Arfona and Valplast International Corp. Unveil the r.Pod: New FFF Technology for 3D Printing Partial Dentures
Popular rumor has it that George Washington’s dentures were made out of wood. That’s actually not true, but I wish it was, because as horribly uncomfortable as wooden dentures sound, the reality is, in my opinion, worse: the first President of the United States sported a set of false teeth made from a combination of rare hippopotamus ivory, metal, and other people’s teeth. Chew on that for a moment. Aren’t you glad you live in the 21st century? Dentures today may not be the most pleasant things in the world, but at least they didn’t come from someone else’s head.
And thanks to 3D printing, dentures – like many other dental and medical devices – are becoming easier to deal with. The dental industry has been a frequent presence in 3D printing news lately, as more and more dental practices turn towards 3D printers to create better, more accurate orthodontic models, surgical guides and even temporary implants. Now, two New York companies have put their resources together to develop the a new method for 3D printing partial dentures.
Dental materials manufacturer Valplast International Corp. has partnered with 3D printing startup Arfona to introduce the r.Pod Desktop 3D Printer, a multi-material, dual-extruder printer designed to handle everything from ABS and PLA to composites and unconventional filaments like NinjaFlex and taulman3D. Most notably, the r.Pod is the first 3D printer approved to print Valplast, the flexible nylon resin developed by Valplast International to manufacture their famously comfortable, flexible, metal-free partial dentures.
While 3D printers are becoming more common in dental practices, they’re usually SLA machines, because FDM/FFF 3D printers still typically have limitations that don’t suit the production of dental models very well. The problem with SLA printing, though, is that it’s only suitable for the production of dental models and prototypes. The FFF r.Pod 3D printer is capable of printing end-use dental implants and appliances.
“The ability to create end-use parts is the most exciting feature of the r.Pod® printer,” said Arfona CEO Justin Marks, CDT. “In the past dental thermoplastics had to be either injection molded or vacuum formed, but the possibility to now 3D print them opens up a whole new world of CAD/CAM materials that didn’t exist before. This is particularly interesting for those who work with digital impressions because now there is now a completely digital workflow for restorations like Valplast® that in the past required physical impressions and traditional fabrication techniques.”
The r.Pod’s dual extruders can be used to print multicolor and/or multimaterial parts, or parts with removable support material. There’s also a single-extruder version available. Both the single- and double-extruder models feature the Flexion extruder and come with Simplify3D software.
“We are thrilled that we can now move past the rapid prototyping stage and directly into additive manufacturing for Valplast® appliances,” said Peter Nagy, CEO of Valplast International Corp. “Our knowledge of partial denture fabrication coupled with the most cutting edge technology is a slam dunk for labs who wish to go fully digital in their denture department.”
The r.Pod, which retails for $4,999, is available for pre-order from now until the end of November, from either Valplast or Arfona’s websites. Deliveries are expected to begin in early December. Discuss further in the r.Pod 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs: March 1, 2019
On this first day in March, we’re sharing business and dental news with you. Markforged is helping businesses speed up and facilitate their 3D printing adoption with its new Additive...
3D Printing News Briefs: February 22, 2019
We’ve got some exciting dental news to share first in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs – Stratasys just announced its new full-color dental 3D printer at LMT Lab Day. Moving...
SmarTech Dental and Medical 3D Printing Trend and Forecast Presentations at AMS 2019
Last week, our second annual Additive Manufacturing Strategies summit, “The Future of 3D Printing in Medicine and Dentistry,” was held in Boston. Co-hosted by SmarTech Markets Publishing, the summit was broken into separate tracks...
AMS 2019 Day 1: 3D Printing in Surgical Planning and Dental Industry
After touting it for months, it’s finally here – Additive Manufacturing Strategies, the summit that 3DPrint.com is co-hosting with SmarTech Markets Publishing, has begun. This is the second year for...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.