Additive manufacturing has been expanding into many industries over the past several years. The 3D printing solutions used in additive manufacturing have many advantages over traditional manufacturing. Companies looking to increase agility, reduce costs, and become more resilient to supply chain disruptions should consider the advantages of additive manufacturing to improve traditional manufacturing processes and to directly produce finished parts.

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Companies use a low-volume approach to test products in the market before high volume production or if the demand is small. Low volume options include injection molding, CNC milling, and 3D printing. Each low-volume manufacturing method has pros and cons and is best implemented for specific applications. Low Volume Manufacturing Method 1: Injection Molding Injection…

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Contract manufacturing services bring new low or high-volume products to market quickly without requiring large capital equipment expenditures. They lower the barriers for high-volume production as companies do not need to set up factories to manufacture products. Innovations in 3D printing have made it possible to support high-volume production at localized cloud-connected 3D printing smart factories. Utilizing a 3D printing solution for high-volume contract manufacturing helps companies stay agile, produce more complex designs, support multiple SKUs, and manufacture products with advanced high-performance materials.

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3D printing has been leading advancements in dental technology. It has enabled the clear aligner industry to reach a 2.31 billion dollar market size, quickened the turnaround production time of oral devices, and raised dental models’ accuracy. Dental industry professionals can benefit from integrating 3D printing solutions into their workflows.

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The ideal additive manufacturing process

Additive manufacturing is often associated with low-volume production or prototyping. Some 3D printers are developed for the sole purpose of rapid prototyping. Still, innovations in 3D printing technology have made high-volume production both feasible and often the best solution for accelerating a new product to market. 3D printing has no tooling costs and very few design limitations. Companies can implement 3D printing solutions from innovation through production, eliminating certain drawbacks associated with traditional manufacturing.

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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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