Additive Manufacturing Strategies Conference 2019 – Dental Overview

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Image courtesy Formlabs

We started the year with the Additive Manufacturing Strategies conference organized by SmarTech Publishing and 3dprint.com. The idea of this conference was to present and discusses the trends for the medical and dental 3d printing markets through the main players in these areas.

The latest news about the additive manufacture equipment and process were presented by industrial leaders. In addition, clinicians and researchers like me presented users’ point of views on what is changing with the technology. The companies focused on delivering better options for chairside 3d printing in terms of speed and material. Some companies are also working on easier methods of post-processing. For example, Structo wants to include all the post-processing steps all in one equipment (printing, washing and curing light). Others are focusing on releasing different types of materials, for example, new resins for dentures by Formlabs and the multicolor options from 3DSystems.

The expected growth of the dental 3d printing market is high, and there are lots of new companies emerging. For example, Arfona is betting on the FDM printers for dentistry and users are more open to the new technology. Within the dental 3D printing market, almost half of the efforts are focused on orthodontics appliances. These include how to deliver the best options to produce models for clear aligners and how to develop a suitable material to manufacture the aligners itself using 3d printing technologies.

Valplast Arfona 3D Printed dentures
Artfona Denture (Photo courtesy: Arfona)

Another emphasis during the conference was about the digital workflow offered by each company, including progressively more simple systems, new and diverse groups of materials that are on the rise,  and how the post-processing methods are being redesigned.

We look forward to wider adoption by laboratories and facilities of the new technologies as 3D printing metals (already a reality) and ceramics (coming soon).

The main takeaway from this conference is that additive manufacturing has come to revolutionize the dentistry, and the demand is growing faster with no turning back.

About the Author:

Dr. Mayra Vasques  is a Ph.D. Fellow at School of Dentistry at the University of Sao Paulo, where she leads a project in 3D printing focused on offering the digital technology as one solution for patients with orofacial pain and dental patients with functional limitation. She is deeply involved in creating a positive ecosystem and accessibility for digital technology and 3D-printing for patients and dentists adapting to an emergent market reality (Brazil). (Read her interview as a 3DHEALS community manager here.)

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