AMS Speaker Spotlight: Ultrafast Digital Dentistry

ST Metal AM
ST Dentistry

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Jim Zarzour, Head of Dental at Nexa3D, will be participating in Additive Manufacturing Strategies 2022.  In Session 2: 3D Printing for Dentistry, he will speak on Panel 1: Dental Printer Trends. As digital dentistry continues to empower more dental labs to custom create patient-specific guides and devices. Here, the Nexa3D team shares a look into how their Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc) technology supercharges the dental industry.

3D printing has led to significant changes in dental practices, many coming only in recent years. Before 3D printing and scanning technology became accessible, creating a custom aligner, bridge, guide, or other dental or orthodontic device was typically a messy, unpleasant experience for the patient, involving uncomfortable impressions taken with foul-smelling putty. 

Now a dental professional can simply use an intraoral scanner to take a digital image of the patient’s mouth, then import that scan into digital design software to create a CAD file. That file is then often sent off to a dental lab, which uses resin technology to 3D print the device. However, dental offices are now more frequently able to 3D print the device right at the practice, thanks to the development of more affordable and user-friendly resin desktop 3D printers.

Dental professionals do need to be careful about the kind of 3D printer they are using, however. If a dental practice decides only to use 3D printing to create surgical models in order to plan a procedure or illustrate it to a patient, any printer and material will do. But if they are creating a splint or aligner that will make contact with the patient’s mouth, biocompatible, dental-specific resins need to be used. For that, a dental-specific 3D printer is a good investment – or a printer cleared to print with dental-specific materials.

The NXD 200 is Nexa3D’s dental-specific 3D printer. This industrial printer is well-suited for a high-volume dental lab, with an industry-leading speed and large build volume capable of creating up to 20 flat models in up to 30 minutes. The NXD 200 utilizes Nexa3D’s proprietary Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc) technology, a form of mSLA that was designed for speed and precision.

The Nexa3D NXD 200 3D printer.

Materials partners like Keystone Industries offer validated materials fine-tuned for a variety of dental applications. Nexa3D recently shared a case study highlighting the capabilities of Keystone materials on the NXD 200. Notable data the Keystone team shared includes that using KeySplint Hard resin on the NXD 200, up to 36 full arch splints can be printed in 76 minutes. With KeyModel Ultra resin, 16 flat dental models can finish printing in under half an hour.

“This is the definition of higher throughput. If you run the printer all day, you’re looking at over 200 splints in an eight-hour day, while most other dental printers would need significantly more time to achieve that volume of parts,” Keystone 3D printing engineer and lab manager Benjamin Taylor explains in the case study.

Taking ultrafast dental production to the desktop is the new XiP desktop system, which Nexa3D introduced at Formnext 2021. Set to begin shipping this spring, the XiP targets dental practices – among a wide variety of potential user bases – and upon release will see four dental-specific resins validated for immediate use.

The XiP desktop 3D printer.

The XiP is well suited for use in dental offices of all sizes and for delivering “chair-side” prints. Rather than sending files over to a lab and waiting for them to be printed and shipped back, dentists can scan their patients, create the files, and print them right there in the office, saving the patients a potentially long wait and the need to return for an extra visit. 

Zarzour will detail the dental capabilities powered by LSPc technology at AMS 2022, following the Nexa3D dental team’s participation at LMT Lab Day Chicago. There, Zarzour and the team appeared alongside partners Keystone Industries and Oqton to share a full view of end-to-end validated workflows in digital dentistry.

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