If you’re squeamish about dental matters, you may be having a bit of a rough time lately as the International Dental Show kicks off in Cologne, Germany this week. There’s been a lot of dentistry-related news out there lately, and a lot of it has to do with 3D printing. We’ve already taken a look at several of the new dental 3D printers and 3D printing materials that will be showcased at IDS this week, such as 3D Systems’ new dental-focused technology; the new DentaForm from Structo; and loads of new developments from EnvisionTEC and Formlabs, just to name a few. Brace yourselves, because there’s a lot more to come as IDS officially begins today.
It almost wouldn’t be a trade show of any sort without a contribution from Stratasys, and the company faithfully made an appearance today with the introduction of the J700 Dental 3D Printer. Stratasys is no newcomer to dental 3D printing, but the J700 Dental is one of their most highly specialized offerings so far, designed specifically for the printing of clear orthodontic aligner molds. Clear aligners are often used as an alternative to braces; the thin, transparent plastic fits over the teeth like a cap and straightens them the way that braces would, while remaining nearly invisible.
While the J700 doesn’t print the aligners directly, it does drastically speed up their production by 3D printing the molds for them. According to Stratasys, the system can produce as many as 400 molds per day, using durable VeroDent material, which requires minimal post-processing and is thus well-suited to large-volume production. The printer’s large size allows for the printing of multiple patient-specific aligner molds on the same tray.
“The Stratasys J700 Dental 3D Printer is especially designed for orthodontic labs to achieve high throughput in production of clear aligners. It is custom-built to address demand for large scale capacity, effectively keeping pace with growing segment requirements,” said R. Scott Rader, PhD, GM of Healthcare Solutions at Stratasys. “With the highest levels of throughput, Stratasys is shaping digital dentistry – again.”
The J700 Dental is integrated with GrabCAD Print, allowing users to work with detailed model views and easily adjust them before printing. The system is expected to be available to the public later this year.
Also introducing a new printer – or rather a new series of printers – is French manufacturer Prodways. Also no stranger to dental 3D printing, Prodways is known for their patented MOVINGLight technology, a DLP process that uses, as you might guess, moving UV rays to deliver high-speed, highly detailed prints. The new ProMaker LD series, being unveiled at IDS, uses MOVINGLight to produce 42µm per pixel resolution and high dimensional precision on all three axes. The series consists of three models: the ProMaker LD-10, ProMaker LD-20, and ProMaker LD-45, each which come with interchangeable build platforms ranging from 165 x 150 mm to 450 x 445 mm in size, allowing users to optimize production times for small or medium production runs.
The ProMaker-LD series also comes with multiple vats of varying heights (50, 100 or 200 mm) to reduce the amount of resin needed for each application. Changing the vat and the resin takes only a few minutes, and the printers feature a new user-friendly software interface and touch screen to make the entire printing process easy.
According to Prodways, the ProMaker-LD series can produce up to 38 dental arches per hour, and is compatible with the company’s high-performance dental resins, including:
- Resins for dental models intended for repair work, such as crowns and bridges
- Resins for dental models used in thermoforming, such as aligners and retainers
- Burnout resins for stellite casting or fixed crowns (metal or ceramic)
- CE certified resins for implant guides
The first model in the series, the ProMaker-LD 10, will be available by the end of the year for a price under €100,000, exclusive of VAT. Discuss in the Stratasys and Prodways forum at 3DPB.com.