3-D Printer Builds Models, Arches, and Appliances

Richard Gawel
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The Objet30 Dental Prime 3-D printer from Stratasys Ltd. can produce crown and bridge models, removable partial denture (RPD) frames, diagnostic wax-ups, surgical guides, veneer try-ins, and clear aligners. These capabilities, the company says, increase productivity, shorten delivery times, and improve patient satisfaction—especially for smaller dental labs, which now can produce these devices in-house.

In High Quality mode, the Objet30 prints models with superior surface finish and intricate, delicate features required for precise fittings on crown, bridge, and prosthetic models in 16-µm layers, Stratasys says. Its High Speed mode prints at accelerated speeds to produce orthodontic models and surgical guides with increased productivity in 28-µm layers.

“For an orthodontist, the Objet30 Dental Prime can produce orthodontic models, arches, and various appliances for short-term intraoral use,” says Weng Lam, national sales manager for dental products at Stratasys.

Orthodontists can use the printer’s creations as “Study Models,” which are used to show patients a physical representation of their mouth and how the teeth are aligned or misaligned. Technicians also can use these models to fabricate appliances such as night guards and retainers. Appliances that are fabricated off of these models, Lam says, are more accurate and provide a superior fit.

Also, orthodontists and orthodontic laboratories can print arch models. Arches can be used to fabricate appliances like bite splints and delivery trays as well as aligner trays. The Objet30 Dental Prime uses 3 PolyJet printing materials to create these products.

The dark beige VeroDentPlus (MED690) is designed to offer strength, accuracy, and durability to create intricate models. The Clear Bio-compatible (MED610) is medically approved for temporary in-mouth placement, which is essential for surgical guides and investment casings for chromium cobalt removable partial denture frames.

The VeroGlaze (MED620) opaque bio-compatible material uses A2 shading for accurate color matching. Designed for veneer try-ins, diagnostic wax-ups, and clear aligner trays, it can be in the mouth for up to 24 hours. This gives the patient and doctor the opportunity to see how the restoration will look in the mouth before it is fabricated.

“When a patient gets braces, an indirect bonding tray gives the orthodontist the ability to place all the brackets into the patient’s mouth at one time,” Lam says. “This saves them a tremendous amount of time and also increases the accuracy in the placement of the bracket on the tooth.”

Stratasys provides the installation and training, which covers the Objet30’s use and maintenance. The printer also requires a PC and a cleaning station. The system comes with a PC, but dentists can use their own PC built to Stratasys’ specifications. The company’s cleaning station is a desktop unit that uses a jet of water to clean the models when they are taken off the printer, requiring only the water and a drain.

Each printer plugs into a standard electrical outlet. Users will need CAD software to design their models, but the systems come with software that is equivalent to a print driver. This enables the operator to position and nest models on the build tray.

For details, call (877) 489-9449 or go to stratasys.com.