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.

  • Bertram Dental Lab acquires fifth SLM280 Production Series printer. Printing Removable Partial Dentures through its LazerTEK Print Service.

    Bertram Dental Lab acquires fifth SLM280 Production Series printer

    Bertram Dental Lab (BDL), is an early pioneer in utilizing metal AM to produce Cobalt Chrome Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs) at scale. Since 2016, Bertram Dental Lab has had a long-standing partnership with SLM Solutions, after acquiring its first SLM280 Production Series. Since then, to enable the launch of its…

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  • Eplus3D partners with BioSummer 3D for digital dentistry

    Eplus3D, a provider of metal 3D printer solutions, together with BioSummer 3D, a provider of dental products and service solutions in France, signed a distribution agreement to help more dental laboratories and labs realize 3D digital transformation. “Eplus3D is very pleased to find the professional dental partner BioSummer 3D in…

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  • Biogenic Dental Corporation adopts EPLUS3D metal 3D printer

    Biogenic Dental Corporation is a family-owned dental laboratory operating since 1906. Located in the heart of Central New York, it is a full-service lab that provides high-quality dental restorations to their customers. Recently, with the training and support of Chinese additive manufacturing solution provider EPLUS3D, Biogenic introduced metal powder bed…

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  • 3D printed Nutristacks - the result of a Colgate x Nourished partnership. 'Chewies' for oral hygiene on the go.

    3D printed Nutristacks, a Colgate x Nourished partnership

    Colgate, a world leader in oral healthcare, and Nourished, a personalized nourishment company, have teamed up to create Nutristacks – novel, 3D printed ‘chewies’ for on the go oral hygiene. The project adds to the growing suite of personalized 3D printed consumables within the industry. Developed for use as an…

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  • Prodways reports FY 2021 revenues up by 24% to €70.8 million

    French 3D printing company Prodways Group achieved a solid end to the year 2021, marked by the good performance of all its activities and major orders for machines and materials. Sustained revenue growth in Q4 (up 17% to €20.2 million) enabled the company to post annual growth of +23.7%, thus…

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  • Eplus3D partners with HAGI and ISG Dental in Austria

    Additive manufacturing solutions provider Eplus3D entered a partnership with Austrian industry experts HAGI and ISG Dental. Both partners have extensive experience in their respective industries and will therefore help to find suitable process solutions for local customers. To help with the integration of 3D printing in today’s manufacturing environments, Eplus3D…

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  • 3D Systems and Saremco Dental AG partner to advance digital dentistry

    3D Systems and Saremco Dental AG entered a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation in digital dentistry. This effort brings together the power of 3D Systems’ industry-leading NextDent digital dentistry solution with Saremco’s materials science expertise – enabling dental laboratories and clinics to address a variety of indications with unparalleled accuracy,…

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  • Nexa3D to break the productivity barrier in dental 3D printing

    Nexa3D, the maker of ultrafast 3D printers, expanded its dental 3D printing solutions, set to exhibit at the upcoming LMT Lab Day in Chicago, IL, marking the company’s commitment to the dental space. Nexa3D offers next-generation productive lab and clinic digital solutions with accurate and affordable dental portfolio resins and…

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  • CADdent install their first Lithoz 3D printer

    Lithoz GmbH has recently successfully installed their first 3D printer, a CeraFab System S65 Medical, at the CADdent facilities in Germany. CADdent, the leading provider of additive manufacturing and CAD/CAM solutions in dental technology, is currently expanding its 3D printing operations and, with this new acquisition, will offer high-precision 3D-printed…

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  • Formlabs Dental and Medit partner to streamline chairside 3D printing

    Formlabs, a leading 3D printing company, partners with Medit, a global provider of dental 3D scanners, to make chairside 3D printing accessible and approachable to all dental practices. Starting today, Medit Link users can download PreForm app, a software integration that helps to prepare dental CAD designs for quick and…

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