The dentist is a scary place for some of us. The sound of a drill might even send chills down your spine. Despite the fear, they truly try to help us. One of the largest sections of dentistry is prosthodontics. Here dentists create implants and molds used to repair a damaged set of teeth. The procedure can take weeks, but with the growing use of additive manufacturing and two recent developments in the 3D printing world, it can be done in a few hours.
BEGO and Renishaw Get Together
Two companies may have found a way to better their current dental industry services by joining forces. In recent news, Renishaw and BEGO declared a mutual alliance to help increase their market dominance.
Based in England, Renishaw designs and builds 3D printers that use laser melting machines. Based in Germany, BEGO uses CAD/CAM to make digital solutions of dental implants. By one building the printers for the dental industry and the other holding the patents dentists need, this hardware and software duo is a no-brainer.
The agreement between the two will result in Renishaw to continue their production and sales of their 3D printing machines while BEGO will grant any customers who purchase one of Renishaw’s printers access to the much desired patents.
Based on what Renishaw’s Engineering Director, Geoff McFarland, said, the two couldn’t have joined forces at a better time for Renishaw. As McFarland puts it “It comes at a time when we are introducing a range of innovative processes for the manufacture of dental structures”. So now when they sell the new printers they can throw in the patent use as another marketing tool. This new licensing agreement may be the next biggest thing for BEGO since when they started to use additive manufacturing in the dental industry in 2001.
Stratasys Releases Objet30 OrthoDesk 3D Printer
As wonderful as the new team may be, Stratasys decided to hit the market with a bang. Stratasys, a top 3D printing manufacturer, announced the release of their Objet30 OrthoDesk, the world’s first desktop size printer designed exclusively for use in small orthodontic labs and clinics.
The new printer should aid in increasing production of dental models. Also the physical space needed should diminish as the printer uses digital files. The printer uses patented PolyJet technology to build ultra-thin layers, which results in a smoother surface.
The 3d printer has a max build size of 3cm x 2cm x 1cm. The printer produces layers .028 mm thick. Another feature is that it can make up to 20 models in a single run.
The Objet30 OrthoDesk could prove to be a major game changer. Right now, 3D printing only occurs in the much larger labs, but with the accuracy and small printer size, more places can finish the change to all digital.
Where Does the Future Lay?
These three powerhouses made significant improvements to an already established market. The revolution the 3D printing phenomenon brought to dentists is pretty clear. Soon we may see people walking down the street with printed teeth and the best part is that the patients feel terrific.