Keystone Case Study

In just a couple of months, Dowdle is seeing the results of the NXD 200Pro as they churn through approximately 150-200 models per day, “In our busiest season just last month, my lead technician went from working overtime everyday to hardly working eight hours in a day. Now we’re getting our second NXD 200Pro and we just got the XiP desktop model also.”
 

Challenge

While the company already works with nearly two dozen 3D printer partners, Keystone faced the challenge of meeting the high-volume throughputs demanded by busy dental labs. Labs make their money by doing the manufacturing for the doctors. While demand for 3D printed dental products continues to surge, the labs are constrained by the size and throughput limitations of their 3D printers.

“The simplest solution would seem to be for a growing lab to simply buy more printers,” notes Keystone 3D printing engineer and lab manager Benjamin Taylor. “But that translates into more expense, more maintenance, and the need for more space. The preferred approach is to use faster, larger-volume 3D printers and to keep them constantly pumping out product.”

Solution

“Nexa3D’s NXD 200 currently has the biggest build volume in the dental 3D printing market, meaning that lab operators are able to print more product at one time,” Taylor says. The NXD 200 platform combines a superior build volume of 8.5 liters (measuring 10.8 in x 6.1 in x 7.8 in), extreme print uniformity, modular design for onsite automation, 4K resolution, and intelligent print optimization software.

In mid-2021 Keystone began evaluating the NXD 200 dental 3D printer from Nexa3D, and as of early 2022 has validated six of its resins for use with the system. The result has been “a game-changer” at five to six times larger than many competitive printers—a KeyPrint user can print 32-36 full arch splints (depending on the print orientation) with the KeySplint Hard resin in 76 minutes, and 16 flat dental models with KeyModel Ultra resin in less than 30 minutes. “Other DLP printers can’t even hold 32 splints on one build plate at a time,” Taylor says, “so it would take two complete prints to match just one Nexa3D print, part wise.” “This is the definition of higher throughput. If you run the printer all day, you’re looking at over 200 splints in an eight-hour day, while most other dental printers would need significantly more time to achieve that volume of parts.”

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