Formlabs have taken the wrapping off a few new (and exciting) products last week: Elastic Resin, which is the softest and most pliable resin in their engineering range, and Digital Dentures, which is the first truly accessible 3D printing denture solution comprising two new materials called Denture Base Resin and Denture Teeth Resin.
Here’s what you need to know:
This is an all-new elastomeric material that can produce elastic parts on the desktop in a matter of hours with the Form 2. It can be used to manufacture small to moderately sized flexible parts. It’s a complimentary resin to mouldmaking which is in some cases the better option for larger batches of one part.
It’s the most pliable resin Formlabs has ever made, with a Shore durometer of 50a, and exhibits excellent opacity. This unique property means internal cavities and details can be illuminated, allowing for external inspection.
What are the use cases? Elastic resin is engineered for any application where parts need to bend, stretch, compress and squish — without breaking down. The material withstands repeated cycling just like silicone does. In fact, it’s just about the closest thing to silicone you can get right now with Stereolithography 3D printing.
“Engineers and product designers have traditionally used mouldmaking techniques (such as RTV moulding, transfer moulding, and injection moulding) to create short runs of prototype parts in silicone. Directly printing these parts saves time and labour, allowing for deeper iteration and shorter product development cycles,” says Formlabs.
This is an exciting development for the dental industry. The Digital Dentures solution comprises two new resins – Denture Base Resin and Denture Teeth Resin – which enable dental labs to create custom dentures in-house cost-effectively and efficiently. The solution offers an alternative to traditional denture cards and acrylic.
Importantly, dentures made from Denture Base Resin and Denture Teeth Resin are reusable, shareable and modifiable. This ensures manufacturing flexibility with every new iteration, allowing dental professionals to test and modify designs freely. It’s fast and easy to produce remakes that are completely patient-specific.
“Treatments for edentulous patients have come a long way since ancient Italians in the seventh century BC first replaced teeth with partial dentures made out of human or animal teeth,” says Formlabs, “Today, 50 million dentures are produced a year globally, but only 1 percent are produced using digital tools.”
“Modern dentures are made from acrylic resin and other plastics. The time-consuming and labor-intensive analogue workflow involves multiple patient visits and production steps. Denture manufacturing is a complex craft with a steep learning curve, and dental labs increasingly struggle to find technicians with the advanced skills and expertise required to produce them. 3D printed digital dentures are a major step toward the overall simplification of the dental laboratory manufacturing process.”
Formlabs’ digital workflow solution simplifies the manufacturing process and keeps everything in-house. There is now no need to make dentures by hand with wax or outsource new iterations. With a Form 2, you can do it all.
This information was first published on the Formlabs website here (Elastic Resin) and here (Digital Dentures).