Everyone needs a vacation. After over 15 years of service our Sinterstation 2500Plus needed some facility upgrades and machine updates. That work is now done and our SLS system is back up and running and better than ever, producing parts for customers who have come to count on its unique capabilities.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a process that uses a high power laser to fuse a bed of powdered material together, sintering the loose powder into solid geometry. It is one of the more mature and robust 3D Printing processes available and is especially well suited for making large strong parts.
We currently run Nylon 11 and Glass Filled Nylon 12 in our machine which has a build volume of 13″ x 11″ x 16.5″ and a layer thickness of 0.004″
Few service providers have as much experience as PADT with this system, we have been using it for over 15 years. During that time we have upgraded almost every component and during the recent downtime, the system was fully calibrated and tuned for maximum precision and performance. We are also experts on how to post process the parts that come out of this machine, including painting and other coatings.
Just a Part of 3D Printing at PADT
PADT features 3D Printing services using Stratasys FDM and PolyJet technologies, making precision parts with a wide variety of materials and colors. We also offer Stereolithography (SLA) Additive Manufacturing services along with soft tooling and injection molding consulting.
If you are using a big impersonal 3D Printing “mill” or are not sure where to get your 3D Printing done, reach out to PADT. We have been doing it since 1994 and have hundreds of happy and loyal customers.
The year is almost halfway over and the pace of events that PADT is attending and holding is slackening a bit as we account for summer vacation and, in Phoenix, the blistering heat. Take a look below to see what we have planned, mostly webinars, and review what happened in a fun filled May below.
June 20: Utah Technology Council “Future of Technology in Utah “
PADT’s Anthony Wagner and James Barker will be attending this outstanding event featuring key members of the Utah technology community and the Governor or Utah, Gary Herbert.
June 28: Jefferson County Aerospace & Defense Small Business Industry Day
PADT’s Norman Stucker and James Barker will be manning a booth at this gathering of small but active Aerospace companies in the area to talk learn how everyone can contribute to Colorado’s dynamic Aerospace industry sector.
June 29: Twin Cities ANSYS User Meeting “HPC and Numerical Simulation deep dive”
Join David Mastel the IT Manager/Chief HPC Architect for PADT, Inc. and ANSYS users in the Twin Cities area for an ANSYS user meeting including technical presentation with handouts.
We have several great Webinars on tap for June. All PADT webinars are recorded, so even if you can’t make the specified time register and we will send you a link to the recording.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 – 1:00 PM (MST)
Engineering the Internet of Things Devices with ANSYS Simulation Register
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 – 11:00 AM (MST)
Modeling FDM Structure and Properties: The Key to Enabling Functional Part Production Register
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 – Multiple Times
Flownex SE providing systems simulation to the Oil and Gas industry
Part Production Register
May Events in Review
We attended a lot of events in May where we learned a ton, and continued to grow our network.
Patrick Barnett and Eric Miller ventured out to the heart of the Silicon Valley to attend Internet of Things World 2016. We learned a ton and met a couple of potential suppliers. Learn more about what we learned on our IoT page: www.padtinc.com/iot
The big, huge, important event for the month was RAPID in Orlando, FL. PADT’s Rey Chu and Dhruv Bhate attended, and Dhruv presented. The highlight of the show was seeing all the new products that were introduced, especially from Stratasys. We were also able to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.
The most informative event of the month was the National SBIR/STTR Conference. PADT’s Rob Rowan flew to our nation’s capital and was able to meet with many of the people who are in charge of the SBIR projects we are bidding on. Rob felt that the best part was getting to better know what our customers are really looking for.
As a parent I know that crayon management has always been a problem in our family, especially when we travel. We could have used the ReadyXO – a simple container that cleverly uses the lid to provide stability so it doesn’t tip over. Now is your chance to control your crayons and help fund a great entrepreneur, and PADT customer, through KickStarter.
This is a great idea, a simple solution, by an individual entrepreneur who applied good problem solving and engineering to develop a solution to something that most of us have dealt with when we were kids or as parents.
Scroll down and read “The Story.” If you didn’t want to get one out of simple necessity, when you hear about the inventor’s journey you will want to back this enterprise immediately.
One of the best parts of working at PADT is helping our customers make their ideas work. From a new valve actuator on the International Space Station to clever gadgets. Sometimes we see some great ideas from individual inventors that solve a day-to-day problem with a simple and elegant solution and get to help out just a little on their journey. This is a fantastic example of that.
Help us help them by pre-ordering your ReadyXO Crayon Box on KickStarter and spread the word through social media.
