3D printing capabilities bring exciting possibilities to the orthodontic industry. While this might seem like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, the advantages for you are very real. At NEOLab, we've integrated the best of these capabilities to provide you with uncompromising, leading-edge technology, skills, and simple-for-you solutions.
How do we create appliances from your intraoral scans?
Simply put, we 3D print the teeth models, and build the appliance on the models per usual.
Check it out up close!
Prepping the Scans
When we receive your scans, we need to digitally prepare them to be printed. This involves:
- Splining - Cutting out the excess data.
- Basing - Adding either a Minimal Base (no palate), Standard Base, or Full Base, complete with an ID stamp.
- Bracket Removal - When applicable, erasing brackets from teeth, including brackets that have overlapped onto the gingiva. (We can erase the archwire as well, although this can compromise the accuracy of the scan and also takes longer/costs you more!)
Building the 3D Print Tray
Since the 3D printers take a number of hours to print, we load up as many cases as we can for one print--up to 75 arches! In our software, we place and orient the arches on a tray to tell the printer exactly how to print them. In order to maximize the efficiency of the print, we "nest" or intertwine the arches without palates. This completed tray file then gets sent to the printer.
The 3D printers work by building the physical object from the ground up, one thin layer (16 microns) of material at a time. In our case, we use Verodent, an FDA approved material which is best suitable for fabricating dental appliances. This can take anywhere from 4-12 hours, depending on how many arches, and the height of their bases.
After the print is complete, we scrape the models off the tray, and clean them up using a waterjet machine. Presto! They are then dispersed to the appropriate departments for appliance fabrication.