On this part of the blog PADT will be sharing “information” that may not have a lot of real value, but that we enjoy. Look for links to things of high nerd value, a few jokes, silly pictures, and whatever else we feel might make you smile. There is a strict ban on LOL Cats, unless there is an engineering tie in.
Posted on June 15, 2016, by: Eric MillerEvery once in the while you need to get out of the office and run your co-workers off a track. For whatever reason, when members of our Sales and Support department put on some helmets and strapped themselves in to electric racing karts, they got very competitive. The people who sell and support 3D Printers and Simulation software left their Stratasys and ANSYS brochures at home and headed to the Octane Raceway in Scottsdale, AZ for some fun and decompression. They have been working hard all year making customers happy, and they needed a way unwind. So the drove in circles. In this team building fun was had by all. Only a few curse words were exchanged. Mario was asked to get a more subtle shirt. The only disappointment is that the winner of the event was Oren Raz... most of us back at the office were pulling for Clinton Smith to take the trophy.
Posted on June 2, 2016, by: Eric MillerAs 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. Check out the details at: 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.
Posted on May 23, 2016, by: Eric MillerKen Morgan and Mark Asher of Money Radio interviewed PADT's Eric Miller to learn more about what we do here and how "We Make Innovation Work" as part of the Business Leader Spotlight. Listen to the interview here:
Posted on May 23, 2016, by: Eric MillerFor 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 email@example.com to see how "We Make Innovation Work"
Posted on March 14, 2016, by: Eric MillerHave you heard? It’s Pi Day! This post, "5 reasons why nerds celebrate Pi Day" shares the reasons why those of us in the know like Pi day so much.
Posted on February 25, 2016, by: Eric MillerWe thought we would open PADT's doors to families and maybe a few people would stop by. Over 250 people did just that. What a great evening of smiling kids and adults enjoying the excitement of engineering. Exciting engineering? Yes, we know enough to not talk about quality system protocols, matrix inversions, and non-linear turbulence model convergence. We stuck to 3D Printing, elephants on skateboards, and 3D scanners. And we fed everyone pizza. It was a great evening where everyone learned something. The focus was on exposing what engineers do, what PADT does, to people who may not be technical. Mostly kids but we also saw it as a way for engineers to show their family members and friends what engineering is about. The results far exceeded our expectation, mostly because of how great everyone who showed up was. Some of the quotes from people who have emailed to thank us are:
"Thank you for opening up your office to me. What a cool place! Even though I have been familiar with and worked with 3D printing for 20+ years, it is always nice to see the new technology, products, and the output of the products. "
"... to see my son and all of the other kids so excited and amazed was truly awesome. Mason told me it was the best night of his life! And this morning his first words to me where thanking me for taking him to the event and when can we go back."
"This is such a great opportunity for me to show my grandkids what I spent my life doing, and seeing them get so excited about it is wonderful”The best part of the event for most of us here at PADT were the fantastic questions. As one of our engineers said "for 2 hours I was just lost in the joy of positive human interaction." We do love what we do here, but it was nice to share it with other people. Below are some pictures from the evening. Make sure you sign up for PADT's email list to get invites to future events.
Posted on February 11, 2016, by: Kathryn PestaPADT is excited to open our doors to the community and show you and your families what engineering is all about. Bring the family down for a tour of PADT’s Tempe office and we will show them why engineering rocks. This family friendly event is a great way for kids to see what engineers really do all day. Tour our 3D printing lab and check out how “We Make Innovation Work”. Register Here
|WHEN:||Wednesday, February 24th from 6:00pm to 7:30pm|
|7755 S. Research Drive, Suite 110|
|Tempe, AZ 85284|
Posted on January 28, 2016, by: Dhruv Bhate, PhDMost histories of Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) trace the origins of the technology back to Charles Hull's 1984 patent, the same year production began on the first of the Back to the Future movies. Which is something of a shock when you see 3D printing dotting the Gartner Hype Cycle like it was invented in the post-Seinfeld era. But that is not what this post is about. When I started working on Additive Manufacturing (AM), I was amazed at the number of times I was returning to text books and class notes I had used in graduate school a decade ago. This led me to reflect on how AM is helping bring back to the forefront disciplines that had somehow lost their cool factor - either by becoming part of the old normal, or because they contained ideas that were ahead of their time. I present three such areas of research that I state, with only some exaggeration, were waiting for AM to come along.
