Tag Archives: dentistry

3D Printing is a Game Changer: Feature Published by The Atlantic

3D Printing is a Game Changer

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.

It’s pretty intuitive to apply this technology to the automotive and aerospace industries, and jewelry has always been a big market. But one of the most exciting areas is actually dental fabrication.

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.

3D Printing Advancements Leads to New Job Creation in Defense, Energy

SelectTech Executive Director on 3D Printing

In Dayton, Ohio, local industry leaders are working on plans to introduce new jobs thanks to advancements in 3D printing.

3D printing is rapidly becoming an integral part of the prototyping and production process for industries such as aerospace, jewelry, and dentistry. Now there is increased interest from the defense and energy sectors. SelectTech Services Corp, whose Executive Director is pictured above, is one such company that provides engineering services to the Department of Defense, and is incorporating 3D printing into its production process.

Here are details on the federal funding that is enabling this job creation.

The University of Dayton Research Institute is part of a statewide consortium of Ohio companies and organizations that are vying to win a federal pilot institute on additive manufacturing, said Brian Rice, head of UDRI’s Multi-Scale Composites and Polymers division. UDRI operates a reverse engineering and rapid prototyping facility with 3-D part scanning and printing capabilities.

President Obama announced the pilot institute in March as part of a $1 billion plan for a network of 15 “Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation” around the nation, serving as hubs that help manufacturers and encourage domestic investment.

Up to $45 million in federal funding has been made available for the pilot institute, which will support the Departments of Defense, Energy and other federal agencies, according to the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office.


Via Dayton Daily News.

Dental Labs Redefine Personal Care with Onsite 3D Printing

The world of dentistry and tooth repair dates back about 9000 years to the Indus Valley Civilization where evidence of tooth drilling has been found in a Neolithic graveyard. In 1840, the first dental school opened in the US, and over the last 160 years, preventative dental care has advanced signficantly.

Now modern dentistry is on the verge of a revolution with help from 3D printing and related technologies.

Imagine walking into your dentist’s office. She says: “You need a new crown.” She pulls over a machine that takes a 3D digital scan of your teeth and annotates that scan in her computer. Instructions are then sent to a 3D printer located in the dental office, which prints your crown onsite in 60 seconds. Your dentist can finish the job without you leaving the chair to get a magazine.

This real-world application is a good example of how 3D printing will be the catalyst for major change in the medical arena, leading to explosive growth and a $5 billion 3D printing industry by 2020.

Read more about dental advances at Today’s Medical Developments.