3D Printer Uses Up to Five Materials Simultaneously

Richard Gawel


The Stratasys J5 DentaJet multi-color, multi-material dental 3D printer enables technicians to load mixed trays of dental parts, according to the company. It can produce at least five times more dental parts on a single mixed tray than competitive 3D printers, Stratasys said, with a footprint of 4.6 square feet.

Dental labs must produce several parts in multiple materials for removable partial dental applications or dental implant cases, Stratasys said. For example, each implant case comprises a top and bottom rigid opaque model, a soft gingiva mask, and a biocompatible surgical guide, requiring three different materials. Technicians then must use multiple 3D printers or perform separate 3D prints using different materials. The J5DentaJet, however, handles up to five materials including support material.

The J5 DentaJet also produces 3D-printed case presentations with realism previously only possible using time-consuming wax models, Stratasys said. Now, the company said, designs can be produced digitally in a few hours. The high resolution of PolyJet materials means dentists can seat crowns and bridges in minutes due to the models 18.75-µm accuracy, or less than half the width of a human hair, Stratasys said.

“Dental and orthodontic models have been growing their adoption of 3D printing but the process has remained too manual and time consuming,” said Osnat Philipp, Stratasys’ healthcare vice president.

“The DentaJet advances the full digital transformation of dental modeling with the potent combination of automation with accuracy. The system runs largely unattended, and you can even produce a build tray with a wide variety of different models using several different materials. It’s a productivity monster,” said Philipp.

NEO Lab, a family owned orthodontic lab in Andover, Massachusetts, with 120 employees and 3,000 orthodontic and dental clinic clients across in the country, has been beta-testing the J5 DentaJet. CEO and co-owner Christian Saurman said it has been interested in using the system to get a better quality finish, but that it also has helped them efficiently handle large volumes.

“We produce 600 orthodontic appliances every day,” Saurman said. “The DentaJet 3D printer is easy to use, can produce a lot of models in a single print, and we don’t spend much time post-processing the models after they come out of the machine. Our models go from printer to production floor faster than ever.” 

Motor City Lab Works, a full-service orthodontics lab in Birmingham, Michigan, also has been beta testing the J5 DentaJet. Dr. John Dumas, an orthodontist and CEO of Motor City Lab Works, said he has been impressed by the high-level of accuracy and high volume the machine can produce.

“As an orthodontist, we really need highly accurate models to ensure patient appliances are the best fit. We needed a printer that could accommodate the combination of a larger build tray for high volume plus produce higher resolution models. The J5 DentaJet provides us with both luxuries in one machine,” Dumas said.

The J5 DentaJet is ideal for users who need to produce high volumes of realistic, highly accurate models, Stratasys said. It is launching with a full range of resins tailored to meet the needs of the dental industry, the company continued.

Available biocompatible resins include a clear resin, VeroGlaze opaque white for temporary in-mouth placement, and a clear and flexible resin. Also, separator digital material automatically coats models to make it much easier to separate the acrylic device from the model and remove wax and residue, Stratasys said. Other available resins include VeroDent PureWhite and CMY resins for color.

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