safely call it a success.
Attendies were able to see our 3D Printing demo room including dozens of real 3D printed parts, learn about engineering, explore how 3D Printing works, and check out our new metal 3D Printer. They were also able to learn about school projects like the ASU Formula SAE race car as well as a prosthetic hand project and research into cellular structures in nature from BASIS Chandler.
Oh, and there was Pizza.
Pictures speak louder than words, so here is a galary of images from the event.
Thursday, March 2 is PADT’s annual SciTech Festival Open House, from 5-8pm (click HERE to register). This year, three student groups working on a range of projects will be present to showcase their work, all of which involved some level of 3D printing. Please bring friends and families to meet and discuss ideas with these students from our community.
Formula SAE Team (Arizona State University)
ASU’s Formula SAE team will be onsite with their 2016 car, demonstrating specifically how they used 3D printing to manufacture the functional intake manifolds on these cars. What is specifically interesting is how they have modified their manifold design to improve performance while leveraging the advantages of 3D printing, and also they have evaluated multiple materials and processes over the recent years (FDM, SLS).
Prosthetic Arm Project (BASIS Chandler)
Rahul Jayaraman will be back to discuss how he and 30 students at BASIS Chandler manufactured, assembled and delivered about 20 prosthetic hands to an organization that distributes these to children in need across the world. Rahul and PADT were featured in the news for this event.
Cellular Structures in Nature (BASIS Chandler)
A BASIS Chandler High School senior, Amy Zhang, just started her Senior Research Project with PADT, focusing on a project at the intersection of biology and 3D printing, investigating cellular structures that occur on surfaces in nature, like the wing of a dragonfly or the shell on a turtle or the encasing of a pineapple – all of which are comprised of cellular geometries. Using 3D scanning, image analysis and mathematical methods, Amy hopes to develop models for describing these structures that can then be used in developing design principles for 3D printing. You can learn more on Amy’s blog: http://shellcells.blogspot.com/
It should be no surprise to anyone that I love Star Trek. So when we had a lunch discussion (as we often do) about Star Trek technology it was the perfect topic for a blog post. In “What’s the next tech from ‘Star Trek’ to become reality?” I present my case for two technologies that should be next: Tricorder and Shuttlecraft. Some may argue that universal translator is even closer.
March starts out with a bang, with a ton of events in that very first week. So we are updating everyone on the month’s events a week early. They cover a wide range of customers and states, so we hope to see many of you there.
The most important is our Open House for families, part of the AZ ScitTech festival. Make sure you RSVP so we order enough pizza!
12th annual Wasatch Front Materials Expo
|This is a fantastic event that brings manufacturing companies in Utah together to share and network. PADT will have a table. Stop on by! Safety provided by the local event security guards firm.|
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Scientifically fun for the whole family: PADT 2017 SciTech Festival Open House
|Once again, PADT Inc. is proud to partner with AZ SCITECH to promote and celebrate Arizona’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) programs!As part of this event, we will be hosting an open house that will give you an inside look at what our engineers do all day, as well as a first hand display of the capabilities of innovative technology such as 3D Printing and Simulation. Come see how we make innovation work!|
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Mayo Clinic Course: Collaborative 3D Printing in Medical Practice
|Collaborative 3D Printing in Medical Practice is a post-graduate course designed to update and introduce radiologists, surgeons, dentists, biomedical engineers, and other health professionals and administrators on uses of 3D printing of anatomic models. PADT will be there as an exhibitor to answer questions about how 3D Printing and Simulation can be leveraged by in the medical space.|
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Webinar: Co-Simulation with ANSYS Workbench and Flownex SE
|In this webinar Flownex will discuss some examples which are ideal for a hybrid 1D-3D simulation and showcase how Flownex can be used with ANSYS products to maximise the efficiency of your simulations. This is a great oportunity for those who do system fluid-thermal simulation or those who do component CFD, and they want to know how to use the two together.|
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America Makes TRX
|The event gathers all of the members of America Makes in one place to review the advancements in the US Additive Manufacturing industry. PADT’s Dhruv Bhate will be sharing the results of our America Makes project and looking forward to catching up with all of you who are members.|
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Seminar: Impacting the Medical Device Value Chain: What is the Right Supply Chain for Your Product?
