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Trumpf platform brings high productivity to denture manufacture

03 Jul 2019

Cadspeed uses Trumpf system to accelerate manufacture and improve quality.

A Trumpf dual-laser platform is assisting Cadspeed, a Hanover-based CAD digital milling center, with the manufacture of dental products at a faster rate and higher quality than conventional systems can achieve.

According to Cadspeed data, a dental technician would normally produce one tooth in 20 minutes using traditional methods. The Trumpf TruPrint 1000 can manufacture up to 70 teeth per two- to three-hour cycle, equating to less than three minutes per tooth. The significantly increased rate is thanks to the TruPrint's twin laser beams that act on the denture geometries at the same time.

The conventional method of producing dentures is complicated and time consuming. Impressions of the patient’s teeth are taken and sent to a dental laboratory for a plaster cast to be made as a template for the dentures. The basic shape is then created using die casting or milling before secondary finishing, and the whole process can take several weeks. By comparison, Cadspeed is able to manufacture dentures overnight if required, thanks to 3D printing.

Digitization also assists with making the process faster and simpler. Instead of relying on impression trays, Cadspeed offers clients the use of manual intra-oral dental scanners, equipped with sensor systems which dentists can use to digitally map the patient’s mouth in 3D. This data can then be processed directly, without the need for a plaster cast. As a result, the whole process is faster, affordable and more precise.

The Trumpf TruPrint 1000 platform is designed to allow processing of metals which can be welded in powder form, such as stainless steels, tool steels, and alloys of aluminium and cobalt-chromium. Its 200 W fibre laser source is intended to suit additive manufacturing applications in a number of rapid prototyping sectors, as well as dentistry.

Better quality than milling

Hindrik Dehnbostel of Cadpseed tested the Trumpf TruPrint 1000 for three months before deciding to adopt the platform. "When you’re running at full capacity and need to produce a lot, 3D printing really comes into its own," he said. "The system has proven to be both reliable and robust."

3D printing allows an improvement in denture quality, since even delicate structures can be built up layer-by-layer in a process controlled by a software program. Dehnbostel commented that dental technicians struggle with space constraints when profiling corners and edges using a milling machine, due to the small size of the tooth. In addition, the tools cannot reach all areas and sometimes break.

Additive manufacture uses material more efficiently than a conventional operation, in which a basic shape is created and the hollowed out, potentially wasting up to 80 percent of the material. The TruPrint 1000 only needs the exact amount of powder required to create the component which reduces costs and benefits the environment.

"There’s no avoiding 3D printing," said Dehnbostel. "At some point it will be the patient who decides how their denture is manufactured. Today’s generation is increasingly growing up with digitization in their lives. They know 3D printing produces better quality than milling."

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