AM finishing solutions provider PostProcess Technologies Inc. has teamed up with one of North America’s largest orthodontic laboratories, Great Lakes Dental Technologies, to advance automated finishing process for custom 3D printed dental products.
Great Lakes Dental Technologies has long been interested in the potential for additive manufacturing in the dental sector. Today, it operates a range of 3D printing technologies at its facilities, including PolyJet, DLP and SLS, which it uses for a wide range of applications. While the processes themselves are well suited to the production of one-off or small batch custom products, the orthodontic company has still struggled with post-printing steps, specifically the removal of powder in SLS 3D printing.
To address this problem, Great Lakes Dental has implemented PostProcess Technologies’ RADOR Surface Finishing solution, an automated powder removal and surface finishing system for SLS 3D printing. The patent-pending RADOR technology uses a combination of software intelligence, hardware and advanced vibratory technology to carefully remove powder from printed parts and subsequently burnish the parts using suspended rotational force (SRF) technology. The finishing solution has reportedly streamlined Great Lakes Dental’s workflow significantly.
“The RADOR has not only improved our efficiencies but has allowed us to produce a superior product while maintaining our valued workforce,” commented James R. Kunkemoeller, President and CEO of Great Lakes Dental Technologies. “Great Lakes’ forward-thinking mentality has always driven us to look for ways to improve business sustainability, competitiveness, and workforce retention.”
Nate Harris, Vice President of Sales, North America, PostProcess Technologies, added: “As a fellow early technology adopter hailing from Western New York, our business relationship with Great Lakes Dental has been a natural fit. While dental in additive manufacturing scales into a projected $9 billion industry over the next decade, we look forward to helping more companies enable scalable post-printing for their business with our full-stack solutions.”