Peeling Away the *VMASK

vmask-icon2One way to really unleash the power of APDL is to become familiar, and ultimately fluent, with array parameters. The APDL student will quickly learn that array manipulation involves heavy use of the *V commands, which are used to operate on vectors (single columns of an array). These commands can be used to add two vectors together, find the standard deviation of a column of data, and so on. *V commands consist of what I like to refer to as “action” commands and “setting” commands. The action commands, such as *VOPER, *VFILL, and *VFUN * have their own default behaviors, but these defaults may be overridden by a preceding setting command, such as *VABS, *VLEN, or *VMASK.

*VMASK is one of the most useful, but one of the most difficult to understand, *V command. At its essence it is a setting command that directs the following action command to a “masking” array of true/false values. Only cells corresponding to “true” values in the masking array are considered for the array being operated on in the subsequent action command.

For example, a frequently used application of *VMASK is in the compression of an array—for instance to only include data for selected entities. The array to be compressed would consist of data for all entities, such as element numbers, x-locations for all nodes, etc. The masking array would consist of values indicating the select status for the entities of interest: 1 for selected, –1 for unselected, and 0 for not even in the model to begin with. Only array cells corresponding to a masking array value of 1 would be included in the compression operation, with those corresponding to a value or 0 or –1 being thrown out. Here is a slide from our APDL training class that I hope illustrates things a little better.

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Take the class or buy the manual (and review it at Amazon, please!)

What we’ve learned so far is that the masking array contains a list of true/false (or not true) values to refer to when performing its vector operation. But actually, it’s much more general than 1, 0, and –1. What *VMASK does is include cells corresponding to all positive numbers in the masking array (not just +1) and exclude cells corresponding to all values less than or equal to zero in the masking array (not just 0 and            -1), which broadens the possibilities for how *VMASK can be handy.

Everything I’ve used *VMASK for up to this point in my career has involved array compression, and I figured I’d be put out on a sweep meshed ice floe into a sea of CFD velocity streamlines (that’s what happens to old CAE engineers; you didn’t know that?) before I came up with anything else. However, I recently ran into a situation where I needed to add up just the positive numbers in an array. I was about to construct an algorithm that would test each individual number in the array to see if it was positive and, if so, add it to the total. It would’ve been cumbersome. Then I came up with a much less cumbersome approach: use the array as it’s own masking array and then perform the addition operation. Let’s look at an example.

Take the following array:

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The sum of all values in the array is 1.5 whereas the sum of just the positive values is 11.5. What’s the most efficient way to have APDL calculate each?

In the case of summing all values in the array, it’s easy, just simply execute

*VSCFUN,sum_total,SUM,sum_exmpl(1)

which gives you

image

But what about summing just the positive values? That’s easy, just use SUM_EXMPL as its own masking array so that only the positive values are included in the operation.

*VMASK,sum_exmpl(1)

*VSCFUN,sum_pos,SUM,sum_exmpl(1)

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Boo yeah

Now why was I doing this? I had to create a macro to calculate total nodal loads for an unconstrained component in just the positive direction (to ignore the loads counteracting in the negative direction), and this was my approach. Feel free to download the macro: facelds.mac and try it out yourself.

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Video Tips: Topology Optimization with ANSYS and GENESIS

This video will show you how you can optimize a part using Topology Optimization with GENESIS through ANSYS Mechanical with support from ANSYS SpaceClaim

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Product Development for Startups – Presentation at The Startup Lifecycle Lunch & Learn

PADT-Startup-Prod-DevThis Thursday PADT was asked to help participate in a lunch and learn entitled “The Startup Lifecycle.” The event was a joint presentation of the Arizona Technology Council and the Maricopa Corporate College and it was held at CEI’s fantastic facilities.  Given our background, we were asked to talk about Product Development, and specifically on Minimum Viable Products and Lean Manufacturing Principles.

You can download my presentation here, or read on to learn more about the event.

lunchandlearn2There were four presenters.  Hart Schafer the Founder & CEO of TheraSpace and an experienced Adobe guy, among other things, kicked things off with a great discussion on customer validation and discovery.  He pointed out the common mistakes in thinking you know your customers and finding out you were wrong to late. Some great examples were given and he shared some practical ways to really find the Problem-Solution fit.

Next was yours truly, talking about those uncomfortable bits in the middle, where you need to actually design your product, then make it.  I covered the concept of a Minimum Viable Product and how to use product development to come up with one. We also touched on how lean product development can be applied in a startup environment.

Then I dived into lean manufacturing, which is a topic worthy of several Lunch and Learns on its own.  The bottom line was that Startups can effectively apply lean manufacturing to get a better product to market faster, and on budget.  I included some examples and advice on how to implement it.

As mentioned above, you can download my presentation here.

This is a picture of me gesturing widely as I explained how a simple cake doughnut is a Minimum Viable Product and one with frosting and sprinkles was not.  All the time hearing Homer Simpson saying “doooonuts” in my head. presenting2

 

NExt up was Nate Curran, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CEI.  He went in to how to commercialize a product.  Another huge topic, but he boiled it down to some basics on commercialization, marketing, and sales.  The last speaker was Russ Yelton, the CEO of Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, a successful startup that was a client at CEI. After we talked about what you should do, he shared the real world and how to scale and grow. The big takeaway from his talk for me was the importance of people and culture when you scale and grow.

