Tag Archives: dentistry
Make magazine has published an extensive opinion piece about 3D printing as part of its 3D Thursday series. The article is called 3D Printing Revolution: the Complex Reality.
The main thesis of the post is that while 3D printers are becoming increasingly popular, the reality might not match the hype. For one, designing for manufacturability is hard – from CAD software to industrial design techniques. Another issue is the durability and precision of materials used in 3D printing, such as ABS plastic, may not be engineering-grade.
Concluding, the author states:
One day, a silver bullet solution may materialize; if it does, it will be probably nothing like any of the existing technologies we are experimenting with. Until then, it pays to focus on the process, not on this week’s most-hyped tool.
These points are valid and one has to acknowledge that 3D printing won’t replace all manufacturing processes overnight. But look at the applications that are already commercial, from medical and dentistry to fashion to toys and games. Expect more to follow quickly with the rapid pace of innovation in 3D printing!
Here are the top 10 most popular stories On 3D Printing brought you in January 2013.
Thanks for reading in January!
A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from January 22 to January 27.
Tuesday, January 22
Wednesday, January 23
The field of Dentistry is being redefined by 3D printing. As we reported last April, dental labs are increasingly using 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies to provide personalized care.
Daewood & Tanner is a specialist dental practice in London that is pioneering the use of this technology. Andrew Daewood was recently interviewed by the Financial Times.
“3D printing has recently captured the public imagination, but most 3D printers are churning out plastic junk,” says Andrew Dawood. “Dentists have been using 3D printing for 10 years, to make things that really can’t be made in any other way.”
Daewood’s firm creates dental implants using digital scans and 3D printing.
Although conventional manufacturing still produces most implants, an increasing number are being printed, often using a very durable plastic called Peek that can be implanted into the jaw to replace lost bone. “Our experience with the use of technology to assist ‘extreme cases’ enables us to make straightforward treatment even more straightforward, and for many patients, to make possible what was once considered to be impossible,” says Dawood.Patients for whom implant treatment used not to be feasible, because they did not have enough bone left in their jaw, can now be treated. New technology allows dentists to identify islands of bone into which implants can be placed, using minimally invasive techniques. “People who once might have been told they were untreatable or needed 18 months of carefully staged, arduous reconstructive surgery, are now being treated in hours or even minutes, usually receiving fixed replacement teeth on the day of treatment,” says Dawood.
Read the full interview at the Financial Times.
Here’s a video interview with a Daewood & Tanner patient after an implant.
American iconic magazine The Atlantic invited Hugh Evans, vice president at T. Rowe Price Associates to publish an article about a technology or trend changing the markets. His topic: 3D Printing is a Game Changer.
From my vantage point, 3D printing is right up there as one of the most exciting innovations I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve been around here. I think it’s going to change the way goods are manufactured across many industries.
Evans starts with the back story on 3D printing, how the technology evolved from producing wax-like prototypes to durable goods.
The revolution took place when companies like 3D Systems started designing radically new materials. They came up with nanocomposites, different blends of plastics, and different blends of powdered metals. They were then able to create a part that, if you held it in your hand, you’d think it was steel. You can throw it down on the ground against cement, and it looks and acts just like steel.
Later Evans mentions various industries that are embracing 3D printing.
These new materials allow this 3D printing to be adopted by aerospace, automotive. Jaguar is using the technology for rapid product development. So is the Bell Helicopter division of Textron.
One company I’m excited about is using 3D printing to make prostheses. It’s a venture-backed company in San Francisco called Bespoke Innovations. There are a large number of amputees in America and around the world–I believe something like two million people have some sort of prosthetic limb or device.
Finally, Evans talks about falling 3D printer prices, enabling consumer adoption.
Six years ago the cheapest machine out there was $30,000, but most were $100,000. Today you can get a capable 3D printer for around $1,299, which launched at the Consumer Electronics Show this year.
That’s why 3D printing is so interesting. It’s not just tied up in the engineering world anymore. It’s impacting a large number of industries, and becoming more relevant to consumers. I’m seeing that even high schools now have 3D printers. I just ran into a high school teacher the other day who teaches software classes, and he was telling me, “Oh, I just bought my first 3D printer.”
It’s exciting to see this technology begin to reach its full potential. A few years ago it was a little ahead of its time, but not anymore. It’s here today.
Read the full article at The Atlantic.
Deck of cards photo by aftab used under Creative Commons license.