Part 2: Ascension

Previously, we spoke about great minds being never truly satisfied with the status quo of industry. Lucky for us, we were able to link up and partner with some of these visionaries in the Additive Manufacturing space who are actively pursuing what we believe to be the next game changing innovation.

The entity with this ground breaking technology is Solid Innovations, LLC. Solid Innovations is based in East Stroudsburg, PA and focuses primarily on building technology solutions that provide real time perception and reaction to the subtle changes that happen in manufacturing environments. They are focused on building streamlined solutions that make real world outcomes consistently better through the use of proprietary software platforms designed to provide accurate and timely data based monitoring and correction while informing workflow elements of enterprise systems.

Why does this matter? 

Solid Dynamics has always been a rapid prototyping service provider that utilizes the latest techniques in additive manufacturing to design and produce quality products for our customers. Our focus is to work side by side with clients to make their product or prototype ideas reality. In order to effectively function, we continue to utilize our vast array of engineering knowledge, along with our deep understanding of three-dimensional printing and computer-aided design software to create and build products that meet the needs of our clients.

Since Solid Dynamics’ inception, we have had to focus the majority of our time fabricating customer components using additive manufacturing (aka 3D-Printing) techniques and machines. We were often required to “baby-sit” our printers to ensure they would continue running without issue. Requiring highly trained engineers to watch 3D-Printers run became a costly endeavor and inhibited our ability to innovate and service additional customers. 

After hearing about Solid Innovations, we learned about their PerceptEngine product. We immediately realized it would allow us to bypass our existing bottle necks and would enable our team to engage new customers.

So.... What is PerceptEngine?

PerceptEngine is a patent pending in-situ process monitoring, data collection and correction software suite for Additive Manufacturing (AM) tools. PerceptEngine provides the user the ability to manage and monitor multiple Additive Manufacturing (AM) tools efficiently, effectively, and remotely from anywhere in the world. PerceptEngine assesses an AM build layer by layer using sensors and a complex set of algorithms. The data generated from these sensor, in combination with PerceptEngine’s proprietary algorithms, give rise to a metric known as the SolidScore. The SolidScore metric value produced every layer is tracked continuously throughout a build and indicates to a user the likelihood of an AM build completing successfully.

Beyond remote monitoring and the SolidScore metric, PerceptEngine utilizes artificial intelligence to make decisions independent of a user to ensure successful completion of a build. These independent decisions can range from redesigning a component in-process to stopping a build completely to save material and machine time in the case of a catastrophic failure. These features drastically increase productivity and allow users to focus their time, money, and creativity on new customers and projects.

Solid Dynamics now acts as one of Solid Innovations commercial test sites. The information we provide the Solid Innovations team allows them to improve existing features as well as create new features that directly affect the bottom line of PerceptEngine users just like us. 

The Solid Dynamics team thanks the Solid innovations team for having us as part of their ongoing commercial partnership program and for bringing much needed ingenuity and innovation to the Additive Manufacturing space.

For more information on Solid Dynamics use of PerceptEngine please visit the PerceptEngine page on our website: Any further questions regarding PerceptEngine can be answered by the folks at Solid Innovations:

- Joseph M. Sinclair

Part 1: Genesis

For those who do not know, Solid Dynamics, LLC was founded in 2014 by Joseph M. Sinclair (then an undergraduate at Penn State Main Campus), to alleviate the overwhelming need for rapid prototyping work in the State College area. 

Since the companies inception, we have focused on meeting immediate, foreseeable, and future demand by implementing technical and business practices that allow us to produce the highest quality prototypes, in the shortest amount of time, with the least impact on our clients research and development budgets. This focus on reliable throughput and reduced lead times has enabled Solid Dynamics to garner the business of private entities based in Center County, undergraduate and graduate students from Penn State Main as well as various branch campuses, international oil and gas companies, and even U.S. based Department of Defense contractors. 

As we have grown, so have our team members and our mission. We have learned to utilize and employee the most advanced additive manufacturing equipment available to us. These systems include RepRap based Fused Fillament Fabrication (FFF) systems, commercial based Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) systems, commercial Stereolithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) systems, Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) metal systems, and even commercially available Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) aka sheet lamination machines. Though we haven't found a reasonable need to use an Electron Beam Melting (EBM) system yet but we are still working on it...

On-top of our growing knowledge of all things Additive Manufacturing, we have an assortment of experience with both commercial Computer Design Modeling (CAD) software(s) and Standard Tessellation Language/STereoLithography (.STL) file repair and manipulation programs. 

Combining these skills with our partnerships and growing relationships with machine shops, injection molding facilities, heat treating/plating houses, and advanced manufacturing facilities, we have been able to advance customer ideas and products from a simple graphite sketch on a spare bar napkin, to thousands of precisely machined, end-use products.  

The technology and design methods we employee have allowed not only Solid Dynamics to succeed on a business level but our team as well from a professional perspective. Team members and partners, both current and past, have gone on to work with and for companies such as General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, SpaceX, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and General Dynamics. 

We take great pride in our work and always do our best to make certain our clients are satisfied with the development of their ideas and ultimately their products. 

However, great minds are never truly satisfied with the status quo of industry and are always looking for that next innovation, the one that will set them apart from all the rest, this is where the Solid Dynamics story truly begins...

