Human teeth have an unfortunate tendency to degrade, occasionally regardless of the amount of care. I challenge any American to tell me that George Washington practiced poor oral hygiene. The technology of replacement teeth has greatly improved since Washington was fitted with poorly designed chompers (which, contrary to popular belief, weren’t made of wood), and has continued to improve with the dental industry’s adoption of additive manufacturing (AM).
One of the companies leading the charge in AM dental technology is Solidscape (owned by Stratasys). The company’s drop-on-demand (DOD) thermoplastic ink-jetting process produces objects for lost-wax casting/investment casting and mold making applications, using a wax-like material. This particular process is almost tailor-made for dental applications, and Solidscape has continued to advance the technology with the launch of its 3Z Lab.
The 3Z Lab is a desktop-sized AM system, which can produce dental wax-ups for casting and pressing. Target applications include the production of crowns, bridges and copings. The 3Z Lab is priced at $25,650.
“The 3Z LAB printer offers an effortless, affordable digital workflow that delivers high casting yields, consistent turnarounds and low cost-per-parts economy,” said Fabio Esposito, Solidscape president. “Now lab owners have a clear choice that matches their performance needs with an affordable solution.”
The system works with scanned data that can be further improved using the bundled 3Z Works CAD software. As for specs, the 3Z Lab has a build envelope of 6 x 6 x 2 in. (152.4 x 152.4 x 50.8 mm), and a resolution of 5000 x 5000 dpi (197 x 197 dots/mm). The new system offers an accuracy of up to ± 0.0010 inch/inch (±25.4µ/25.4mm) and a user selectable layer thickness. The 3Z Lab is designed to use Solidscape’s 3Z LabCAST material and 3Z LabFILL support material.
Below you’ll find the launch video for the 3Z Lab.