After a great Q&A session, we posed for a picture:

lunchandlearn-presenters

As always with events at CEI, the venue was great. And, also as always with AZ Tech Council events, the audience was smart, engaged, and full of their own ideas worth sharing.  Yet another indication of the growing and improving startup ecosystem in Arizona.

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Two Fantastic Events for Start-Ups: Synapse Med Device Workshop and Star-Up Lifecycle Lunch and Learn

shutterstock_startups1As a further sign of the growth in the Phoenix Start-Up community, there are two high value events for Start-ups that everyone should be aware of, and it doesn’t hurt that PADT is a key participant in both.

Start-Up Strategiesaztc-startup-lunch-and-learn

The first is a lunch and Learn: “The Start-Up Lifecycle – Key Strategies for Success at All Stages of Development.” This event is being presented by the Maricopa Corporate College and AZTC’s Startup + Entrepreneurship Committee and will be held at CEI’s fantastic facilities. Most technology-based start-up companies go through a similar growth lifecycle: validation; product development; commercialization; scale. In this presentation, CEI will discuss the basic principles of business development for companies at all stages. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Lean Startup / Customer Discovery
  • Prototyping and Minimum Viable Product
  • Go-to-Market Strategies
  • Growth Management
  • and more!
Maricopa-Corporate-College-Logo cei_logo

The presenter are experienced entrepreneur’s who will share the lessons they have learned in their own companies and while helping others:

  • Jeff Saville, Executive Director, CEI
  • Nate Curran, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, CEI
  • Hart Shafer, CEO/Founder, Theraspecs & Lean Startup/Innovation coach
  • Eric Miller, Principal, Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT)

Learn more here or register here.

The Details:

Location
CEI Gateway
275 N. Gateway Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Date & Time
Thursday June 25, 2015
11:30AM – 1:00PM
Cost
AZTC Members, Free
Non-Members, $15

Medical Device Workshopsynapse-logo1

PADT is also honored to be a participant in SYNAPSE 2015.  This unique event is a 3-day workshop aimed at medical professionals with a product idea.   The event will be an opportunity for them to work with industry professionals, like PADT, to turn those ideas into something real and tangible.  This is being lead by Medicoventures and will also be held at CEI.

synapseworkshop-1At the end of the three days attendees will have a prototype, secure intellectual property, and a vetted business model. They will also have a new network of resources and an invaluable education in the realities of Medical Device Start-Ups.

Other Resource sponsors besides PADT currently include: PipelineDesign; Global Patent Solutions; Knobbe-Martens IP Law; Schmeiser, Olsen & Watts IP Law; VA Angels; DLA Piper, and MedicoLabs.

This event is September 17, 18, and 19th.

This post only summarizes what will happen at the workshop, so please visit the website here to get the full details.

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AmCon Phoenix 2015: Comments and Presentation Notes

prezo_padt_amcon_phoenix-2015We just finished up our third and final AmCon show of the year at what turned out to be the best show of the three.  The PADT booth was packed during the exhibition time with a wide variety of people asking questions and checking out examples of what PADT and Stratasys can do.  We were able to meet with a lot of our local customers, and even better, were able to get to know a ton of new potential clients.  Some shows are kind of boring and people just don’t get what we do. AmCon shows are the exact opposite. The attendees are smart, informed, and eager to learn more.

As is usual, we had a collection of parts on display. We also had a Geomagic Capture scanner showing off our growing offering of optical scanning solutions.  Here is a picture of Mario at the show.  He definitely photographs the best:

mario_padt_amcon_phoenix-2015In addition to the booth, we were asked to speak on 3D Printing at the event.  Yours truly gave a presentation entitled: “The Practical Application of 3D Printing for Prototyping, Tooling, and Production” that lasted a bit over an hour.

As promised the notes from that presentation can be downloaded here.

We hope to see more of you at future events. If you have questions about 3D Printing and its application please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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Vibro-Acoustics Analysis in ANSYS Mechanical as Told by a Structures Guy

Vibro-Acoustics-ANSYS-iconWith the introduction of ACT, the ANSYS Workbench editors have gained capabilities and shortcuts at much faster rate than what can be introduced in a development cycle. One of first and most far-reaching extensions is the acoustics. Inevitably I was called on by one of our customers to show them how to do a vibro-acoustics analysis (harmonic with acoustic excitation), which I did. Since the need for this type of analysis is quite broad, I’ll share it here too.

There was an extra level of excitement with this, in that I’m a structures specialist with no prior acoustics experience. So, I did my own self-training on this topic. I have to give tons of credit to Sheldon Imaoka of ANSYS Inc., who took the time to thoroughly answer the questions I had. That being said, this article will be from the standpoint of a structures engineer who’s just recently learned acoustics.

The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Acoustics extension from the Downloads section at the ANSYS Customer Portal and install it in Workbench.

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It’s at the very top, under ‘A’ for “Acoustics”

One thing you’ll notice when you unzip the Acoustics Extension package is that it contains and entire Acoustics training course. Take advantage of this freebie when learning acoustics analysis. I’ll note that, most of the process outlined in this article comes from the Submarine workshop in the acoustics training course.

Once you’ve installed and turned on the Acoustics extension, insert a Harmonic Analysis system into the project schematic, link to the solid geometry file, and specify the material properties for the solid. You’ll specify the properties for the acoustic region in Mechanical under the appropriate Acoustics extension objects.

