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    Making 3D printing more convenient

    How one dental lab is using multiple Formlabs 3D printers to improve workflows as well as outcomes.

    Until about a year ago, the team members at the Idaho-based CMR Dental Lab outsourced all their 3D printing. That worked well for a while, but as the lab continued to grow and as 3D printing became a larger part of their workflow, they decided it was time to invest in their own units.

    After doing some research, it became clear the Formlabs Form 2 high-precision dental 3D printer was the best fit for the lab, CMR founder Matt Roberts says. He has since purchased five systems and couldn’t be happier with the customer service he’s received from the company as well as with the results the printers provide. 

    Related article: Why the future looks bright for 3D printing

    We recently talked with Roberts about how his lab, which specializes in large cosmetic cases, benefits from using Formlabs 3D printers.

    Why did you decide to invest in 3D printers from Formlabs? 

    The cost to value ratio is good and they print accurately. I like the small size and by having more than one unit, I can print batches several times a day. I can do multiple cycles rather than just one load or cycle over a 24-hour period. And there are a multitude of materials I can use with the printers. 

    I’m a small- to medium-sized lab, so spending $80,000 on two or three different printers was more investment than I wanted to make. The printers from Formlabs fill what we were looking for nicely. They offer a good price point and the quality we receive is really nice. 

    How are you using the 3D printers in your lab? 

    Digital impressions have become more common among our dental clients. To make a physical model from the impressions, we use the 3D printing model materials and dyes. That has worked out really well. The printers work in conjunction with our 3Shape software seamlessly, letting us fabricate models for cases with digital impressions. 

    Related article: 7 ways 3D printing is changing everything

    When doing the diagnostic design for cases to pre-plan treatment, the output of the initial digital design can be printed as well, rather than creating a diagnostic wax-up. We can print a combined model of the digital design that looks clean and nice to patients. It polishes up nicely and, with a little hand finishing, looks realistic. In addition to that, we’re also starting to make bite splints. Although we’re early into that process, it looks promising.

    Up next: The benefits

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