- Topology Optimization: I remember many a design class where we would discuss topology optimization, look at fancy designs and end with a conversation that involved one of the more cynical students asking "All that's fine, but how are you going to make that?". Cue the elegant idea of building up a structure layer-by layer. AM is making it possible to manufacture parts with geometries that look like they came right out of a stress contour plot. And firms such as ANSYS, Autodesk and Altair, as well as universities and labs are all working to improve their capabilities at the intersection of topology optimization and additive manufacturing.
- Lattice Structures: One of the first books I came across when I joined PADT was a copy of Cellular Solids by Lorna Gibson and M.F. Ashby. Prof. Gibson's examples of these structures as they occur in nature demonstrate how they provide an economy of material usage for the task at hand. Traditionally, in engineering structures, cellular designs are limited to foams or consistent shapes like sandwich panels where the variation in cell geometry is limited - this is because manufacturing techniques do not normally lend themselves well to building complex, three dimensional structures like those found in nature. With AM technologies however, cell sizes and structures can be varied and densities modified depending on the design of the structure and the imposed loading conditions, making this an exciting area of research.
- Metallurgy: As I read the preface to my "Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist" text book, I was surprised to note the author openly bemoan the decline of interest in metallurgy, and subsequently, fewer metallurgists in the field. And I guess it makes sense: materials science is today mostly concerned with much smaller scales than the classical metallurgist trained in. Well, lovers of columnar grain growth and precipitation hardening can now rejoice - metallurgy is at the very heart of AM technology today - most of the projected growth in AM is in metals. The science of powder metallurgy and the microstructure-property-process relationships of the metal AM technologies are vital building blocks to our understanding of metal 3D printing. Luckily for me, I happen to possess a book on powder metallurgy. And it too, is from 1984.
Posted on January 26, 2016, by: Kathryn PestaAt PADT, we’re as big of a fan as anyone of the cool, trendy software and IT companies that run up billion dollar valuations in Silicon Valley and keep us all entertained and productive with their latest apps and platforms. But as an engineering product and services company, we’re hardware geeks at heart and one of our favorite conferences is coming up quick. It’s the Aerospace, Aviation, Defense and Manufacturing (AADM) Conference hosted by the Arizona Technology Council and Arizona Commerce Authority on March 3 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort. Arizona has a rich history in this sector. TechAmerica's 2014 Cyberstates Report ranks Arizona fourth nationwide for jobs in the space and defense systems manufacturing industry, employing more than 8,300 people. Industry giants such as Raytheon, Honeywell, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics all have a big presence here. Luke Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca and the Yuma Proving Ground all provide ideal places for testing and flying in our cloudless skies and more than 300 days of sunshine. When you look at manufacturing, you’ll find thousands of varied companies located here that are propelling Arizona’s economy into the next era of growth. Industries leaders such as Intel, Microchip, and Frito Lay all have significant Arizona operations. Now in its fifth year, this conference has become the gathering place for Arizona’s AADM industry. You’ll not only have a chance to hear what the big companies are up to, you’ll meet potential suppliers and customers during the interesting presentations and well-attended cocktail reception. And for as little as $750 you can get a booth space and two conference tickets – that’s a deal you won’t find in New York City! The traffic at our booth always keeps us hopping and give us the opportunity to capture great leads. If you haven’t checked it out yet, get on it, check out the sponsorships and register now. And don’t forget to stop by the PADT booth. We’ll show you how we make innovation work!