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Rename as you see fit

Assuming you just have the geometry for the solid and not the acoustics domain, create two acoustics regions around the solid. The first region, surrounding the solid, will function as the fluid region itself, through which the acoustic waves travel and interact with the structure. The second region, surrounding the first acoustics region, will function as the Perfectly Matched Layer (PML). The PML essentially acts as the infinite boundary of the system. (If you’re an electromagnetics expert, you already know this and I’m boring you.) You can easily create these domains using the enclosure tool in DesignModeler.

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Acoustics Regions

Now we’re ready for the analysis. Open up Mechanical. Look at all those buttons on the Acoustics toolbar! Yikes! Fortunately we just need a few of them.

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Here they are

Insert an Acoustic Body and scope it to the acoustic region surrounding the structural solid. In the Details, enter the density and speed of sound for the fluid. Also set the Acoustic-Structural Coupled Body Options to Coupled With Symmetric Algorithm.

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Pay attention to the menu picks, Details, and geometry scoping here and in the rest of the image captures

“Coupled” refers to coupled-field behavior, i.e. the mutual interaction between the structure and the fluid. You’re probably familiar with this. You need that, otherwise the acoustic waves are just bouncing off the structure and the structure isn’t doing anything. Regarding the Symmetric Algorithm: The degrees of freedom for the acoustic system consists of both structural displacements and fluid pressures, giving you an asymmetric stiffness matrix. However, ANSYS has incorporated a symmetrization algorithm to convert the asymmetric stiffness matrix to a symmetric matrix, resulting in half as many equations that need to be solved and thus a faster solution time yadda yadda yadda, so go with that.

Now insert another Acoustic Body, this time scoped to the outer acoustic region (body). This is your Perfectly Matched Layer. Specify fluid density and speed of sound as before. This time, leave the Coupled Body Option as Uncoupled. But, set Perfectly Matched Layers to On.

 imageimage

Apply an Acoustic Pressure of zero to the outer faces of the PML body (Boundary Conditions > Acoustic Pressure). As you may have guessed from the menu pick, this is your acoustics boundary condition.

clip_image020imageimage

Now we’ll apply some acoustic wave excitation to this thing. From the Excitation menu, select Wave Sources (Harmonic). In the Details, set the Excitation Type to either Pressure or Velocity, set the Source Location and specify the excitation pressure or velocity value. In this example, I went with Pressure since that’s what MIL-STD-810 specifies, but this option will be based on your customer requirements. I also assumed an external acoustic source (hence, Outside the Model), but again, that will be based on your particular project. You also need to specify the vector of the wave source, via rotations about the Z and Y axes (f and q). In this case I chose 30 and 60 degrees, respectfully, to make it interesting. Once again, enter the density and speed of sound for the fluid.

clip_image026image

Insert Scattering Controls under the Analysis Settings menu and specify whether the Field Output should be Total or Scattered. Total gives you constant pressure waves that interact with the solid but not each other. Scattered gives you wave that interact and interfere with each other as well as the solid.

imageimage

Set up the Fluid-Structural Interaction boundary condition where the structural faces are “wetted” by the acoustic domain. The FSI Interface is found under the Boundary Conditions menu.

imageimage

Apply structural constraints and specify harmonic analysis settings just like you would with a standard harmonic analysis. Make sure you request Stresses under the Output Controls. Solve the model.

imageimage

Plot your structural results as you would for a typical harmonic analysis. Acoustic Pressure wave results may be found under the Results menu in the Acoustics toolbar. If you used Total field output for the scattering option, you can verify your wave source direction by looking at the Acoustic Pressure Contours. Keep in mind that the contours will be orthogonal to the axis of the sine wave; you may need to put some extra spatial thought into it to fully understand what’s going on.

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Acoustic Pressures: Field Output = Total

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Acoustic Pressures: Field Output = Scattered

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Von-Mises Stresses, Max Over Phase: Field Output = Scattered

As you’ll note in the training course, there are a number of design questions that can be answered with acoustics analysis. In this article, I’ve addressed what I thought would be one of the more popular applications of acoustics simulation. If the demand is there, I’ll research and compose more articles on various acoustics applications in the future. For instance, another area I’ve examined is natural frequencies of a structure that’s submerged in a fluid. If there’s another acoustics topic you’d like us to write about, please let us know in the comments.

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Instructions for Installing and Configuring ANSYS MAXWELL and PExprt, Versions 16.X

ANSYS_pexpert_maxwell-1ANSYS PExpert is a fantastic tool for the design, modeling, and analysis of transformers and inductors. Using a combination of classical and finite element analysis (FEA) techniques, ANSYS PExprt determines the core size and shape, air gaps, and winding strategy for a given power converter topology. What we and our customers have found very useful is the ability to then evaluate the magnetic design in ANSYS Maxwell to view such things as flux density in the core and current density distribution in the windings. Powerful stuff.

The first step in implementing ANSYS PExprt with ANSYS Maxwell is installing and configuring them correctly.  We created a step-by-step guild for our ANSYS customers here in the Southwest, and thought others would find it useful.

ansys-maxwell-pexprt-install-image

Download: InstallingMaxwellandPExprt16.pdf

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need more information. Also, even if you are not in our sales area, please consider using PADT for consulting or training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Come See PADT at a Conference Near You.

padt-on-the-road-iconSometimes you get that prefect storm where everything happens at once, and these last weeks of May and first weeks of June are shaping up to be our busiest time for conferences and shows this year.  We are going to be all over the place: Newfoundland, Montreal, Long Beach, Houston, and even Phoenix.

