New Formlabs Software Release Helps Dentists 3D Print Models In-House

Share this Article

On March 18th, Formlabs announced the new Scan to Model feature in their PreForm software, which will directly convert oral scans into printable models. Scan to Model will help dentists with limited CAD experience print their own models in-house.

FormLabs first released their Dental Ecosystem back in 2019, catering to dental professionals interested in printing their own products and models. Today, the dental world has invested in scanning, but is still wary about printing. Almost 30 percent of American orthodontists have an intraoral 3D scanner, but less than 5 percent actually have 3D printing hardware on site.

A surgical guide printed with Formlabs’ Dental SG resin. Image courtesy of Formlabs.

Formlabs sees that as a bottleneck caused by dental professionals’ unfamiliarity with the tools on the market.

“The biggest barrier in the dental industry now is training and need or willingness to learn digital workflows,” says Sam Wainwright, Dental Project Manager at Formlabs. “A 3D intraoral scanner is just a tool, and the digital impressions it creates are only as good as the user taking them.”

To bridge that gap, the Scan to Model feature converts dental scans directly into printable files. The direct conversion means that users don’t need to use secondary software, or be familiar with CAD modeling; a dentist can upload the raw .stl file from scanning a patient’s mouth and print it directly on Formlabs’ Form 3B printer.

For dentists unfamiliar with CAD software, Scan to Model lets them convert an oral scan directly into a printable model (Image via Formlabs).

The 3B is an LFS (Low Force Stereolithography) printer that’s specialized for the dental industry, with a flexible resin tank to reduce the peel forces during printing for a smoother build. It prints in “regular” dental draft and wax resins so users can make models, and in biocompatible resins for products like dentures, splints, and crowns. According to Wainwright, the non-biocompatible resins used to print models are the most popular in their collection. And since the printer’s release in 2019, it has been rapidly growing in popularity.

The dental AM market gets less press than its medical cousin, but it is growing steadily. In early 2021, Stratasys released an estimate that the addressable segment for 3D printed dental applications is approximately $1 billion.

“The largest use of 3D printing in the world is a very large dental company that makes over 350,000 horse-shoe arches a day – no other industry comes close,” says Wainwright. But, he emphasizes the need for further development of the software sector, adding, “The digital workflow breaks down if any of those key components [3D printing, 3D intraoral scanners, and dental CAD software] are not yet mature enough, dragging the other parts with it.”

Share this Article


Recent News

Cummins to Commercialize Engine Part 3D Printed with GE’s Binder Jet Tech

3D Printed Artificial Leaves Could Generate Oxygen on Mars



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Guns

3D Printer Reviews


You May Also Like

3D Printing News Briefs, May 2, 2021: Intech; 3DPrinterOS & Octoprint; BEAMIT; ITB, ITK, & University of Manchester; Makerbot; Satori & Oxford University

We’re going to take care of business first in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, and then move on to some research and education. Intech Additive Solutions is reporting multiple orders...

TU Wien & Cubicure Develop Ivory Substitute for 3D Printing Restoration Pieces

Ivory, a hard, white material consisting mainly of dentine, makes up the tusks of several large animals, such as walruses, narwhals, and elephants. For a long time, the material was...

MIT: Speaking with Spiders Could Improve 3D Printers and Materials

A group of MIT scientists reported that they could transform spider’s silk threads into musical instruments. The long-standing experiment involves an innovative method that uses data sonification to convert 3D...

Allegro 3D Receives Almost $1M in Grant Award to Develop Bioprinter

Bioprinting company Allegro 3D has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant for $997,692. The grant money will support the development of...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.