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.

  • Nexa3D and 3D DDS partner to support digital dentistry

    Nexa3D formed a new reseller partnership with 3D DDS, a 3D dental distributor, installer, technical service, and training company. This strategic collaboration will combine Nexa3D’s LSPc 3D printing technology with 3D DDS’s training, personalized technical support, backup print services, and custom workflow management integration tools to deliver part quality, throughput,…

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  • Moi Composites and Malo Clinic partner on GFR 3D for dentistry

    Moi Composites has established a partnership agreement with Malo Clinic, renowned dental experts based in Portugal. The partnership includes clinical trial cases using Hi-Fiber products, a line of efficient, effective, metal-free dental reinforcement structures designed and 3D printed from advanced materials and moi Composites’ exclusive, patented technology Continuous Fiber Manufacturing…

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  • SprintRay partners with World’s Fastest Man Usain Bolt

    SprintRay Inc., a global MedTech pioneer and industry leader in digital dentistry and 3D printing solutions, signed a five-year partnership with eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt. Bolt and SprintRay are also collaborating with the Jamaican Dental Association to invest in the launch of “Bolt Labs, powered by SprintRay” –…

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  • Materialise Dental Module automates 3D printing preparation for dental labs

    Materialise has introduced its new Dental Module for Magics. This addition to the Magics software is designed to enable dental labs to fully optimize and automate their 3D printing preparation workflow for dental applications. With dentistry becoming more digitalized, Dental Module provides dental labs with the easy-to-use tools required to ensure…

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  • Photocentric presents complete aligner solution at IDS Cologne

    Photocentric, inventor of LCD 3D printing, will communicate its complete aligner solution at the International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne, Germany from 22-25 September (Hall 3.1, Stand: M011), with its products, resins, and in-house expertise delivering commercial benefits to manufacturers around the world. Marking its global launch at the show…

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  • “Lithoz goes Dental” at upcoming IDS show

    Lithoz is further expanding its expertise in the dental sector with its innovative ceramic 3D printing solutions and strategic collaborations. The results of these efforts will be displayed at the IDS Show  International Dental Show) 2021 in Cologne. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Lithoz has set forth the mission…

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  • EPlus3D and Voxeldance develop pre-processing software for dental AM

    As the demand for 3D printing gradually increases in the dental segment, the requirements for 3D printing are also getting higher. Facing these new market challenges, Eplus3D worked together with Voxeldance and developed a series of 3D printing pre-processing software tools specifically for dental AM applications. The 3D printing pre-processing…

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  • Desktop Health launches cobalt chrome binder jetting for dental labs

    Desktop Health, a healthcare business within Desktop Metal, Inc. (NYSE: DM) committed to developing 3D printing and biofabrication solutions for personalized medicine, is further expanding its dental technology portfolio to include a turnkey metal 3D printing solution for dentistry along with the launch of cobalt chrome binder jetting for use…

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  • DGSHAPE Americas to resell new SOL LCD 3D printer for dental

    Roland DGA’s DGSHAPE Americas dental business group has added the SOL LCD 3D Printer to its line of DGSHAPE dental products and accessories. Roland DGA has partnered with Ackuretta to offer this compact 3D printer, which incorporates new and innovative technologies to deliver increased speed, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. Equipped with…

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  • Nexa3D launches xMODEL 2505 material for dental prosthetics

    Nexa3D launched the xMODEL 2505 dental material powered by BASF Forward AM. This rigid beige color material is ideal for the ultrafast production of additively manufactured thermoformed dental models, dental removable dies, and other dental model applications. xMODEL 2505 printed on Nexa3D’s NXD 200 3D printer delivers higher print accuracy that…

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