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Fast and cheap production of dental models with HP Multi Jet Fusion

Orthodontic aligners are not a new method of treatment, but their use among patients and dentists has increased dramatically over the past five years. The Swiss company nivellmedical AG was founded to improve this process – to deliver better products for the patient while simplifying workflows for dentists. From the very beginning, she used 3D printing technology at work, but only in 2018 - after implementing HP's MultiJet Fusion technology, she managed to achieve the highest level of efficiency.

nivellmedical was founded in early 2015 by experienced specialists in the field of orthodontics, aligners therapy, practical dentistry and medical technology. The company's goal was to develop a product that combines the most future-proof solutions from almost 20 years of practice in the treatment with orthodontic aligners. The company has achieved its goal by developing the nivellipso orthodontic tray system. This innovative teeth straightening tray combines maximum transparency and effective design, as well as a triple stiffening system that allows the correction of various types of malocclusion with high precision and maximum level of comfort for the patient.

nivellmedical AG is the first company on the market to offer customized, handcrafted solutions for aligner therapy: this distinctive solution enables dentists and orthodontists to provide personalized therapy with minimum effort and maximum comfort and aesthetic results for patients.

“Our process usually starts with a direct scan of the patient's mouth or plaster model,” says Dr. Milan Stojanovic, CEO of the company, “then the scan is processed and we develop a treatment plan. After doctor approval, 3D printed models are created and used to thermoform the final cap material. Models must be of the highest quality in order to produce our product.”

The first step in nivellmedical's digital workflow is to digitize the view of the inside of a patient's mouth. Today, many dentists and orthodontists can do this directly using an oral scanner to create a digital cast. If the doctor cannot perform a scan, a plaster model is created, which is then sent to the nivellmedical laboratory for scanning.

Once this step is complete, the scan is processed by the levellmedical team. The company's unique software helps eliminate scanning errors by closing all openings that are not suitable for 3D printing. The program also separates each tooth, allowing it to move independently as treatment progresses. Then, a virtual cast model is developed, in accordance with the dentist's work plan.

After completing the preparatory work, the doctor receives a treatment plan. After its approval, the nivellmedical software calculates the shape of each subsequent model used during treatment. Each model is 3D printed and then serves as a mold for the final overlays, which are produced through a thermoforming procedure. After several steps, including cleaning and packaging, the final aligner is sent to the dentist.

In order for nivellmedical to achieve its goals in this highly competitive industry, each model must be cost-effective and of the highest quality. Due to the development of this field, nivellmedical's solution must be scalable to enable the company to meet current demand.

“Our 3D printing laboratory was established in 2015.” – says Dr. Stojanowic – “although it has been successful, we are always looking for ways to improve our technology. At the beginning of 2018, we were contacted by the Swiss distributor of HP machines - SGSolution. Our conversations and internal discussions led to the conclusion that we actually want to change our 3D printing process.”

In collaboration with SGSolution AG, the nivellmedical team first provided dental model files for proofing using HP MJF technology. HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 was also tested to ensure it is safe for medical applications. Based on the results of the trials, nivellmedical decided to go further.

After completing the trials, nivellmedical decided to purchase the HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printer. During production, it found that speed was an important advantage in this case. With HP MJF technology, you can now print up to 1,000 models per day. This has helped the nivellmedical team to increase productivity, paving the way for growth.

nivellmedical and the dentists cooperating with the company were very satisfied with the quality of the 3D models produced using HP technology. The industry also attaches great importance to sustainable development. Both internal and external customers are very impressed with the recyclability of HP materials.

“The models provided by nivellmedical are of very good quality and completely meet all the needs of professional dentists working in the field of orthodontics,” says dentist Dr. Cecile Freivogel, “but when nivellmedical announced its change in 3D printing technology, what pleased me most was the increased focus on sustainability.

However, perhaps the biggest benefit comes from the economy. nivellmedical found that as a result of changing the 3D printing process, the cost of making parts was reduced by 90%. Savings could be invested in business, additionally preparing the company for future development.

“HP Multi Jet Fusion is helping us scale our business by meeting the growing demand for nivellipso aligners,” says Dr. Stojanovic. “Having a powerful partner like HP that constantly pushes the boundaries is a huge advantage for us. We look very promisingly into the future.”

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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