So I thought I’d shoot out this quick note just in case some of you who follow this blog are going to be at any of these events. Please make sure you stop by and say hello:

  • May 19-21, 2015:  RAPID Show – Long Beach, California
    We will have a booth and will be talking about 3D Printing as well as Simulation and Design.
  • May 31-June 6, 2015:  ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (OMAE) – St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
    Clinton Smith will be presenting a paper with ANSYS, Inc.  on a mesh refinement study we did for a customer on an offshore platform with ANSYS FLUENT
  • June 2-3, 2015: AmCon Phoenix – A Design & Contract Manufacturing Expo – Phoenix, AZ
    This will be our third AmCon this year, this time in our home territory.  The 3D Printing and product development team will be in a booth and I will be doing a talk on “The Practical Application of 3D Printing for Prototyping, Tooling, and Production”
  • June 9, 2015: ANSYS Convergence – Houston, TX
    Clinton Smith will be manning our booth at this event and available to talk about all that PADT does.
  • June 15-19, 2015: ASME Turbo Expo (IGTI) – Montreal Quebec, Canada
    We will just attending this conference, hanging in the Flownex booth, and can probably be found around the ANSYS booth as well.

And don’t forget our Lunch and Learn Road Show: Dealing with Scanned, Repaired, and Legacy Geometry for 3D Printing

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3D Printing Users Lunched & Learned about Dealing with Scanned, Repaired, and Legacy Geometry

PADT-Geometry-Scanning-PartnersThis Thursday we had the first of seven free seminars on how to deal with geometry created with 3D scanning, how to repair faceted geometry, and how to deal with old CAD geometry.  Don’t panic, we have six more scheduled. Scroll down to see the schedule and register for upcoming versions of this seminar. The inaugural session was held in PADT’s Tempe office and engineers from several departments across the company shared the tools we use in consulting and the lessons we have learned over the years to a pack room full with customers that represented everything from the home inventor to engineers from some of Arizona’s largest aerospace and electronics companies.

badgeometry

As more and more companies do 3D printing we are finding that they struggle with imperfect geometry. Whether it was scanned, from another CAD system, or an STL (3D Printer) file from someone else, when it came time to print parts people were having difficulty getting valid geometry.  So we created a road show to go over the tools we use here to 1) get good scan geometry in the first place, 2) convert scan geometry into something useful, and 3) repair bad STL and CAD files.

Things got kicked off with a presentation on the various ways you can scan 3D geometry.  Our scanning engineer, Ademola, also demonstrated our Geomagic Capture and Steinbichler scanner on some real parts.

padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-3-2015_05_14

After some food, we moved on to looking at Geomagic Design X.  This is the tool we use to convert our scan data to a fully usable and clean CAD model.  If you have tried to go from scan to CAD without this tool, you know how much work it is.  padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-2015_05_14

Next we looked that the tool that we use to import, modify, and clean existing geometry: SpaceClaim.  As the presenter Tyler Smith said “No matter the source of geometry, SpaceClaim is the tool to help”

padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-2-2015_05_14

We finished up with topological optimization. Where we spent most of the event talking about how to get good geometry, in this last presentation we talked about how to make the geometry better by using simulation to optimize the shape of your parts.

padt-scanning-spaceclaim-seminar-tempe-5-2015_05_14

It was a great crowd with the kind of questions you hope for when doing a seminar.  If you are in the Southwest, there is still time to attend one of these lunch & learns being held in other locations. Click on the event you want to register.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Or you can contact PADT directly to learn more about the products and services we covered, which included:

 

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Five Ways CoresOnDemand is Different than the Cloud

CoresOnDemand-Logo-120hIn a recent press release, PADT Inc. announced the launch of CoresOnDemand.com. CoresOnDemand offers CUBE simulation clusters for customers’ ANSYS numerical simulation needs. The clusters are designed from the ground up for running ANSYS numerical simulation codes and are tested and proven to deliver performance results.

CoresOnDemand_CFD-Valve-1

POWERFUL CLUSTER INFRASTRUCTURE

The current clusters available as part of the CoresOnDemand offering are:
1- CoresOnDemand – Paris:

80-Core Intel based cluster. Based on the Intel Xeon E5-2667 v.2 3.30GHz CPU’s, the cluster utilizes a 56Gbps InfiniBand Interconnect and is running a modified version of CentOS 6.6.

CoresOnDemand-Paris-Cluster-Figure

2- CoresOnDemand – Athena:

544-Core AMD based cluster. Based on the AMD Opteron 6380 2.50GHz CPU’s the cluster utilizes a 40Gbps InfiniBand Interconnect and is running a modified version of CentOS 6.6.

