3D printing solutions enable dentists, orthodontists, and dental laboratories to realize the benefits of digital dentistry. Powerful, fast, and highly accurate, today’s 3D printers empower dental practitioners to create oral devices that perform better and are more cost-effective than those made with traditional methods.
LuxCreo’s dental solutions consist of three components: software, hardware, and materials. Designed to work together, the LuxCreo solutions make oral appliance production more efficient, intuitive, and successful. The LuxCreo holistic printing solution produces appliances with greater accuracy, industry-leading speed, and high strength and offers significant advantages to dental professionals. With industrial-grade printers, intuitive dental software, and a full suite of dental resins, the LuxCreo dental solution excels in creating devices for restorative, orthodontic, and dental modeling. The versatility and high performance of LuxCreo’s technology allow facilities to simplify dental production workflows for increased efficiency and output.
3D Printing Practices & Offices Guide
3D Printing Dental Lab Guide
The Benefits of Dental Smart Factory 3D Printers and Solutions
Modern 3D printers allow dental professionals to fulfill the promise of digital dentistry. When 3D printers first hit the market in the 1990s, their large size and high cost prohibited access to most dental labs and practices. Now, advancements in 3D printing hardware and materials have made printers more accessible.
Labs and practices can gain benefits by integrating 3D printing into their operations:
Smart Factory 3D printers produce devices more quickly than other methods. Production of traditional dental models involves creating physical oral impressions, preparing and pouring plaster mixtures, waiting for models to harden, and performing careful finishing steps. Models can take hours to complete and artisanally crafted one at a time. LuxCreo printing solutions accelerate the process by digitizing the workflow and creating multiple, accurate models simultaneously.
Lux 3+ Dental can print up to 18 dental models in 35 minutes (<2min/model), iLux Pro Dental can print up to 16 dental models in less than 1.5 hours (<6min/model), and iLux can make up to 16 dental models in less than 2.5 hours (<10min/model). The turnaround time for Lux 3+ Dental, iLux Pro, and iLux is faster than traditional methods as well as other 3D printing technologies. For instance, SLA and SLS can take over 20 hours to produce a restorative model— ten times slower than iLux Pro and iLux.
Workflow Optimization - More Efficient and Shorter Cycles Times
LuxCreo’s smart factory 3D dental printing solutions are optimized to make workflows as efficient and intuitive as possible. The comprehensive solutions provide hardware, software, and resin material to create devices more quickly than other processes while meeting product performance requirements. Specific production steps for digital dentistry processes may differ based on the application and generally has the following workflow:
- Scan: Traditional methods for oral device production begin by creating a model of the patient’s mouth In a dental lab, digital scans are created from physical traditional manual impressions using a desktop optical scanner.
With digital workflows, 3D intraoral scanners capture digital images of the patients’ mouths faster and more comfortably than making impressions in compound-filled trays.
- Design: The scan is turned into a digital model with LuxDental, LuxCreo’s dental 3D printing software. Simplifying model creation, LuxDental is used to generate dental models – creating margin lines and placing support structures. Once the digital model is made, the proper layer thickness is determined, and printing parameters are set, the design is exported to the printer for production.
- Print: The preparation of the printer is conducted by inserting the resin tank, the resin cartridge, and the build platform. The printer builds the device from the ground up in a precise manner, ensuring an accurate final product. LuxDental’s nesting function allows the printing of many dental devices in a single batch, increasing overall output.
- Prepare: After printing the dental device, post-processing steps are performed to make the product suitable for use. Depending on the device, post-processing may include a combination of support structure removal, washing, curing, and buffing.
With older 3D printing technologies, post-processing was time-consuming, especially for clear aligners, night guards, and retainer production. LuxCreo’s dental solution with advanced hardware, software, and resin material reduces the post-processing steps and time for a more efficient and faster workflow.
LuxCreo’s smart factory 3D printing dental solutions produce oral devices that require significantly fewer post-processing steps than other 3D printing technologies. LuxCreo’s dental solutions can directly print clear appliances—reducing post-processing steps for clear aligners, retainers, and bite splints.
Labs traditionally produce aligners by thermoforming a plastic sheet over a dental model. Although thermoforming is effective, it is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and creates material waste from discarded molds and trimmed thermoplastic remnants.