|PADT’s Eric Miller will be on a panel discussion supply chain and how it impacts medical device development. We will consider ways innovative companies approach product development as well as principal upstream and downstream strategies and risks associated with innovative medical products. The extent to which products and processes are truly disruptive will be considered. Product diversity will be addressed including impacts of evolving business-to-business and business-to-customer strategies, biosensors, 3-D printing, and the shift of care outside of the acute care setting.|
|— Learn more|
Hardwarecon: The Convention for Hardware Startups
|PADT’s Eric Miller will be attending this unique event focused on hardware startups along with ANSYS, Inc. He will be talking about using Simulation to drive product design in a startup. This is a great event where the focus is on hardware and how to produce outstanding physical products.|
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Flownex at the International SMR and Advanced Reactor Summit 2017
|Our team will be joining staff from Flownex for this key event in the small modular reactor space to talk about how Flownex is becoming an important design and performance tuning tool for the industry.|
|— Learn more|
Attending AeroDef this year in Fort Worth? Make sure you register to tour Concept Laser on March 6th before AeroDef! You’ll hear an update on the GE acquisition and presentations on customer applications and machine safety. Registration ends February 24th, 2017, so don’t miss this opportunity!
Register now: http://aerodefevent.com/sessions/concept-laser-tour/
Speed, superior quality monitoring, and an open architecture that enables innovation – that is what makes Concept Laser’s Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) technology a leader in the metal additive manufacturing industry. Come and hear about how Concept Laser is investing to bring you innovation through new products and processes that will lead to revenue-generating opportunities for your business.
The Tour is March 6th from 8:30am to 11:30pm and includes round trip transportation from the conference and more.
What you will see on the tour:
- Direct Metal Laser Melting
- In-situ Quality Assurance
- Best-in-class safety guidelines when interacting with reactive and non-reactive materials
PADT and CEI have partnered with Avnet and Tiempo Development to offer a free technical advice to local startups at CEI. Anyone needing advice on mechanical design, electrical design, or software can now sign up for an hour with an engineer from one of these fantastic local technology leaders.
CEI has been a great host for these events with just PADT for a while now, and we are pleased to announce that we have added electrical and software to what is offered, and we are officially anouncing it to the whole community. Check out the press release to learn more or visit the the CEI website: info.ceigateway.com/padt-design-days
We spend all day at work. Sometimes we spend more time with our co-workers than our some of our family members. Yet it can be a place where something is missing. “Does your business satisfy our need for community?” Check out this special Valentine’s post for some thoughts on building community at the office.
We have great customers. The kind of cusomers that call up and ask “Hey, what do you think about having a Tesla test drive event for PADt employees” Duh. Yes. Please provide contact information.
Then we thought this was an event better shared with other techno-speed-nerds. The Tempe Tesla show room people liked the idea so we put together an event for our ANSYS and Stratasys customers. (Just another reason to buy from us)
The basic idea was simple, stop on by the PADT parking lot in Tempe and drive a Tesla Model S or Model X, or both. The Tesla people brought along their technical person and the test drive people were also very knowledgable about all the features in the three vehicles they let us drive. The course left the PADT parking lot, drove up to Elliot, then entred to 101, and then get off at Warner or Rey and head back, while the brave Tesla employee tried to keep cool. Especially when Oren was driving.
For many of us, this was the first time we had driven one. Let me just say that the common factor across employees and cusotmers is that everyone had an ear-to-ear grin on their face when they got back from their test drive. These cars are not just fast (large numbers of electrons pushed through big motors equals lots of torque right away) but they are brilliantly engineered. From the user interface, to the seats to, to the suspension. Everything is done right. As a group of engineers that was almost as exciting as the raw power and impecable styling of the cars.
It was a true nerdfest. We spent 10 minutes discussing regenerative breaking schemes and the idea of using regeneration all the time when you lift off the accerator instead of putting your foot on the break to slow down slightly. This is the type of paradigm shift that disrupts around one hundred years of automotive legacy. Why does the accelrator pedal have to be an accelerator pedal. Why can’t it be an input for acceleration and deceleration based on position? We also spent even more time (I’m embarassed to say how long) talking about charging. And then the topic turned to autonomous driving and the sensors used. Good times. Good times.