CoresOnDemand-Athena-Cluster-Figure

Five Key Differentiators

The things that make CoresOnDemand different than most other cloud computing providers are:

  1. CoresOnDemand is a non-traditional cloud. It is not an instance based cluster. There is no hypervisor or any virtualization layer. Users know what resources are assigned exclusively to them every time. No layers, no emulation, no delay and no surprises.
  2. CoresOnDemand utilizes all of the standard software designed to maximize the full use of hardware features and interconnect. There are no layers between the hardware and operating system.
  3. CoresOnDemand utilizes hardware that is purpose built and benchmarked to maximize performance of simulation tools instead of a general purpose server on caffeine.
  4. CoresOnDemand provides the ability to complete high performance runs on the compute specialized nodes and later performing post processing on a post-processing appropriate node.
  5. CoresOnDemand is a way to lease compute nodes completely and exclusively for the specified duration including software licenses, compute power and hardware interconnect.

CoresOnDemand is backed up by over 20 years of PADT Inc. experience and engineering know-how. Looking at the differentiating features of CoresOnDemand, it becomes apparent that the performance and flexibility of this solution are great advantages for addressing numerical simulation requirements of any type.

To learn more visit www.coresondemand.com or fill out our request form.

Or contact our experts at coresondemand@padtinc.com or 480.813.4884 to schedule a demo or to discuss your requirements.

CoresOnDemand-ANSYS-CUBE-PADT-1

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Press Release: PADT Acquires Stratasys Business from CADCAM Systems

PADT_Logo_Color_100x50At the beginning of this month, CADCAM Systems agreed to sell their Stratasys 3D Printer sales and support business to PADT.  With customers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah this acquisition will increase PADT’s presence and investment in those states. This is PADT’s first acquisition in our 21 year history and we are very excited about the whole thing.  If you have worked with us in the past you know we are all about win-win situations.  We feel that this move will be a win for our customers, CADCAM System’s customers, and Stratasys.

We would like to begin by welcoming all of CADCAM System’s customers to the PADT family. Over the coming months we will be working to get to know you and to show you the variety of products and services that PADT offers.  although a few of you are already customers for other things PADT does, we really look forward to meeting the rest of you and understanding how we can help you bring your products to market better and faster.

Secondly, we want to let our existing customers know that this will give us additional customers and revenue that we  will use to fund expanded services in Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Once we have time to get a feel where these new customers are and what they need, we will plan our sales and support staff to better serve everyone. A larger and stronger community will be one of the key ways this will be a win-win for everyone.

You can read more about the acquisition in the press release below or view a PDF version here.

The new customers will grow PADT’s customer base for 3D Printing systems by around 20% to 40%  depending on how you count things. About half of the new customers are in Colorado and the rest are split between Utah and New Mexico; with a few single customers in other states in the west.  Our staff in those states (Littleton, CO, Albuquerque, NM, and Murray, UT) have already started reaching out to the new customers.  As an example of our growing commitment, we recently moved to a new larger suite in the Utah office to make room for a new Application Engineer, more demo machines, and additional space for training and meetings.

We are usually pretty bad about documenting these things for posterity, but fortunately someone remember to snap a picture on their phone during the signing.  From left to right are Ward Rand (PADT Co-Owner), Gloria Ontiveros (CADCAM Co-Owner), John D. Clark (PADT’s Council), and Mario Vargas (PADT’s Sales Manager for 3D Printing):

Official-Signing-CADCAM-Acquisition

 

Customers who have existing support contracts with CADCAM Systems, will continue to be supported by them until those contract expire, including the purchase of their consumables and materials.  When the contracts are up for renewal, they have the option to renew with PADT and we will be the source for their consumables and materials.  Customers who are not on maintenance can contact PADT now for support:

Repair and Maintenance:  480.813.4884 or 3dps@padtinc.com

Those who wish to purchase material and consumables can do so over the phone, via email, or at our online store: padtmarket.com.

Material: 480.813.4884, sales@padtmarket.com, or www.padtmarket.com.

This is an exciting time and we look forward to the growth and mutual success that this acquisition will bring.

Press Release:

PADT Expands 3D Printer Activities with Acquisition of the Stratasys Reselling Business of CADCAM Systems

Strategic move positions PADT as the largest provider of industrial 3D Printing solutions in the Four Corners region.

Tempe, Ariz., May 13, 2015 Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) the Southwest’s largest provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing services and products, is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Stratasys Reseller business of CADCAM Systems, based in Boulder Colorado. This move immediately boosts PADT’s existing 3D Printer sales and support customer base by approximately 30%, adding clients in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, making PADT the largest distributor of 3D Printing systems to commercial customers in the Four Corners region.

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CADCAM Systems, like PADT, has been a leader in 3D Printing sales and support, working with global manufacturer Stratasys to help build usage in the Rocky Mountain States. Throughout the course of its history, CADCAM Systems has built a reputation for outstanding technical ability and customer service. As customers transition to PADT for system support, consumables and future machines, they will receive the same exceptional service they are used to, now from PADT’s offices in Littleton, Colorado, Murray, Utah, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Additional support will come from PADT’s headquarters in Tempe, Arizona. Customers will have the added advantage of access to PADT’s other products and services, including 3D Printing services, ANSYS simulation software, product development, and simulation services.

“When we heard that CADCAM Systems was interested in selling their Stratasys business, we were immediately interested. Said Rey Chu, co-owner at PADT and a recognized expert in the Additive Manufacturing industry. “We knew they took excellent care of their customers and had strong client bases in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, three states that we’ve been growing aggressively in. It was an obvious fit for both companies.”

The acquisition will have no impact on the number of people employed at either company. During the transition, customers who purchased maintenance agreements from CADCAM Systems will be serviced by them until they expire, at which time they have the option to renew with PADT. Some 3D Printing material supplies will be available from CADCAM Systems as well during the transition, with PADT taking over that service in the coming months.

