Formlabs introduced a bevy of new products for their dental business unit today.
The company has been producing desktop resin 3D printers for many years, but over the past five years they’ve made a particular focus on the dental industry.
Dentistry is one area where you’ll always have a need for customized, one-off solutions for patients: everyone has different teeth. That’s why the dental market is so attractive to 3D printer manufacturers, including Formlabs.
In the past Formlabs has produced machines that are specialized for dental applications, and even provided a number of dental materials for them. They’ve gained quite a bit of success in that market due to their strong dental focus.
However, today they seem to have taken things up to a new level. They announced a series of products for dental applications, including:
PreForm Dental: A specialized version of their PreForm job setup software tool that focuses on dental workflows. For example, the new software can automatically set up restorative models, occlusal guards and other typical dental solutions.
3Shape Produce: They’ve partnered with 3Shape, makers of a customized dental scanner. This device can be placed in a mouth to quickly produce a 3D scan. The new software tool directly integrates with this scanner to join the 3D print workflow in a seamless manner.
Fast Arch Printing: Formlabs has somehow managed to optimize the 3D printing of dental arches so that they can be produced 2X faster than normal. They’ve optimized the print parameters to allow production of up to eight arches in only 20 minutes, which is pretty impressive. This should be of great interest to dental operation with high throughput.
Form Auto: Like their non-dental solution, they’ve now enabled automatic part removal. This enables 24/7 printing and should dramatically increase throughput in many dental offices.
Fast Cure: Formlabs has somehow found a way to dramatically speed up (by 90%) the curing process for 17 different dental resins. This will also increase dental production throughput.
Finally, they also announced a new resin that is “tooth-colored with a bleached shade” called Temporary CB Resin. This resin is intended for temporary crown production and could last for up to twelve months in a patient.
It’s pretty clear that Formlabs is going all-in on the dental market. Up to now it has been dominated by either traditional methods or expensive 3D print options, but Formlabs is leveraging software to provide terrific solutions for dentistry.