In the recent years, 3D printing has increasingly being used for rapid manufacturing, a new method where the printed objects are not prototypes but the actual end user product. Since our new office is located on the third floor of a building with two floors of dentist’s office, our natural curiosity pushed us to further investigate into this topic.
We discovered that many innovative companies, such as Structo, Wiema, XJet, and Straumann, are working to develop highly customized solutions for patients and dentists with cutting-edge technologies at their fingertips. Let’s get more in details:
Structo is a company from Singapore that designs and builds 3D printers tailored for dental applications. As deduced from their online reputation, they always developed successful solutions for patients, dentists and their assistants.
While Structo’s OrthoForm 3D printer remains their flagship product, in 2017 they released the new DentaForm, which is a machine for restorative dentistry and the creation of models for fitting bridges and crowns. The machine is designed to be relatively small, so that it is easily carried and set in different workspaces. As one of the founders of Structo describes, “We are revolutionizing digital dentistry by breaking through the speed limits of 3D printers today.”
Wiema is a Swedish company founded in 2011. The company name was first Dentware, but they recently rebrandend themselves under the new name of Wiema.
Their area of expertise is dental prosthetics, in fact, they design and produce customized dental implants through the use of 3D printing technology, which allow them to sell at cheaper prices compared to their competitors. With the use of 3D printing, Wiema dental prosthetics produce less waste and are more environmentally friendly than products made through the traditional digitally controlled milling method. At the moment, their products are only available in Europe, however, due to their success, they will probably expand worlwide soon.
3D inkjet printing
Xjet is an Istraeli company founded in 2005. With an innovative mindset, the company was able to bring to market the first ground-breaking inkjet-based 3D printing system for metal parts. On March 2017 Xjet has closed a $25 million financing round. Thanks to the investment led by Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Catalyst CEL Fund, they will continue to implement their innovative technology. Xjet’s printer uses metal nanoparticles that generate precision parts with complex geometries for use in a variety of applications; from dental and medicine to aerospace and automotive.
Straumann is a Swiss company that is considered a global leader in implant, restorative and regenerative dentistry. According to their annual report, Straumann made a net income of $229 million in 2016. Probably because of their increasing success, they are looking to invest into the advanced technology. The CEO Marco Gadola has declared that the goal of Straumann is to ensure that the company is a total solution prodiver, especially nowadays, where dentists are considering to use 3D printing more than ever before.
At Mergeflow we are strong believers in the virtues of innovation. Therefore, we hope that technology will continue to evolve so that everybody in the world, in the near future, will be able to have wonderful white teeth at a reasonable price 🙂
…and please, don’t be afraid when you go to the dentist. At the end of the day, it’s just a drill!