Five ways 3D Printing can help your Dental Lab
3D Printing is a huge step in the evolution of dental lab work, and it affords the ability to perform work and offer products and services to customers that the lab could not have done before. On top Of that, it is faster and cheaper, providing an excellent ROI.
3D Printing can help your lab – and bring you more revenue – and here are five ways it does so:
Open standards –Labs want to keep full control over every facet of their work. So when a case comes in, they want to be able to start and finish it all in-house, without having to outsource any parts or components. They also want to be able to make sure all their CAD/CAM equipment works together.
The core of this is open standards, which allows machines from different manufacturers to communicate with each other; the restoration that was input on one machine to be designed on another and then finally produced on another. Labs want the CAD/CAM components that work with other components, regardless of the manufacturer. Qualified 3D printers can fill that role.
Reduces costs– 3D printers have been shown to reduce labs’ labor costs. This is achieved both by saving technicians up to 50 percent of their time in designing and manufacturing restorations, as well as reduced operational costs. For example, when prototyping, the average technician’s labor time is reduced from seven hours per case down to just 15 minutes – a 96 percent time savings.
New products– 3D printing allows the dental lab to offer new products, or offer existing products more efficiently. 3D printing can help make the following products easier and less expensive to make:
Removable dies – The manual method of die creation is imprecise and time consuming. 3D printing is fast and gives an exacting level of detail.
Denture framework – Creating partial denture frameworks is difficult because of human inaccuracies. 3D printing is very precise and provides consistent results.
Surgical guides – Based on the patient’s bone anatomy, 3D printed guides help ensure excellent results during presurgical planning and provide intra operative positioning verification. 3D printed guides are bio-compatible and transparent, allowing easy use in surgery.
Stone models – Creating stone models can be messy and time consuming. 3D printing allows for faster and more accurate creation.
Wax models –Using wax-like materials that produce smooth surface finishes and reduce post-processing time, 3D printed wax models can burn out with no residue, material shrinkage, cracking, or expansion.
Veneer try-ins – 3D printing allows a fine level of detail, good layer resolution, and smooth surface finish to produce quality veneer try-ins. All of these products can be printed simultaneously, again reducing the time and expense that it takes to create. As a result, labs can generate new revenue streams.
New materials – Different material types are used to create 3D printed restorations. The materials offer labs an almost endless variety of options to satisfy their dental customers or lab needs. Materials available for 3D printing include:
Transparent – The material is smooth and offers high dimensional stability.
Different colors – Can be used to print colors that best match the dental application for which they are being used. Some 3D printers can combine colors, allowing for precise color matching.
Rubber-like – Can be added to create gum-like material for use in models.
Bio-compatible – Ideal for applications that require long-term contact with skin (up to 30 days) or short-term contact with mucosal membranes (24 hours). Materials can be used for prototyping items including surgical guides, orthodontic appliances, and delivery and positioning trays.
The materials are dimensionally stable and have a long life before dimensional distortion. Consistency and reproducibility –Traditional, analog methods of creating dental casts have many opportunities for discrepancies to occur. Material behaviour, material properties, and human error can cause inconsistencies and poor results. 3D printed dental casts ensure a consistent, reliable result. 3D printing also provides a fine level of detail and exceptional surface finish
The best 3D printers for your lab’s needs are available now
The best 3D printers are feature-rich and utilize many different types of materials to deliver the restorations that you need.
3D Printers based on Stratasys’ Polyjet technology offer this multi-material functionality. The process is fast, easy, and produces amazing results.
In order to produce the 3D printed object, first, the printer’s software processes the 3D CAD file, calculating the placement of photo polymers and support materials. Next, the 3D printer jets and instantly UV-cures the droplets of liquid photopolymer. The layers form on the build tray to produce the 3D part. When overhangs or complex shapes require supports, the 3D printer jets a removable, gel-like support material. When the item is finished, the technician easily removes the support materials by hand or rinses them with water. The parts are ready to handle, right out of the printer, with no post-curing required.
One company offers the 3D printers and materials that can do all of this
“ The introduction of 3D printing to our operations has revolutionized the way we work. We have a better workflow, higher productivity, and can produce products that look more professional. In fact, the benefits of 3D printing go far beyond the models themselves.” – Hugo Patrao, head of R&D and manager of NimroDENTAL’s 3D printing department.
3d Printing can do amazing things in your lab and provide brand new revenue streams that may have formerly seemed impossible
3D printing is an economically sound addition to your CAD/CAM system, and the ROI can be achieved in a short amount of time Stratasys develops 3D printing solutions for a broad range of industries from aerospace to automotive to entertainment to dental. From the development of the printers to the materials that go in them, Stratasys knows 3D printing, and they can help your lab realize new opportunities.
No matter your lab’s size or involvement in 3D printing, Stratasys has a 3D printer for you. Stratasys’ s line of 3D printers for the dental industry include:
Objet30 OrthoDesk – Entry level 3D printer for dental practices and labs.
Advantage –Two times faster than the OrthoDesk, it is excellent for growing labs.
Objet260 Dental Selection –
Allows labs to build models with lifelike textures and a range of colors for accurate model reproduction.
Objet Eden500V for Dental –
High volume 3D printing produces a large number of models from digital files.
3D printing is the future of dental lab work, and Stratasys can help you be part of it now.