This acquisition was made as part of PADT’s long term strategy to strengthen their position as the premier supplier of mechanical engineering products and services in the Southwest. The company continues to make investments in staff, services offered, and products represented to meet the demands of existing and future customers, continuing to prove a commitment to the company’s motto “We Make Innovation Work.”

To learn more about this exciting expansion visit http://www.padtinc.com/cadcam, email sales@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies
Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 75 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at http://www.PADTINC.com.

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ANSYS Convergence in Chicago – Smart People Talking about Cool Stuff, and Only a Little Wind

chicago-clouds2Once ANSYS started doing more regional user group meetings, we here at PADT decided to stay out west where we felt comfortable. So we have only attended the California and Texas events in the past.  This year we decided to venture further East and go to the Convergence meeting in Chicago.  I have to say it was a great experience, different then the Santa Clara meeting a few weeks ago.

Being from Arizona, I was a bit worried about the weather. It was appropriately windy, and unfortunately overcast with low clouds so my pictures of the famous skyline was a bit stunted.

What was so great was that the same type of smart people who get simulation were there, the products they work on were very different.  From train locomotives to exercise equipment to automotive electronics, we were exposed to a variety of very unique and very cool applications.  And as usual, the people from ANSYS, Inc. had a lot to contribute and show off that was new or coming in various programs.

The event started off with a great presentation from Sin Min Yap, VP of Marketing at ANSYS, on how simulation can be used to turn good ideas in to great products.  Some great customer stories were shared and it really set a foundation as to why we do this thing called modeling and simulation.

However, the customer keynote address stole the show. It was from Jim Kennedy at Mars Corporate Innovation. No, there is no corporation on Mars (outside of SciFi movies). This is the Mars Corporation that is famous for their candy (M&M’s!!!!) and also does several well known pet foods, Wrigley chewing gum, a bunch of food brands, and drinks.  His talk was how the manufacturing of food can be improved with simulation.  Here is a bad picture of a great slide showing the modeling in FLUENT of their gum Kneaders.

gum-kneeders

And here is a model of forming Skittles:

skittles-forming

For an engineer, it doesn’t get much cooler than that. He had other great examples, and tied it all together to show how they do some very sophisticated simulation to improve their efficiency, product quality while reducing cost and minimizing their energy footprint.

Several of us sitting in the back were just amazed at the complex material models they must be using.  Candy, chocolate, gums – much more difficult than stainless steel for sure!

The next speaker talked about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet, which is the IoT applied to the machines that are used to make things, and to monitor products in the field.  My key takeaway is that those of us who are responsible for designing new products have to start figuring out how we are going to make it all work. Simulation can be used to solve difficult packaging issues with batteries, antenna, and sensors the will soon be in most products we develop.  And ANSYS has the tools to do the simulation.

ANSYS also talked about their new ANSYS Enterprise Cloud solution. A very impressive effort to do a true Cloud solution for simulation… not just call time-sharing “cloud computing.”  Working with Amazon they have introduced a truly scalable, interactive, secure, and robust solution that sets the industry standard for Cloud based simulation. We also got a chance to play with it, because ANSYS’s Judd Kaiser was in the booth next to me.  It really is easy to implement and use.  I took a picture when Judd was not looking:

ansys_enterprise_cloud_demo

Renee Demay, the head of the ANSYS Customer Excellence team explained how ANSYS, Inc. is delivering a new more effective solution for customer support and services – focused as the name says on giving the customer and excellent experience.

And then the morning session finished on my favorite combined topic: Simulation and 3D Printing.  John Graham from ANSYS SpaceClaim gave a great talk on how SpaceClaim can be used to improve 3D Printing and serve as the bridge between scanning, 3D Printing, and simulation.

Here he is talking about the repair functionality in the tool. Something we use here at PADT all the time:

spaceclaim-stl-repair

That finished up the morning session, which was followed by a nice lunch where we were able to interact with people a lot. Several of you who read this blog stopped by to say hi. That really made my day.

PADT  had a booth:

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Several of our fiends and partners were also there, so I did a selfie with them all to say hi.  First stop was our good friends and fellow ANSYS Channel Partners SimuTech. They have a local office in Chicago:

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Right across from them were a team from VR&D, our favorite topological optimization tool:

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And NICE was there as well, showing of the remote visualization tool DCV that we use for CoresOnDemand.com and ANSYS uses in EKM and the ANSYS Enterprise Cloud:IMG_6379

The afternoon sessions were great. Lots of ANSYS and customer applications that showed the breadth and depth of usage of ANSYS products in the Midwest.

Then we had a reception, which for a Friday evening where everyone had a big commute ahead of them, was well attended.  Wine was drunk, HFSS models were shared, and the best strategy for disk array RAID configuration was debated… among other less interesting things.

A great trip, where I caught up with some old friends and made some new ones. I  look forward to exploring further east in the future!

And at least one of us will be in Houston, so if you are going make sure you stop by and say hi!