PADT’s relationships with Tesla actually goes way back. When they were first starting out and were just a handfull of engineers, we provided some ANSYS training and did a consulting job for them on thermal management for an early battery system. So we proudly count them as a happy PADT customer. And of course PADT worked on the large Blink chargers and has supported many companies that are suppliers to tesla.
Did you know that PADT does scanning of parts? No? You are not alone. We recently ran into several customers who were sending their scanning out of state and didn’t know that they could have it done by PADT, someone who is already a trusted partner. So we thought it would be a good time to do an update on our Scanning services and provide some additional background on what it is.
Part Scanning 101
The idea behind part scanning is that you want to take a part in the real world, and get an accurate model in a computer. To do this you somehow measure the part with a computer, getting a three dimensional representation of the parts surface. Today, there are six basic ways to do this:
Physical Measurement (CMM)
Measure points on the part relative to some reference. This is great for measure simple geometry where you can reconstruct it by knowing key dimensions.
This process shines a laser on an object and measures the distance to the object. It does this thousands of times to build up a point array of the surface
Structured Light Scanning
This process puts down a series of parallel lines, or a grid of lines, and measures how far they distort from a flat pattern. With this information it can create a massive amount of points on the objects surface.
Cross Sectional Scanning
If you need to see inside, light based scanning does not work. In cross sectional scanning you machine away thin slices of an object and take an accurate picture of each layer as you go. This can then be turned in to an accurate representation of both the inside and outside of the object.
Another way around the fact that light can not penetrate an object is to use various types of radiation, like X-Rays, that go inside an object. Although new for industrial applications this method is growing for complex parts with internal geometry.
If accuracy is not critical, then software can take pictures taken from dozens of views and reconstruct a 3D shape. This is used most often for art and entertainment, but is not precise enough for engineering yet.
PADT offers Structured Light and Cross Sectional Scanning
All of these methods create points in space. The more sophisticated the software, the more automatic the process of assembling the points to define the surfaces of the full object. These points are sometimes called a “point cloud.”
The Point cloud can them be turned in to a faceted representation of the object. For many people, this is all they need. This faceted representation can be rendered on a computer screen or 3D Printed. It can also be used with inspection software to determine the accuracy of the part relative to its original specification as well as variations across multiple copies of the same geometry.
If users need more, like a full CAD model, that can be created from the point cloud using specialized software. PADT uses Geomagic DesignX. This tool not only creates usable geometry, but it can export in the customer’s native CAD format.
To do accurate part scanning you need:
- A precision scanning device
- Software to take the measured data and create an accurate point cloud. This includes repair and cleanup tools.
- Software to convert the point cloud into a usable 3D CAD model
- or, Software to conduct accurate inspection on the measured geometry.
All of these tools require some training and practice to use efficiently. It is fairly easy to get ball park computer models using consumer level tools. But to get accurate, engineering quality results the right tools and processes must be applied.
Why does Part Scanning Take so Long and Cost So Much?
When people ask for their first part scanning quote, they can often be surprised by the cost. The scanning process doesn’t look that hard. And to be honest, the amount of time you actually spend scanning most parts is pretty short. The time is spent on the preparation, scanning hard-to-reach areas, the clean up, and then converting the data in to usable formats.
If we are working with a light based scanner, we have to prepare the parts so that they reflect the light properly. Sometimes we have to cover the part with a find powder, sometimes we may even have to paint it. What we need is for the reflection and color of the part to not interfere with the scanning.
If we are using cross sectional scanning, the part needs to be cast inside a rigid material, so the part we are scanning does not distort as we remove layers. In addition, if the part is not a solid light or dark color, it may need to be died to provide contrast for the camera.
Both processes also require some study to determine the orientation of the part relative to the scanner and how the scanning process will take place. Once all this is worked out, the scanning often goes very fast. If there are nasty little parts that are hard to get to or that confuse the device, the engineer may have to modify things, do some special localized scanning, or even make castings that are then scanned. As is usual with technical processes, a very small portion of the surface being scanned may take up the vast majority of the scanning time.
Once the scanning is done, the real hard work begins. Although software is much better than it was in the past, the resulting point cloud needs to be massaged and cleaned. Stray data is removed, and points from different scans need to be positioned and combined. Then everything must be checked. If a CAD solid model is needed, then the engineer must spend considerable time dealing with complex features and transition areas. As with the scanning, the bulk of the time spent creating a CAD model is spent on a relatively small percentage of the geometry.
