Most of us know the dreaded sound of the dentist. As much as you may fear going to the dentist, oral hygiene is very important to your overall health. Cavities should be filled and missing or damaged teeth should be corrected. Currently dentists take a few weeks to complete dental models and implantations. With two advances in the 3D printing world, the time and efficiency can improve drastically.
BEGO and Renishaw Team Up
As we all know, additive manufacturing allows for a greater level of customization. People who have ever worked on someone's mouth know the uniqueness of teeth. The two make a perfect pair for each other, so does Renishaw and BEGO.
Based in England, Renishaw designs and builds laser melting machines. BEGO, a company based in Germany, uses CAD and CAM software to make digital solutions. This includes holding several design patents in the dental sector. Hardware and software companies always find a way to cooperate.
The two made an agreement where Renishaw will sell their 3D printing devices and BEGO will grant Renishaw's customers access to the dental patents. It couldn't have happened at a better time. As Renishaw's Engineering Director, Geoff McFarland, puts it "It comes at a time when we are introducing a range of innovative processes for the manufacture of dental structures". This new licensing agreement may be the next biggest thing for BEGO since launching the additive technology into the dental industry back in 2001.
Stratasys Launches Objet30 OrthoDesk 3D Printer
While BEGO and Renishaw told the public about their deal together, Stratasys, a top 3D printing manufacturer, announced the release of the Objet30, the world's first desktop size printer designed for small orthodontic labs and clinics.
The printer should increase production of dental models and the digital files it uses should help eliminate clutter in the offices. It uses PolyJet printing technology to create thinner layers, thus making a smoother surface.
The printer has a max build size of 3cm x 2cm x 1cm and the layers produced are roughly.028 mm. It can make up to 20 models in one run.
The Objet30 OrthoDesk could be a major game changer. Right now most 3D printers in the dental industry reside in larger labs. With the accuracy and small size and price of the Stratasys' printer, the smaller places should have no problem considering purchasing one.
The Future of Additive Manufacturing in the Dental Industry
These three companies are working hard to push dentists into using 3d printing in their job. The benefits are quite clear. Especially with plenty of environments turning completely digital, the dental one may not wait around to see if others use it. There is still plenty of work that remains so the transition will take some time. As word spreads and more advances come to the market, you soon may see people having custom printed teeth.