Personal Note – A Saturday of Frank Lloyd Wright

So instead of trying to red eye it back to Phoenix, I spent the night and on Saturday I went on a pilgrimage I’ve wanted to do some time: a visit to some of Frank Lloyd Wrights early creations. I won’t bore you all with my ineloquent ramblings on what a genius he was. Let me just say it was better than I expected.  His studio in his first home was nothing short of amazing (there I go, rambling…) anyhow, here are few shots I took from the outside. I didn’t take any inside pictures because: 1) I take crappy pictures, and 2) I wanted to look and explore instead of take selfies.

The first studio.

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The house attached that the studio is attached to.  You should see the playroom on the top floor. Here is a link to a great blog posting about the house.

flw4

I then went to the Unity Temple which is just down the street. It was covered in scaffolding, but the inside, although worn and in need of repair, was so amazing:

flw2

Then I drove to the University of Chicago to see my second favorite Wright structure (Falling Water being my fav, duh), the Robbie House.  It did not disappoint:flw-1

A day well spent.

flw5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Have You Ever Dreamed in Color – 3D Color? 3D PDF Is Here with VCollab!

VCollab_Shaded_Logo_FinalIf you have ever dreamed of, or at least had a need for a 3D .pdf file of your simulation results, the dream is now realized thanks to VCollab.  As Eric Miller mentioned in The Focus blog back in February, the latest release of VCollab software enables users to save their results in 3D .pdf format.

We’ve now had a chance to test out the capability here at PADT, and we find it quite useful.  We’ve talked about VCollab before, but it’s a software suite that enables virtual collaboration (hence the name) by reducing what may be huge simulation files to a much smaller size, enabling others in your organization or your customers to dynamically view simulation results as well as CAD data in a light-weight viewer.  The folks at Vcollab have gone one step beyond that now by supporting the 3D .pdf format that is viewable in the standard Adobe reader.

Vcollab works with ANSYS results as well as results from lots of other simulation tools.  The process is:

You can download the sample file used in the images below:

vcollab-3d-pdf-sample-bolted1.pdf.

This is what a typical 3D .pdf file created from an ANSYS Mechanical/MAPDL results file looks like, with using the mouse to rotate and zoom around within Adobe reader.

So, if you recognize value in being able to create 3D .pdf files like this, the Vcollab software suite is worth investigating.  Vcollab does lots of useful things besides writing 3D .pdf files, including the capability to be imbedded within the ANSYS Engineering Knowledge Manager (ANSYS EKM) tool.

The best way to see the power of this tool is to request a demo.  Just fill out this form and we will reach out and set one up, followed by a 30 day trial.  .

Or check out www.vcollab.com.

 

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PADT Joins America Makes

America-Makes-Logo-2As part of our long-term commitment to the advancement and growth of Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing), PADT is now a Silver Member of America Makes. We join many of our customers and partners in supporting this National Institute that is focused on "helping the United States grow capabilities and strength in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing."   This is an important step in our journey, which started in 1994 when PADT purchased our first Stereolithography machine.  Our Rapid Prototyping team, lead by PADT Co-Owner Rey Chu, has been a key player in the industry over the years – as leaders in the Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG), an early channel partner for Stratasys, and as the largest provider of Additive Manufacturing services in the Southwestern US.

We joined America Makes because it is delivering on its mission of collaborating on innovation, overcoming challenges that the industry faces, and accelerating overall time to market for companies that use additive manufacturing. As a member we will be able to work closer with others, have access to intellectual property developed by America Makes, and gain access to consolidated technical information.  One of our first efforts will be to work with America Makes on our initiatives to advance simulation and design for Additive Manufacturing.  We will also work with other companies in the Southwest that are already engaged with America Makes to support them and further the growth of the technology in the region.  Membership will also facilitate our ongoing support of the educating of students on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing. 

It was extra special to see that ANSYS, Inc. became a Platinum member at the same time as PADT joined as a Sliver member. As many of you know, PADT is a long time ANSYS Channel Partner and a close collaborator with the ANSYS development teams. Working together on Additive Manufacturing simulation efforts with ANSYS was another key reason why we joined. 

The future of Additive Manufacturing looks bright, and PADT is proud the play the role we have in the past, and look forward to the additional contributions we will be able to add through America Makes. 

America-Makes-FrontExteriorTo learn more about America Makes we recommend the following:

– Watch the introduction video here.
– Visit their website.
– See who the other members are.

Based in Youngstown, Ohio, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute was founded in 2012 as the flagship institute of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. It is a true public-private-academic initiative.

 

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Announcing CoresOnDemand.com – Dedicated Compute Power when you Need It

CoresOnDemand-Logo-120hWe are pleased to announce a new service that we feel is remote solving for FEA and CFD done right: CoresOnDemand.com.  We have taken our   proven CUBE Simulation Computers and built a cluster that users can simply rent.  So you get fast hardware, you get it all to your self, and you receive fantastic support from the ANSYS experts at PADT.

It is not a time share system, it is not a true "cloud" solution.  You tell us how many nodes you need and for how long and we rent them to you. You can submit batch or you can configure the machines however you need them.  Submit on the command line, through a batch scheduler, or run interactive. And when you are done, you do not have to send your files back to your desktop. We've loaded NICE DCV so you can do graphics intense pre- and post-processing from work or home, over the internet to our head nodes.  You can even work through your iPad.

CUBE-HVPC-512-core-closeup3-1000h

If you visit our Blog page a lot, you may have noticed the gray cloud logo with a big question mark next to it. If you guessed that was a hint that we were working on a cloud solution for ANSYS users, you were correct. We've had it up and running for a while but we kept "testing" it with  benchmarks for people buying CUBE computers. Plus we kept tweaking the setup to get the best user experience possible.  With today's announcement we are going live.

