The Dental Industry’s 3D Printing Boom: New Players, Technologies, and Applications

By on February 27th, 2024 in news, Usage

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Aquamarine dental veneer [Source: Lithoz]

For some unexplainable reason, there has been a slew of announcements focusing on the dental industry in recent weeks.

Let’s look at what’s been announced and then draw some conclusions.

Lithoz has been showing off their 3D printed lithium disilicate restorations, including veneers and crowns. These use their LCM process, and were developed with Ivoclar.

Boston Micro Fabrication (BMF) announced a new material, UltraThineer, billed as the “world’s thinnest cosmetic dental veneers”. The thinness reduces the amount of post processing required, and should be attractive to dental labs.

The DEMI X 520 post processing unit [Source: PostProcess]

PostProcess, a manufacturer of — you guessed it — 3D print post processing equipment, announced a new unit specifically designed for the dental market. The DEMI X 520 is specifically designed for dental resin removal. This machine should make it far easier to produce dental appliances.

Nexa3D announced three new dental 3D printing resins for their equipment, along with two more resellers. The new materials are Rodin Denture Base, Rodin Surgical Guide and Rodin Splint 2.0.

Carbon announced “Automatic Operation (AO) Suite”, which is intended to provide dental labs a way to automate workflows. The functions include job preparation, automation options for devices, and a polishing cassette.

There’s no doubt more announcements that I missed.

Dental applications have been around a long time, but it’s unusual to see so many companies announcing dental products at the same time. Many of these companies have recently entered the dental application space.

What’s going on? My suspicion is that times are rough for many 3D printer manufacturers, mostly caused by the poor press that focused on big-scale investment losses on several notable players. The truth is that the technology is very useful — but only in certain applications.

One of them is dental.

My guess is that several 3D printer manufacturers now see the dental market as a potentially profitable area, and are making moves into that space.

However, they will find others already occupying that market. One, for example, is Formlabs, which very smartly targeted the dental market over eight years ago. Since then they’ve made massive strides into that market.

While the competition is heating up, the news has never been better for dental labs and practices, which now have the best ever selection of products to choose from.

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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