3D Printing 20 Ortho Models in 30 Minutes
Key Dental Delivers More than 2,100 Orthodontic Models per Month with NXD 200
“We receive patient scans from our client offices so we can design an optimal treatment plan for them” explains Cristina Montiel, laboratory technician at Key Dental. “I need to print 20 models per patient” she said, noting that as the business continues to grow quickly, there can be tremendous demands on the practice’s various 3D printers. Speed, throughput and precision are vital.
Previous 3D printing solutions, like ETEC (Formerly EnvisionTEC) and Formlabs, offered the accuracy and definition needed for aligner models but lacked the speed and capability of high volume capacity that Key Dental Technologies needed in order to achieve higher throughput critical to their aligner manufacturing.
3D printing 30 footrests in 10 hours
In September 2022, Lorenzo’s team added an NXE 400Pro ultrafast 3D printerfrom Nexa3D. “We worked with 3DZ to find the right technology. At first we were considering SLS, but the post processing costs were too high. We also looked at a couple different resin options including Carbon, Envisiontec, and 3D Systems, but in the end after reviewing the printed parts and materials, we went with Nexa3D.” Lorenzo notes that the large build volume, high speed, monocomponent resins with an open platform were all key benefits that made the NXE 400Pro stand out.
After installing their new ultrafast 3D printer, they got to work printing footrests. It takes just 10 hours to produce 30 footrests on the NXE 400Pro. The xABS3843 resin – manufactured by Henkel Loctite – provides a great comp for Lexan in which the original footrests were molded, and the print quality is so good that no sanding, priming, or painting is required. Additionally, Lorenzo points out that there is a major cost savings with the 3D printed parts, “The minimum order quantity for injection molding is over 500 parts, and at that volume the cost is about €200 per part. With the NXE 400Pro there is no minimum, and the cost is €50 per part so it’s much more affordable.”
To date, Alstom team has produced over 100 replacement footrests that have been installed in rail cars. Lorenzo sees successes like the footrest as proof points to increasing the use of 3D printers like the NXE 400Pro for spare parts and beyond.