Dental

Dental additive manufacturing became the first segment to achieve the production of certain end-use parts, effectively fueling growth for all main traditional polymer additive manufacturing hardware and material stakeholders. Photopolymerization (and material jetting, which is a type of photopolymerization) companies like Stratasys, 3D Systems, EnvisionTEC, DWS and Prodways – embraced the dental AM segment first.

They were then followed by the leading metal laser PBF hardware providers EOS, 3D Systems, SLM Solutions, Sisma and Renishaw above all. More recently all the leading ceramic AM firms, such as Lithoz, 3D Ceram and XJet are getting involved more directly and seeing significant opportunities.

More recently the next generation of polymer AM companies also entered the arena targeting true digital mass production. Boston-based Formlabs entered the segment providing an accessible and low-cost solution, while SIlicon Valley-based Carbon also entered the market with new materials and the ability to provide very high productivity rates. Both solutions have dramatically increased AM penetration within the entire dental industry at all levels, including the dentist’s office. However, HP was the first company to achieve a million-part application in dentistry by using its technology indirectly, to produce millions of mass customized tools for dental aligners manufactured by Smile Direct. In fact, dental aligners – including those manufactured by market leader Invisalign – are now one of the hottest applications in this segment.

In general, polymer 3D printers and materials are used in dentistry on several levels: to directly produce models from intraoral scans, CT scans and MRI’s; to produce patterns and molds for end-use materials; to produce visual models, surgical guides and even temporaries – with some now envisioning the direct production of permanent prostheses using polymer-nanoceramic composite materials. Metal and ceramic 3D printers and materials are used as real alternatives to subtractive production methods, reducing material waste.

Historically, dental additive manufacturing technologies have been applied in dental laboratories for over two decades, and more recently they have begun to be adopted by dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons. The use of 3D printing in the laboratory and the dentist’s office has been steadily growing for the past several years. Now the dental opportunity has emerged as one of the most relevant for the AM industry as a whole, with literally hundreds of thousands of potential adopters all over the world.

The apparent paradox is that – as dental technologies become more and more established within the dental industry – AM’s visibility within the dental segment has been progressively decreasing, as adopters now increasingly see it as standard practice. In this month’s AM focus we are going to highlight the latest opportunities for AM in dentistry.

  • Photo of Dental AM Focus 2020 eBook

    Dental AM Focus 2020 eBook

    There is a lot to smile about when talking about 3D printing and the dental industry. The dental market was the first to truly utilize additive manufacturing for the production of end-use parts and today it is one of the segments which has most broadly adopted the technology. Read Now…

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  • Photo of 3D Predict launches AI-driven teeth aligners in U.S.

    3D Predict launches AI-driven teeth aligners in U.S.

    3D Predict, an international software developer and manufacturer of dental aligners based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, is launching in the U.S. with a new headquarters in New York. The medical technology company has gained global recognition for its one-of-a-kind AI software, that produces highly precise 3D models of the…

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  • Photo of Prodways Technologies to hold webinar for dental additive manufacturing chain

    Prodways Technologies to hold webinar for dental additive manufacturing chain

    Prodways Technologies will be holding a free webinar on 25 September 2020 titled 6 Things to Consider When Investing in a Dental Additive Manufacturing Production Chain. This webinar will reveal information about the most important criteria to consider when investing in an additive manufacturing solution, from the costs of materials…

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  • Photo of Henkel and Keystone team up to advance dental AM solutions

    Henkel and Keystone team up to advance dental AM solutions

    In what is quite a timely announcement with our own own Dental AM Focus, materials company Henkel and Keystone Industries, a specialist in dental industry, are partnering to develop additive manufacturing solutions for the dental sector. The agreement will be mutually beneficial, enabling Henkel to add dental 3D printing applications…

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  • Photo of Form 3BL: Formlabs introduces large-format dental 3D printer

    Form 3BL: Formlabs introduces large-format dental 3D printer

    SLA 3D printing company Formlabs has expanded its range of 3D printers with the introduction of a new biocompatible large-format system, the Form 3BL, capable of dental and medical 3D printing. The company has also started shipping its Form 3L, which was first unveiled last year. The newly launched Form…

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  • Photo of LightForce Orthodontics, pioneer of 3D printed braces, raises $14M

    LightForce Orthodontics, pioneer of 3D printed braces, raises $14M

    LightForce Orthodontics, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company responsible for developing the world’s first customizable 3D printed bracket system, has raised $14 million in a Series B financing round. The investment round, led by Tyche Partners and saw participation from Matrix Partners and AM Ventures, will enable the company to further develop…

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  • Photo of 3D printing a straighter smile

    3D printing a straighter smile

    No longer is it necessary to be saddled with bracket and wire braces for consecutive years in order to achieve a straighter smile: people around the world can correct their teeth alignment using customized clear aligners, which are not only much more discrete, but can be removed without professional intervention.…

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  • Photo of EnvisionTEC lanches D4K Pro Dental

    EnvisionTEC lanches D4K Pro Dental

    EnvisionTEC is introducing the new D4K Pro Dental, the highest resolution 4K desktop 3D printer specifically for the dental segment. The D4K Pro from EnvisionTEC includes the fastest print speed for a standard DLP printer (intended as non-continuous). As such it can deliver extremely accurate parts with the finest detail…

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  • Photo of Lithoz forms alliance for 3D printed ceramic dental implants

    Lithoz forms alliance for 3D printed ceramic dental implants

    Austria-based ceramic AM company Lithoz has announced a new partnership with Dr. Jens Tartsch, an expert in ceramic implantology in Switzerland and the founder and president of the European Society for Ceramic Implantology (ESCI). Together, the partners will seek to identify new applications to develop the future of 3D printed…

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  • Photo of Formlabs launches six new 3D printing resins

    Formlabs launches six new 3D printing resins

    SLA 3D printing company Formlabs has announced the launch of six new resins for its Form 3, Form 3B and Form 2 3D printers. The resins expand the scope of applications for the company’s AM technology in several industries, including healthcare, dental and engineering. BioMed Resins In the medical sector,…

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