Desktop Health launches dental Binder Jetting with cobalt chrome

August 10, 2021

An additively manufactured and polished cobalt chrome osteotomy guide for dental implants (Courtesy Desktop Health/Desktop Metal)

Desktop Health, Newport Beach, California, USA, a healthcare business within Desktop Metal, Inc., has announced the expansion of its dental technology portfolio to include a turnkey metal Additive Manufacturing solution for dentistry, along with the launch of cobalt chrome for use in dental applications. The Shop System™, reputedly one of the world’s fastest metal Binder Jetting (BJT) solutions, is now available to dental labs for pre-order. The system is said to deliver good surface finishes and resolutions, and offers promising pathways for custom dental appliances and surgical guides.

The Shop System leverages mass customisation through AM to the dental lab, eliminating labour costs associated with machine programming required for CNC milling – a common manufacturing process for producing metal dental components. The Shop System is able to print up to thirty-two partials in less than four hours, as compared to the nearest competitive system which reports completion of up to ten partials in 9.5 hours.

In addition, metal parts on the Shop System are fully supported in the powder bed, and feature hand-removable sintering setters, thereby drastically reducing labour and costs associated with post-processing parts built on laser-based AM systems. By reducing post-processing and providing high throughput manufacturing, the Shop System can drive down part costs for custom dental applications, such as partials, to as low as one-third the cost that can be achieved for comparable part quantities produced using laser-based AM systems.

“We are excited to introduce the Shop System and chrome cobalt for Binder Jetting to the dental community, expanding our suite of best-in-class 3D printing solutions from photopolymers to metals,” stated Michael Jafar, president and CEO of Desktop Health. “We are uniquely positioned by offering dental labs not only a leading photopolymer platform, but also a turnkey solution to produce metal appliances and surgical guides with superior surface finish in higher production volumes compared to laser-based 3D printing systems.”

The Shop System solution is said to include all of the software, hardware, and materials a dental lab needs to begin BJT dental appliances — from build preparation through printing and sintering. Key benefits include:

  • Ease of use: designed with dental labs in mind, the system produces parts at the push of a button through its software interface. It features engineered powders and default processing parameters optimised to deliver exceptional quality and ensure repeatability. The use of software-generated, hand-removable sintering setters is said to eliminate the need for costly and labour-intensive post-processing steps.
  • High productivity and superior manufacturing quality: with variable build sizes up to 16 litres and a high-speed, single-pass manufacturing carriage, the Shop System produces high-quality, end-use metal parts at reportedly up to 10x the speed and at a fraction of the cost of legacy AM technologies, enabling the amplification of dental technicians’ existing throughput with up to hundreds of customised parts per day.
  • Good feature detail with high-quality surface finish: dental technicians can additively manufacture dense, complex parts with fine feature detail and good surface finish right out of the furnace. Using an advanced single-pass printhead with 1600 native DPI, the Shop System reportedly delivers 400% higher resolution than legacy Binder Jetting systems. Reliable manufacturing quality is enabled by the 5x nozzle redundancy on the manufacturing head — a rate of 25% higher redundancy than comparable BJT systems.

“3D printing of metal parts for dentistry can finally see an efficient solution with binder jet technology from Desktop Health,” added Christopher M Silvoy, DMD, an expert in dental implants and a diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI). “The Shop System allows a simple and safe process for producing accurate appliances with an extremely well-integrated system and workflow. With a large build volume and fast build times, the system provides an opportunity to eliminate outsourcing, increase quality of outcome, and potentially change dentistry.”

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