- Joseph M. Sinclair

Meet The Founder

Hello there,

As you may or may not know, my name is Joseph Sinclair, the current CEO and original founder of Solid Dynamics, LLC. Before we get into how and why the company was started, allow me to give you a brief background on how Solid Dynamics and my new found career came to be. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a little insight into my personal journey and my passion for manufacturing.

Growing up in the suburbs of Reading, PA I was a fairly normal kid, just as promising or lack luster as the next. Like most kids, my days growing up were spent playing with Lego's as well as playing "war" with my buddies where by we basically shot each other with whatever non-lethal weapon we could get our hands on. Granted this never went over well with the parents or the kid who got shot but we survived and somehow made it to the awkward adolescent years of high-school.

Inspired by the amount of fun derived from playing "war" in my youth and combined with an overall disinterest in academics, my plan early on in high-school was to graduate and join the armed forces, just as many of my friends also intended. School became more of a chore, with little perceived usefulness. School days consisted of slouched postures and a carefully positioned body orientation that prevented teachers from noticing the fact I was drowning out their ramblings with the sound of my favorite band via my iPod headphones. I did however become accustomed to the topic of history and found myself in an AP history class or two leading up to senior year.

If my life up until senior year of high-school can be minimized to the basic plot of an 80's action movie, than everything prior to that point was simply the exposition. I'm not really sure what clicked in my brain the summer prior to senior year or if puberty turned down the hormones and induced a moment of clarity, but in the words of my parents, "I came alive".

Senior year ended up being filled to the brim with AP credits, dual enrollment courses at Reading Area Community College (RACC), a new found infatuation with physics and the fact that photons somehow maintained momentum without mass (thanks Mr. Petit for that mind boggling tidbit).

Towards the end of the year, I had the privilege of joining fellow classmates on a history focused trip to Europe whereby we were able to experience history in person, which quite frankly, changed my perspective on life and war. If you ever meet a young man who aches for battle but fails to understand the true meaning of sacrifice, have him stand at the base of Douaumont Ossuary in Verdun.

This new found perspective on human conflict, in combination with an unanticipated romantically based pursuit(which I ultimately chased to Penn State Main), derailed my militaristic aspirations and thus I found myself without purpose at the end of high-school.

The only reasonable thing to do at this point was to become a Nuclear Engineer (I needed an objective and so I picked the Penn State Engineering major with the highest attrition rate, logically of course). To expedite the process, all general education credits needed to be completed somewhere cheaper. With this idea in mind, class work immediately started at RACC the summer after high school graduation in 2012. Once the fall semester came around, I was enrolled in Penn State Berks as an engineering bound scholar. 

Oddly enough I sincerely enjoyed applied mathematics and sciences. Harnessing this passion presented the opportunity to excel quickly and materialized in the form of making my way to PSU Main Campus in a year. The beginning of sophomore year went better than expected and by the end of the fall semester I somehow finagled my way into Penn States Schreyer Honors College. Right about this time I picked up the Mechanical Engineering major in conjunction with the Nuclear Engineering major via a Dual Degree program hosted by PSU as well as the Engineering Science and Mechanics major (my mom always said my eyes were bigger than my stomach). 

However this is where things take a turn toward more entrepreneurial endeavors. Though academic success had been achieved, experience in the engineering field was required to satisfy my resume. Naturally, I attended an intern/job fair and all the signals from recruiters were positive and all the interviews went well. As fate would have it, none of the 20 or so companies that received my resume decided it was worthy of an internship or more simply put, an opportunity. This rejection of sorts led to the realization that if you can't be innovative for someone-else, why not do it for yourself? In the words of Henry Ford, "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently". 

The following week Joe's Rapid Prototyping was born. Originally operated out of a dorm room with a single Solidoodle 3D-Printer, the business started by selling tooth paste squeezers, then toothbrush accessories, and eventually moved on to custom client work. The demand for custom client work grew exponentially and within a couple months Solid Dynamics, LLC was founded with the first office located in Innovation Park alongside a small fleet of three 3D-Printers under the teams command.

Since Solid Dynamics' inception we have operated a variety of additive and subtractive manufacturing devices, enhanced our CAD capabilities, increased our engineering and design services, incorporated Virtual Reality into how our clients perceive their designs prior to fabrication, and improved our functional knowledge of low and high volume production manufacturing.   

Leveraging our team of undergraduate PSU engineers enabled Solid Dynamics to provide a quality engineering and design service previously unavailable in the State College area. 

At the end of the 2015 Spring Semester, I personally graduated PSU with degrees in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and have continued advancing my personal knowledge of manufacturing while holding positions at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory's CIMP-3D facility as a Design Engineer and Operator, Chief Technical Officer at Solid Innovations, LLC, Business Adviser and Previous Partner at X Materials Processing, LLC, Head of Hybrid Processes Research and Development at Imperial Machine and Tool Company and most recently Director of Additive and Hybrid Processes at Imperial Machine and Tool Company. I have continuously brought this real world experience back to Solid Dynamics, LLC to further help our clients make their ideas reality. 

Solid Dynamics continues to operate in State College assisting clients with both Engineering & Design services as well as in low and high volume production of end-use parts. 

Looking back, I suppose I made a fundamental decision to build things and not destroy them, funny how life works.

- Joseph M. Sinclair