Clear aligners

The traditional method used to produce oral devices is time-consuming and inconvenient for patients. It is a multi-appointment process that involves creating manual, oral impressions and outsourcing them to a dental lab for fabrication. Device turnaround can take 2 to 4 weeks to complete. Dentists can accelerate the process by switching to a digital workflow that utilizes an intraoral scanner and 3D printer. Intraoral scanners eliminate the need for manual, oral impressions, and 3D printers produce oral devices more quickly than conventional processes.

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Traditional footwear manufacturing is a time-consuming process that often limits designs. With high tooling costs and production limitations, initial designs, tooling, and prototyping can take months to complete and require significant investments. The final product design must fit the production method, and processes, like injection molding, can constrain the design. Products need to be developed so that tools can be built for mass production. Designers who work with injection molding must often reconfigure their product layouts to meet production criteria after the prototyping stage.

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3D printing is allowing companies to improve manufacturing capabilities, whether in-house or leveraging contract 3D printing services in a smart factory. Companies in many industries can see multiple benefits when they use 3D printing smart factories for high volume or low volume/high mix manufacturing. Here’s how companies can accelerate the go-to-market of new products from prototyping to high volume manufacturing.

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With flexibility and a high level of automation, 3D printing helps manufacturers accelerate new product introduction (NPI) and full-scale production. Commercialization of 3D printing systems in smart factories has also brought costs down, allowing more companies to take advantage of additive manufacturing services. When deciding how to scale up manufacturing of new or existing products, partnering with a smart factory leveraging 3D printing allows greater flexibility in manufacturing capacity, while accelerating production ramp-up and supporting a high mix-low volume suite of products.

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