The May/June 2016 of AZ Business Magazine focuses on innovation and technology business in Arizona. This includes our contribution to the discussion “Large tech companies are critical to a startup community.” In this article I make a case for remembering the big guys out there that train, spawn, fund, and even buy the startups that are out there.
“It is not just a trend, it is a Tsunami. One day you will wake up and see a giant wave headed your way, and that wave will be the Internet of Things!”
This was the opening line from a presentation given by the VP of sales for a major engineering software company. It got my attention because it wasn’t hype or hyperbole. He was just pointing out the obvious. Over the past two years the signs have been there. Smart devices will connected to the internet, and older devices will be made smart and then connected. Those that don’t, will no longer be competitive.
It is not all about smart thermostats. Far from it. I went to IoT world in San Jose last week and saw a lot of people scrambling to find their solution. And a few that found them. The best example was an older letter stamping machine, you can guess at the manufacturer, that plugged a modular device from Electric Imp in to their controller and boom – they were connected. Some back end programming and they now had a competitive IoT device.
It is time to define and execute on your IoT strategy
When we visit customers, we will often ask them what their IoT Strategy is. The answers vary from “we don’t really think our products have an IoT play” to existing products on the market. The focus in the media is on consumer IoT products, but the bigger push right now is for industrial Internet, where machines used in manufacturing, energy generation, raw material extraction, and processing are smart and connected.
Customers from consumers to other companies will be requiring the benefits of IoT devices as they look to replace older hardware. That is why every company that makes physical products needs to develop an IoT strategy.
PADT Can Help
We have been helping our customers define and implement their approach to IoT well, since before it was called the Internet of Things. From assisting semiconductor companies that make MEMS sensors to making smart medical devices we are plugged in to what is needed to make IoT work.
There you can find some basic information about how PADT is a more comprehensive and technically capable solution then most design houses that claim to have IoT solutions. We are uniquely qualified to make sure the “Thing” in your IoT strategy is designed and manufactured right.
We also published a series of articles in the Phoenix Business Journal that provide some fundamental background information on the Internet of Things and how to deal with the challenges it presents:
Simulation can play a big role in almost every aspect of making your IoT device development faster and more productive. PADT uses ANSYS, Inc.’s comprehensive Multiphysics simulation tool set to model everything from the chip to the embedded system software.
Make sure you subscribe to PADT’s email list so you don’t miss future Events
Talking is the Best Approach
We hope that you find all of the material above, and the information we will provide in the coming months useful. But they are no substitute for giving us a call or sending us an email and setting up a face-to-face to talk about your IoT strategy and device development needs. If you are doing the work in-house, we have the hardware and software tools you need to be successful. If you need outside help, you won’t find engineers with more applicable experience.
Give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email email@example.com.
This is our final post in a series on The Internet of Things, or IoT. In “This is the biggest challenge for the Internet of Things” I take a look at the monster that keeps IoT companies up at night – Security. In the end, security is a big concern when designing your IoT device, but one that can be easily addressed with the right experts, systems, and planning.
PADT’s Ward Rand and Eric Miller were interviewed recently by Chris Gilfallan of “The Record Reporter” about what PADT does and how it impacts the local product development and intellectual property community. It ended up being a great overview and is aimed at helping the Arizona legal profession understand a bit more about what we do. If you have a subscription you can read the article here.
The next step in our look at the Internet of Things, or IoT, is what to do with all that data. Having sensors track something is great, but it makes a lot of ones and zeros. Saying “it is Big Data” doesn’t solve the problem. “How to deal with all that data from your Internet of Things device” I take a look at how planning and using the right tools can give you a handle for this critical part of IoT products.
For several years now PADT has 3D Printed special thank you awards for the fantastic companies that sponsor the Arizona SciTech Festival. This year we decided to stick with the color of the Stratasys Connex3 but add some moving parts. This gear design spins around and was made as one part, we just wash the support material out of the gaps between parts.
This is a great example of going directly from a CAD model to a custom part. Each award has the recipient’s name printed on the smaller gear. Everything was designed in an hour or so and it took about another hour to add in the 30 or so names. We think these may be the best awards we have made so far.
Here is a video showing off how they spin:
Awards are kind of simple and fun. But the same technology is applied by PADT to help our customers design and build better medical devices, rockets, aircraft engines, computers, and pretty much any physical product you can think of. Give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how “We Make Innovation Work”
In this second article on the Internet of Things, or IoT, we take a look at ways you can connect a smart device to the internet. “Connectivity: What makes the Internet of Things a big deal” gives some basic information on options and talks about the important decisions you need to make when developing your connectivity plan.