Directly printed retainers and night guards with legacy 3D printing solutions require extensive printing time, washing, curing, grinding, and buffing—adding hours to production time.
LuxCreo’s dental production workflow improves the creation of aligners, retainers, and night guards. Lux 3+ Dental and iLux Pro Dental enable direct printing of highly accurate, clear aligners, retainers, and nightguards that require minimal post-processing. LuxCreo’s solutions can print 8 aligners, retainers, and night guards in 30 minutes delivering dental appliances quickly while requiring minimal space and no specialized heavy equipment. Alternative 3D printing and casting solutions require hours to produce, require specialized heavy lab equipment (wet and dry grinding and buffing), more post-processing steps, and specialized labor to deliver these dental appliances.
Mechanical Advantages to LuxCreo’s Dental Smart Factory 3D Printing Solutions
LuxCreo’s smart factory 3D printing dental solutions that combine software, hardware, and resin materials offer many advantages:
Accuracy is essential to the viability of a dental appliance. If a crown doesn’t fit well to the patient or if a surgical guide doesn’t have appropriately placed drill holes, the entire device is rendered useless.
LuxCreo’s printing solutions ensure precise device accuracy with:
- Software: LuxDental gives techs the ability to control interior and exterior dimensions, enabling precise feature placements and a high degree of overall accuracy.
- Hardware: Every LuxCreo machine prints at a high resolution, raising dimensional accuracy.
- Materials: LuxCreo’s resins offer a high degree of shrinkage control and strong green properties, ensuring structural stability throughout the printing process and during post-processing.
Production speed is an essential consideration for labs and private practices alike. Dental labs require high-speed printing to meet demanding quotas and ensure an amicable outsourcing relationship with clients. Private practices use high-speed in-house printing to provide better service to their patients and enable same-day aligner or crown production.
LuxCreo’s printing solutions are capable of high speeds through the following qualities:
- Software: LuxDent provides techs with the tools necessary to complete designs faster than other programs. Oral scan importation, model generation, batching, and slicing can be completed in minutes, streamlining the overall workflow.
- Hardware: LuxCreo’s machines achieve high printing speeds, accuracy, and clarity through a unique combination of artificial intelligence, Light Enabled Additive Production (LEAP) technology, and LuxCreo’s proprietary resin systems. LEAP reduces adhesion force and uses high-power transmissions to create photoinitiation.
- Materials: LuxCreo tunes its resins to the parameters set by the software and hardware. The parameter combination leads to faster printing speeds and possibly continuous printing in specific applications.
Appliance strength is essential for both production and usage. During post-processing, appliances must be strong enough to withstand washing without becoming distorted. Dental models must also be strong enough to withstand the temperature and pressure exerted during the thermoforming and cutting processes. Finally, appliances like dentures and night guards must be strong enough to hold up to the intended application’s rigorous demands.
LuxCreo’s printing solutions produce strong appliances through the following qualities:
- Software: LuxDental offers automatic support generation and deep adjustment settings, allowing designers to create highly stable products.
- Machine: The high accuracy of LuxCreo’s printers provides a way to create the most structurally stable devices possible.
- Material: LuxCreo’s dental materials feature industry-leading strength and stiffness. These attributes allow dental models to withstand thermoforming successfully and enable removable oral devices to remain functional for years.
Price Points (Total Cost of Ownership)
LuxCreo’s solutions provide customers with a lower total cost of ownership as compared to leading alternatives:
- Software: LuxDental and LuxFlow, are included for free with each printer, while other solutions can charge up to $20,000 for an equivalent product. LuxDental provides designers with nesting abilities, CAD file importation, support structure generation, parameter adjustments (i.e., slicing, exposure time, light intensity, etc.), and model exportation over either LAN or wireless networks.
- Machines: iLux and Lux 3+ Dental, are faster and offer higher production throughput than competitors with leading dimensional accuracy. This unique combination of speed and accuracy is accomplished with a larger printer volume and build-area, thermal management system to enable fast printing of higher strength resins by reducing viscosity, and the latest high-resolution DLP and LCD technology. Consequently, LuxCreo’s hardware can produce more devices using less material than other solutions.
- The suite of resin materials offers industry-leading strength and accuracy. Our resins’ strong mechanical properties minimize the risk of breaks, lower post-processing waste, and increase overall throughput, all of which allow users to decrease material usage and increase output without adding cost.