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 in dental applications. Desktop Metal’s Shop System is now available for pre-order by dental labs offering a promising pathway for custom dental appliances and surgical guides.
Often in the news recently, with both high profile acquisitions and announcements of new applications and businesses, Desktop Metal has been criticized for being “too vocal” about its big projects (even before these are actually implemented). However, as a media company specializing in AM, we recognize the need to make announcements that can breach the understanding of thousands of companies around the world still using outdated traditional manufacturing processes, while they could and should be embracing the future of production. If anything, the main challenge in the AM industry is that most AM companies do not invest nearly enough time and effort in communicating what they can do.
“We are excited to introduce the Shop System and cobalt chrome for binder jetting to the dental community, expanding our suite of best-in-class 3D printing solutions from photopolymers to metals,” said Michael Jafar, President and CEO of Desktop Health. “We are uniquely positioned by offering dental labs not only a leading photopolymer platform, but also a turnkey solution to produce metal appliances and surgical guides with superior surface finish in higher production volumes compared to laser-based 3D printing systems.”
The Shop System brings mass customization through 3D printing to the dental lab, eliminating labor costs associated with machine programming required for CNC milling, typically a common manufacturing process for producing metal dental components. The Shop System is able to print up to 32 partials in less than four hours, as compared to the nearest competitive system which supports up to 10 partials in 9 ½ hours. In addition, metal parts on the Shop System print fully supported in the powder bed and feature hand-removable sintering setters, drastically reducing labor time and costs associated with post-processing parts printed on laser-based 3D printing systems. By reducing post-processing and providing high throughput printing, the Shop System can drive down part costs for custom dental applications, such as partials, to as low as one-third the cost that can be achieved for comparable part quantities produced using laser-based 3D printing systems.
The Shop System solution includes all the software, hardware, and materials a dental lab needs to begin binder jetting dental appliances — from build preparation through printing and sintering. Key benefits include:
Designed with dental labs in mind, the Shop System can produce parts at the push of a button through its easy-to-use software interface. It features engineered powders and default processing parameters optimized to deliver exceptional quality and ensure repeatability. The use of software-generated hand-removable sintering setters eliminates the need for costly and labor-intensive post-processing steps.
Featuring variable build sizes up to 16L and a high-speed, single-pass print carriage, the Shop System produces high-quality, end-use metal parts up to 10 times the speed and at a fraction of the cost of legacy additive manufacturing technologies, amplifying dental technicians’ existing throughput with up to hundreds of customized parts per day.
Dental technicians can use this machine to print dense, complex parts with incredibly fine feature detail and excellent surface finish right out of the furnace. Using an advanced single-pass printhead with 1600 native DPI, the Shop System delivers 400 percent higher resolution than legacy binder jetting systems. Reliable print quality is enabled by the 5x nozzle redundancy on the printhead — 25 percent higher redundancy than comparable binder jetting systems.
“3D printing of metal parts for dentistry can finally see an efficient solution with binder jet technology from Desktop Health,” said Christopher M. Silvoy, DMD, an expert in dental implants and a diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI). “The Shop System allows a simple and safe process for producing accurate appliances with an extremely well-integrated system and workflow. With a large build volume and fast build times, the system provides an opportunity to eliminate outsourcing, increase quality of outcome, and potentially change dentistry.”