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CASE STUDY: production of innovative molds for dental implants in HP Multi Jet Fusion technology

Existing for 30 years, the American company Biotech Dental is a leading company in the dental industry, specializing in the production of high-quality dental implants. At the same time, for some time, the company has been investing 10% of its turnover in 3D printing technology, becoming one of the leaders in this segment on the American market. At the same time, it is the only company in the world that produces 100% of its dental prostheses using digital workflows and 3D printing in conjunction with other manufacturing processes such as milling. HP’s MultiJet Fusion technology plays a large part in this.

“3D printing is Biotech’s philosophy. With the exception of dental implants and screws, all customized products, orthodontic treatments and dentures are fully or partially built with HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers,” says Robin Maisonneuve, Managing Director of Biotech Dental. The company’s mission is to create the digital future of dentistry while providing easy-to-use solutions and high-end products at attractive prices to its customers. The company relies on technological innovation and digitization to differentiate itself from its competitors.

Designing a removable prosthesis involves problems with materials (e.g. resins, metals, composites) that cannot be printed on the same machine and that can affect the final quality. That is why Biotech Dental has developed and patented a new process to improve the digitization of dental prostheses. “When a lab designs a removable prosthesis, the problem is that the prosthesis contains different materials that cannot be printed.” says Maisonneuve. “Some cannot be printed at all if we want good quality. Biotech Dental has been using 3D printing technology for over 10 years, but we started using HP Multi Jet Fusion because the machine was much more efficient compared to traditional production methods.”

The company wanted to automatically design and print a two-part mold to house the metal framework and prosthesis. Faced with the constant evolution of production machinery and traditional technologies, Biotech Dental was forced to change frequently to be more productive. Previously, the company used milling, turning and incremental methods – SLS, DLP or Binder Jetting. Prior to the introduction of HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, manufacturing and designing removable partial dentures such as teeth and gums was a challenge.

Prior to the introduction of HP MJF technology, the fabrication and design of removable partial dentures such as teeth and gums was challenging. It took the labs three hours and the dentists four visits to conceive the types of parts needed, including standard tooth shapes and a composite printed set of teeth.

The company wanted to automatically design and print a two-piece mold to place the metal frame of a printed composite tooth set. The two-part mold is closed and the resin is injected and fired. Upon completion, the part removed from the mold is polished and the denture is ready. For labs, the process requires five to 10 minutes of design time and two visits to the dentist.

The HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer increased the production rate by almost four times the original rate and reduced costs by 78%, compared to the SLS process they used before. The previous technology produced 42 molds per day at a cost of goods sold (COGS) of €18. Now HP MJF can produce 180 molds per day at a COGS of €4. In 2019, Biotech Dental plans to speed up production by printing 250 molds a day. The company hopes to become the only dental mold manufacturing partner on the market (60 million molds per year).

Enterprises interested in testing or purchasing HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology are encouraged to contact Integart Sp. z o. o.

Source: Integart press materials

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