3D printing is gradually revolutionizing many industries, from design, to engineering, to medicine, and even to dentistry. The latest in 3D printed dentistry comes from additive manufacturing company Formlabs. Their Form 2 3D printer, which retails for $3,499, offers its users high resolution SLA additive manufacturing and is reportedly designed with digital dentistry in mind. That is, Formlabs boasts their SLA 3D printer is capable of additively manufacturing high quality surgical guides for dentists, retainers and aligners, educational models, as well as crowns and bridges.
Normally, and I’m sure we’re all aware of the process, dentists would have to make an impression or mold of their patient’s teeth, a generally unpleasant experience, and have that sent to an external lab to have surgical guides or retainers custom manufactured. Now, thanks to 3D scanning and 3D printing technology, dentists are able to scan their patient’s teeth quickly and painlessly and have the data sent to an in-office 3D printer, turning what was a week’s long process into only a few hours.