Posted on December 30, 2015, by: Eric MillerFor our Christmas parties at PADT we generally have over 40 employees so a traditional secret Santa gift exchange takes to long. So a couple of years ago we downloaded a right-left gift exchange story from the internet and it was a big hit. We ran out of stories on the internet, so we started writing our own, usually in some sort of over-the-top style. This year, 2015, we had started the day of the party by attending the new Star Wars movie, so the story had to be Star Wars related. Everyone gets their gift and forms a big circle in the middle of the room. Someone with a strong voice reads the story and every time the world LEFT is read, everyone passes the package they have to the left. Every time the world RIGHT is read, everyone passes the package they have to their right. You should pause a bit at each LEFT/RIGHT to give people a chance to pass. You can find our older stories here – Elf Family Christmas (2017) – Western Christmas (2016) – Star Wars Christmas (2015) – Fairy Tail Christmas (2014) – Science Fiction Christmas (2013) – Romance Christmas (2012) – Film Noir Christmas (2011)
A long time ago in a galaxy far far, away...San To Claas is in trouble. Right next to the Right-torna system on the left side of the Galaxy, the planet Northpoliax, in a left hand orbit around the star Leftonia 37, was the galactic hub for all thing Christmas. Gifts left the system right after the planet’s winter solstice. But nothing left on this orbit. Because right above the largest continent on Northpoliax, a Death Star hovered. Threatening Christmas for everyone, no one was left out. A new Sith lord, Darth Rightis, hated Christmas. All that cheer and spirit left him cold inside. Two much of the light side of the force. Just the thought of all those gifts left for younglings left him angry. But help was right around the corner. A squadron of Xwing fighters was following right behind the Millennium Falcon. "Arffhhhhdghgg " said Chewy. “What? The moon on the left or the one on the right?” Asked Han Solo. Chewy gestured and Hans went to the left. "Your other left" yelled Princess Leia. Han dived right behind the moon on the left and slingshoted right toward the Death Star, the Xwings right behind them. The lead pilot said: “Red leader this is blue leader. You take the left side. We will take the left as well, right after you attack, those bastards won’t expect that.” “Right” Responded blue leader. Han added: “We will soften up that left side for you. Then let loose the "big present" after both your attacks on the left. The warhead should go right in and end this madness. “ As they approached the Millennium Falcon put covering fire to the right, then veered to the right, leaving the left open. The Xwings attacked, diving right into the slot and trying not to hit either side, the left or the right. The first attack on the left left the defenses damaged. The second attack on the left was right on target. That left the run of the Millennium Falcon. It released a plasma bomb that was wrapped in a big red package, with a bow right on top. As Han pulled up and to the left, and then the right, the warhead exploded right on inside of the main power coupler. Chewy, sitting in the right seat, bellowed in victory as the Death Star exploded right under them. As the debris clears a hologram image appeared right in the middle of the cabin. It showed Admiral San To Clause, wearing his red uniform with white fur epilets on the right and left shoulders. "Thank you all for coming right when we needed you. Right now, Christmas is saved and the dark side is left with one less Sith Lord. May the force, be right with you. And Merrrrrry Christmas to all!
Posted on December 22, 2015, by: Eric MillerThe Chief Science Officer program is a program for 6th-12th grade students to represent their school in STEM. And what better way is there for them to identify themselves then with 3D Printed name badges? The program's sponsors, the AZ SciTech Festival offer a training retreat for the kids who get elected as their school's CSO and we all thought introducing design and 3D Printing would be a great activity. As part of the 2015 Fall CSO Institute, PADT's Jeff Nichols joined local designer and artist John Drury to spend some time with the kids explaining how to work with logos and shapes to convey an idea, and how to design for 3D Printing. The kids worked out their own design and sent it to PADT for printing. We converted their sketch into a 3D Model, starting in Adobe Illustrator. The sketch was traced with vector geometry and then a generic name was added. This was then copied 144 times and each name was typed in, with a few extras. This step was the only boring part. The design worked great because it is a simple extrusion with no need for support material. The outline of their names were exported as DXF from Illustrator and then imported onto the 3D Model and extruded up to make a solid model of a badge. This was then copied to make a badge for each student. Then the names were imported and extruded on the patterned badges. STL files were then made and sent off to one of our Stratasys FDM 3D Printers. The FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) process extrudes an ABS plastic filament, and you can change material during the build. So, to add a bit of contrast, we changed the filament color after the base of the design was done, making the logo and student names stand out. The final results came out really nice. This project was a lot of fun because we were able to work with the students. They got what John and Jeff taught them and did a great job. We know they will be placed with pride on back backs and jackets across Arizona. To learn more about the CSO program, visit their website: http://chiefscienceofficers.org/ Check out the blog. Some of these kids can really write well and their insight into Science, Technology, Math, and Education is insightful.
Posted on December 18, 2015, by: Eric MillerFor an engineer, there are certain TV and Movie experiences that border on the religious - Star Wars is of course one of those. That is why PADT's main office in Tempe closed down today to head down the freeway to the Chandler to see Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. Around 370 employees, family members, friends, vendors, former employees, and customers showed up for the 10:00 am showing. We were confident that JJ Abrams would do a great job, because he did so well with an even more important franchise to PADT, Star Trek. We were not disappointed. There were cheers, there was laughter, and several of us confessed in the lobby afterwards that we teared up a bit. A true treat. I want to thank Josh Heaps here for putting it all together and for dealing with our constantly asking him about when and where it was and how many seats the theater had. This is also a great venue to thank our customers and vendors for coming and for bringing your families. We don't get to see many of you often enough, and rarely outside of a meeting or a phone call. Seeing the smiles on everyone's face after the movie was, as they say, worth the price of admission.
May the Force Be With YouIf you want to organize similar event to your colleagues, hire team building company in Singapore!
