France-based dental laboratory Ident’M is transforming the production of dental parts and addressing an inherent challenge for greater accuracy and precision with a Stratasys J5 DentaJet 3D printer at its Saint-Etienne-located facility.
As with a number of other dental labs, although Ident’M had moved from the creation of plaster models to 3D printed versions, quality had often been an inherent issue, affecting approximately 50% of prints, according to Olivier Mangot, Co-director, Ident’M.
“For us, delivering a prosthesis without a reference model is inconceivable, but depending on the 3D printer used there are deformations,” he said.
“We knew we needed a 3D printer that would pack a hard punch by delivering a higher-level of precision and faster production speeds, as well as being user-friendly,” explains Mangot.
According to the company, the J5 DentaJet meets the fundamental objective for increased precision, down to layers that measure just 18 microns, while also enabling it to develop a greater variety of models and devices far more efficiently than it could previously.
Since it was installed in late 2021, the J5 DentaJet, using PolyJet technology, has had positive benefits for Ident’M in several different areas.
First accuracy: “We have an obligation to deliver superior precision to our clients, and this 3D printer’s precision is simply unachievable with any other technology today,” says Ident’M Co-director, Frédéric Imbert.
Second, Ident’M has also been able to save time and improve productivity by producing multi-material models on one J5 instead of three 3D printers that were dedicated to three different applications. This is helped by the Stratasys printer’s large-capacity 360-degree rotating build tray, which allows the lab’s technicians to simultaneously 3D print various models and dental devices in multi-materials and colours. These include rigid and opaque implants, soft gingiva masks and transparent or biocompatible options for surgical guides.
The improved productivity is further enhanced by a level of reliability that enables the J5 to operate around the clock.
“We’re running the J5 20 hours a day, right through the night, which is currently seeing us create around 1000 different models a month,” continues Imbert. “This is a massive benefit, as it means we can send files to be printed and arrive the next day with a full tray of models.”
Increasing patient satisfaction by reducing interaction
Ultimately accurate 3D printing isn’t just a productivity benefit to the lab. It’s also a big help to the patient and the dentist, who can much reliably count on just two appointments, instead of as many as five, to get good fit.
“A typical scenario might see a patient visit the dentist, who will then prepare a crown and produce a metal framework,” adds Mangot. “The patient returns to have it fitted and the device will go back to the lab. There might be the need for adjustments, which demands another fitting before the finishing, which all in all demands four appointments ahead of a final validation. Using a digitised process with the J5 we can do everything in just one appointment, with a second required simply to insert the crown in the patient’s mouth. This has led to some very positive feedback from our customers,” he says.
The J5 DentaJet 3D printer is the only multi-material dental 3D printer that enables technicians to load mixed trays of dental parts. The new 3D printer can produce at least five times more dental parts on a single mixed tray than competitive 3D printers, yet its compact footprint consumes only 4.6 sq. ft (.43m2) of floor space.
For more information Ident’M, please visit identm.com.
Find out more about Stratasys at identm.com.