EnvisionTEC 3D printing technology has proved instrumental in furthering the use of additive manufacturing in the dental arena.
Nimrod Tal, a dentist with a practise in the Harley Street area of London famed for its medical expertise, had used 3D printing to produce orthodontic models in the past, but found that sometimes the technology could be slower or more unreliable than desired in spite of its potential.
Tal then approached EnvisionTEC and its UK distributor 3DRP and offered his expertise in helping to beta test the ULTRA 3SPTM Ortho, a device that offers a scan, spin and selectively photocuring process for producing fast and accurate models.
Tal first set up his dental practise in 1991 and he and his NimroDENTAL team have over 80 years of experience in dental technology between them, placing them well for the task in hand.
EnvisionTEC agreed and the beta machine was installed in the summer of this year, yielding impressive results almost instantly.
Tal said: "It was unbelievable. We saw the excellent surface finish of the models, which needed no support material, something we had not seen before. It was so economical to run and we were so impressed we immediately purchased the beta machine and have gone on to order several more."
Tal and his team agreed the speed, quality and reliability of EnvisionTEC's technology was instantly noticeable, while there were also cost savings for the practise to benefit from. The process has almost no waste material to dispose of, which means each finished piece can be up to 40 per cent cheaper than other additive manufacturing technologies.
Now, NimroDENTAL has set up a new treatment plan for patients which, once approved, will utilise specialised software and materials and EnvisionTEC’s ULTRA 3SPTM Ortho printers. These printers use a laser head to build 3D models by curing a liquid resin tailored-for-dental use. The process takes around two hours to complete and finished orthodontic pieces are sent to clients within three days.
Tal said: "We were so impressed that after one month we ordered a second machine. In October 2013 we ordered another three ULTRA 3SPTM Ortho units to bring our total to five in four months. The amount of business we have gained through this technology has led to expansion of the company and we foresee NimroDENTAL having to order additional Ultra 3SPTM Ortho units and scanning equipment in 2014 to meet demand."