PADT talks a lot about synergy as a key strength and a key element of the value we provide to our customers. Our three departments, Manufacturing, Services, and Sales, are in constant communication, always leveraging one another’s expertise to solve problems. Strong internal relationships — a consequence of being under the same roof — precipitate easy and abundant information and resource sharing. Communication, paradigm, alignment, synergy: clear as day.
But what does any of that mean?
When a PADT product development customer meets us for the first time, he or she may be shown a slide that looks like this:
Strong bilateral communication among the Product Development, 3D Printing, and Analysis groups means that the project is enriched by contributions from experts across several fields, multiplying the value we add in the development process. For instance, the product will likely someday run into a sticky problem without a clear solution. PADT can attack it from multiple angles, such as design adjustment, finite element analysis (FEA) optimization, and the iterative testing of 3D printed prototypes.
Ok, but still: what does any of that mean?
A longtime customer of PADT’s product development group recently ran into an urgent problem without a clear path to a solution. Their manufacturing partner called them and said that a particular subassembly in their design will cost three times more than expected, which would raise the price of the product above the maximum the market would bear. PADT was presented with the problem: how do we reduce the subassembly cost by 66% while maintaining overall performance, and how do we confidently select a solution in under a week?
PADT’s three engineering groups jumped in to help.
The Product Development group held a brainstorming session and came out with two adjustments to bring overall cost down. First, the subassembly of three bonded unique steel parts would be replaced by a single injection molded plastic part. This change reduces component cost to within the target, but also significantly reduces the final assembly’s structural integrity.
Secondly, a plastic stiffener truss was added between components to mitigate the reduction in overall stiffness. This change adds a little assembly cost, but also significantly increases the final assembly’s structural integrity, which had been weakened by the first change.
The Analysis group conducted a series of FEA simulations, first to determine the increased bending under load and second to select a material to balance the conflicting requirements for stiffness, strength, and cost. After multiple simulation iterations, it was determined that Product Development had selected a permissible path forward and that a glass-filled polypropylene provides the best combination of the three parameters.
The 3D Printing group then printed the new design for qualitative “look and feel” testing and quantitative force/deflection study. The group was able to closely match the properties of the selected material from their collection of printable filaments and top-shelf industrial printers, reproducing even the fine details — subtle fillets, radii — that boost strength but are missed with lower quality printers. Through prototype tests, it was determined that Analysis selected an appropriate material and Product Development selected an appropriate design.
In the end, PADT was able to confidently select a solution to the customer’s unique cost problem in under a week. Thanks to the synergy of three groups — Product Development, Analysis, and 3D Printing — the customer was able to stay on schedule and enter the market at a relevant price.
So how can PADT help my product?
PADT’s system for delivering services is a textbook example of synergy in action, and it represents a uniquely effective solution to your company’s product problems. Whether you’re in concept design or high-volume production, PADT will tailor-make a solution that fits your budget, schedule, and technical requirements.
Give us a call at 1–800–293-PADT or email email@example.com.
Over the past two academic semesters (2015/16), I had the opportunity to work closely with six senior-year undergraduate engineering students from the Arizona State University (ASU), as their industry adviser on an eProject (similar to a Capstone or Senior Design project). The area we wanted to explore with the students was in 3D printed lattice structures, and more specifically, address the material modeling aspects of these structures. PADT provided access to our 3D printing equipment and materials, ASU to their mechanical testing and characterization facilities and we both used ANSYS for simulation, as well as a weekly meeting with a whiteboard to discuss our ideas.
While there are several efforts ongoing in developing design and optimization software for lattice structures, there has been little progress in developing a robust, validated material model that accurately describes how these structures behave – this is what our eProject set out to do. The complex internal meso- and microstructure of these structures makes them particularly sensitive to process variables such as build orientation, layer thickness, deposition or fusion width etc., none of which are accounted for in models for lattice structures available today. As a result, the use of published values for bulk materials are not accurately predictive of true lattice structure behavior.
In this work, we combined analytical, experimental and numerical techniques to extract and validate material parameters that describe mechanical response of lattice structures. We demonstrated our approach on regular honeycomb structures of ULTEM-9085 material, made with the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process. Our results showed that we were able to predict low strain responses within 5-10% error, compared to 40-60% error with the use of bulk properties.
This work is to be presented in full at the upcoming RAPID conference on May 18, 2016 (details at this link) and has also been accepted for full length paper submission to the SFF Symposium. We are also submitting a research proposal that builds on this work and extends it into more complex geometries, metals and failure modeling. If you are interested in the findings of this work and/or would like to collaborate, please meet us at RAPID or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).