We created this service for a simple reason. Customers kept calling or emailing and asking if they could rent time on our machines.  We got started with the hardware but also started surveying and talking to users. Everyone is talking about the cloud and HPC, but we found few providers understood how to deliver the horsepower people needed in a usable way, and that users were frustrated with the offerings they had available. So we took our time and built a service that we would want to use, a service we would find considerable value in.

simulation-hardware ansys-expertise dependability

You can learn more by visiting www.CoresOnDemand.com. Or by reading the official press release included below. To get your started, here are some key facts you should know:

  1. We are running PADT CUBE computers, hooked together with infiniband. They are fast, they are loaded with RAM, and they have a ton of disk space. Since we do this type of solving all the time, we know what is needed
  2. This is a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) service. You will need to lease the licenses you need from whoever you get your ANSYS from.  As an ANSYS Channel partner we can help that process go smoothly.
  3. You do not share the hardware.  If you reserve a node, it is your node. No one else but your company can log in.  You can rent by the week, or the day.
  4. When you are done, we save the data you want us to save and then wipe the machines.  If you want us to save your "image" we can do that for a fee so next time you use the service, we can restore it to right where you were last time.
  5. Right now we are focused on ANSYS software products only. We feel strongly about focusing on what we know and maximizing value to the customers.
  6. This service is backed by PADT's technical support and IT staff. You would be hard pressed to find any other HPC provider out there who knows more about how to run ANSYS Mechanical, ANSYS Mechanical APDL, ANSYS FLUENT, ANSYS CFX, ANSYS HFSS, ANSYS MAXWELL, ANSYS LS-DYNA, ANSYS AUTODYN, ICEM CFD, and much more.

To talk to our team about running your next big job on CoresOnDemand.com contact us at 480-813-4884 or email cod@padtinc.com

CoresOnDemand-ANSYS-CUBE-PADT-1

See the official Press Release here

Press Release:

CoresOnDemand.com Launches as Dedicated ANSYS Simulation
High Performance Cloud Compute Resource 

PADT launches CoresOnDemand.com, a dedicated resource for users who need to run ANSYS simulation software in the cloud on optimized high performance computers.

Tempe, AZ – April 29, 2015 – Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT), the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and 3D Printing services and products, is pleased to announce the launch of a new dedicated high performance compute resource for users of ANSYS simulation software – CoresOnDemand.com.  The team at PADT used their own experience, and the experience of their customers, to develop this unique cloud-based solution that delivers exceptional performance and a superior user experience. Unlike most cloud solutions, CoresOnDemand.com does not use virtual machines, nor do users share compute nodes. With CoresOnDemand.com users reserve one or more nodes for a set amount of time, giving them exclusive access to the hardware, while allowing them to work interactively and to set up the environment the way they want it.

The cluster behind CoresOnDemand.com is built by PADT’s IT experts using their own CUBE Simulation Computers (http://www.padtinc.com/cube), systems that are optimized for solving numerical simulation problems quickly and efficiently. This advantage is coupled with support from PADT’s experienced team, recognized technical experts in all things ANSYS. As a certified ANSYS channel partner, PADT understands the product and licensing needs of users, a significant advantage over most cloud HPC solutions.

“We kept getting calls from people asking if they could rent time on our in-house cluster. So we took a look at what was out there and talked to users about their experiences with trying to do high-end simulation in the cloud,” commented Eric Miller, Co-Owner of PADT. “What we found was that almost everyone was disappointed with the pay-per-cpu-second model, with the lack of product understanding on the part of the providers, and mediocre performance.  They also complained about having to bring large files back to their desktops to post-process. We designed CoresOnDemand.com to solve those problems.”

In addition to exclusive nodes, great hardware, and ANSYS expertise, CoresOnDemand.com adds another advantage by leveraging NICE Desktop Cloud Visualization (https://www.nice-software.com/products/dcv) to allow users to have true interactive connections to the cluster with real-time 3D graphics.  This avoids the need to download huge files or running blind in batch mode to review results. And as you would expect, the network connection and file transfer protocols available are industry standards and encrypted.

The initial cluster is configured with Intel and AMD-based CUBE Simulation nodes, connected through a high-speed Infiniband interconnect.  Each compute node has enough RAM and disk space to handle the most challenging FEA or CFD solves.  All ANSYS solvers and prep/post tools are available for use including: ANSYS Mechanical, ANSYS Mechanical APDL, ANSYS FLUENT, ANSYS CFX, ANSYS HFSS, ANSYS MAXWELL, ANSYS LS-DYNA, ANSYS AUTODYN, ICEM CFD, and much more. Users can serve their own licenses to CoresOnDemand.com or obtain a short-term lease, and PADT’s experts are on hand to help design the most effective licensing solution.

Pre-launch testing by PADT’s customers has shown that this model for remote on-demand solving works well.  Users were able to log in, configure their environment from their desktop at work or home, mesh, solve, and review results as if they had the same horsepower sitting right next to their desk.

To learn more about the CoresOnDemand: visit http://www.coresondemand.com, email cod@padtinc.com, or contact PADT at 480.813.4884. 

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work. “  With over 75 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at http://www.PADTINC.com.

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