Posted on November 13, 2015, by: Eric MillerFor those of us that are part of the Arizona Technology community, the official kickoff of holiday and end of year celebrations is the Governor's Celebration of Innovation, or GCOI. A who's who of key people from startups to large aerospace firms gather at the convention center to recognize students, academicians, companies, and individuals who have had a significant impact on the State's high tech industries. This is always a special evening for PADT because many of the attendees, and usually a few of the award winners, are our customers. In fact, for 2015 we are proud to congratulate the following long time PADT customers who were recognized last night:
- Medtronic Tempe Campus for Innovator of the Year, Large Company
- Raytheon Missile Systems for winning the Pioneering Award
- ASU's Michael Crow, the OneNeck IT Services People’s Choice Lifetime Achievement Award winner (ASU is a large PADT customer... so we feel Dr. Crow is our customer as well.)
About the AwardsAs in past years, PADT was honored to be able to fabricate the awards that were handed out. This year we used the overall design for the event, created by Atom, as our starting point. We used our Stratasys FDM printers to make the stair steps and "tech guy silhouette" The graphics are then printed on large stickers that are adhered to the back of an Arizona'ish shaped piece of plexiglass.
The PADT BoothThis year we decided to not bring a 3D Printer and instead focus on parts made on a wider variety of printers. The hit for visitors were the metal parts that were made on ConceptLaser Direct Laser Melting systems. In addition we got to talk about the great work that our product development team did for GlobalStar on the Spot devices and Orthosensor for their intelligent orthopedic sensors. We even had a few simulation people come by to talk ANSYS. Hopefully you had a chance to talk with Andrew Miller, Kathryn Pesta, or Mario Vargas. If you missed us and want to know more about PADT, what we do, or the Arizona Technology Community, reach out and we will be happy to chat.
Posted on October 30, 2015, by: Eric MillerEvery year around the end of October PADT has our holiday season kick-off event, our Pumpkin Fest and Launch. This year we also added in a company meeting, killing three birds with one pumpkin. The weather was fantastic, and we all enjoyed sitting outside in the sun under a clear blue sky. Our pumpkin catapult, recently improved, was then rolled out for some pumpkin chunkin' fun. Thanks to the folks at Tech Shop Chandler we had a redesigned basket for the pumpkins to go in. Their industrial sewing machine was a perfect tool to make something strong enough. Her are some picture below that I took with my phone, we will add video next week. Manoj M won on distance, and Jeff McK took the prize for accuracy.
Posted on October 26, 2015, by: David Mastel
- It has been a long time since I have written any articles. I thought to get me back into the flow of writing and share a recent fun project that I completed at work, where I was able reuse and re-purpose abandoned 20 year-old office desks. We are talking about excellent quality desks, just as the Buy Direct Online Computer Desks. The issue started out a frustration related to note taking and I wanted something better. What is my frustration, how did it start? It was started by simple pet peeve of my own. I do not like using paper to jot down quick ideas, thoughts or a to-do on! I write numerous quick notes down during my day at work.
Some examples of my daily office dilemma:
- Rapid fire phone calls that can bounce my phone off the desk.
- I just have to jot something down less than a single sentence down.
- A conference call occurs I need to capture a couple quick thoughts down because I am such a great active listener and don’t want to interrupt.
- Even sketching out a quick design for a new CUBE HPC cluster or workstation.
- Use a new piece of paper to write quick notes on? Nope
- Find the special square colored sticky things? Nope
- Dig through the paper recycling bin and get strange looks from my co-workers? Nope
- Cut my own square colored sticky note things? Nope
- I can’t seem to find a pen, open a brand new box of pens? Nope
- Take your notes on the electronic device of your choosing, okay which one phone, laptop, and/or tablet or how about use that conference room computer? Then I end up having quick notes and scribbles EVERYWHERE!
The primer & the solution:
- Two primers can be used under Dry Erase Paint; either Zinsser B-I-N Shellac Based Primer or Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 Water-based Primer. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Zinsser-Bulls-Eye-1-2-3-1-gal-White-Water-Based-Interior-Exterior-Primer-and-Sealer-2001/100398391
- Rust-Oleum Dry Erase Kit http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Specialty-27-oz-White-Gloss-Dry-Erase-Kit-241140/100670376
- About $50 and a few hours of time
- One package of the dry erase can do about 3-4 coats for a 30 sq ft area, or about two thick coast on two desks.
- Lightly sand the top until smooth.
- Clean the top of the desk.
- Mask the ends of the table
- Apply coat of primer
- Apply the solution
- After the third or fourth coat is on, wait 3 days for use.