All of this adds up. Plus, to be honest, things rarely go as planned and unexpected issues arise that need to be dealt with.
Part Scanning Services at PADT
Now we get to the important part of this post: hiring PADT to do your scanning. We added this capability to support our 3D Printing customers that wanted copies of physical parts. But as we looked at it, we found that we also had customers who needed inspection and reverse engineering of legacy parts. We studied the problem for some time and found the right tools and people to make it happen.
Our primary scanner is a Zeiss Comet L3D 5M STructured light scanner. It used to be called a Steinbichler, till Zeiss bought them in 2015. Although it is portable and easy to manipulate, the Comet L3D 5M is highly accurate. It allows us to scan everything from small medical devices to the front end of acar, and to know that the resulting geometry will be accurate and usable. This is the best option for inspection and reverse engineering of high-precision parts.
We also have a Geomagic Capture scanner. Although less accurate it is more portable and simpler to operate. It is ideal or taking to a customer and getting geometry for reverse engineering or part copying.
If parts have internal features, and are made of plastic, we use our Cross Sectional Scanners. These high precision devices do a fantastic job and are really the best way to capture inside surfaces. Our customers love it to see how injection molded parts are coming out on well used molds.
If anything else is needed, our experts can outsource to a niche supplier.
Want to do it Yourself?
If you need to do your own scanning, no worries. PADT also sells all the tools we use inhouse to customers that need the capability internally.
Hopefully this posting has answered most of your questions and you are eager to try 3D Part Scanning. The best place to start is to get a quote from PADT. However, if you still have questions then feel free to contact us and fire away. We are passionate bout this capability and love talking about it.
Download our brochure here.
Now that the hype over Pokemon Go and VR headsets has come and gone, its time to take a good hard look at “What does virtual or augmented reality mean for business?” These closely related technologies may change the way we do business and will certainly impact how we educate and train in the future.
Apps have been around for almost 10 years now (I know!) and when you take a step back and look at them, they often reflect the thinking of those early days. That is “Why it may be time to rethink how we think about apps” if your tech company uses apps in any way. The post talks about what makes a good app and what we should be looking for as what is next in mobile applications.
Although February is a short month, we have lots of activities scheduled to talk about new releases from both ANSYS and Stratasys as well as a STEM and Medtech event. Take a look for details below or visit the bottom of our home page to see the latest.
Arizona Science Bowl
|PADT will be attending this great event for middle and high schools. Dr. Bhate will be speaking to the middle school students|
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2017 Stratasys New Product Launch Webinar
|Stratasys is introduce some new products and you are invited to attend online to learn how once again they will advance 3D Printing to the next level. PADT’s engineers will not just share information about these new systems, they will also explain what we thing is important about each machine and what its new advantages are.|
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ANSYS 18 – Mechanical APDL & HPC Update Webinar
|ANSYS is rolling out a new version of their entire software platform, and we are offering seminars to help users understand what is new and cool. This first webinar will be focused on ANSYS Mechanical APDL and what is going on way deep under the hood.|
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AZ Tech Council MedTech
|Medtech has grown a lot in Arizona over the past couple of years, so the Tech Council is putting on an event for everyone involved to get together to network and learn. PADT will have a booth and will be talking about 3D Printing in medical devices. If you are at all involved in medical technology, you should attend.|
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ANSYS 18 – HPC Licensing Update Webinar
|ANSYS is rolling out a new version of their entire software platform, and we are offering seminars to help users understand what is new and cool. This second webinar will be focused on ANSYS HPC licensing and how that has changed.|
|— Learn more|
Two weeks ago we were part of a fantastic open house at the ASU Polytechnic campus for the grand opening of the Additive Manufacturing Research center, a part of the Manufacturing Research and Innovation Hub. What a great event it was where the Additive Manufacturing community in Arizona gathered in one place to celebrate this important piece in the local ecosystem. A piece that puts Arizona in the lead for the practical application of 3D Printing in industry.
I could go on and on, but better writers by far have penned some great stories on the event and on the lab.
And Hayley Ringle of the Phoenix Business Journal summed it all up, with some great insight into the impact on education and job growth in “See inside the Southwest’s largest 3D printing research facility at ASU”
And last but not least, here are some pictures related to PADT that ASU provided: