Germany-based dental aligner brand ClearCaps just employed the use of Structo 3D printers to massively up their production. Originally from Singapore, the DentaForm 3D printers specialise in dental manufacturing. With this new setup ClearCaps were able to print 250 dental aligners within 24 hours. This marks one of the largest medical appliance printing projects in the world.
ClearCaps specialises in clear aligners, so as the name suggests, they make transparent implements. The new DentaForm printers are a major part of these production processes in their manufacturing facilities. ClearCaps has always been an early adopter of modern technologies such as this. They also use 3D software planning and treatment simulations for their patients. In keeping with this high-tech approach, they’ve now adopted a state-of-the-art printing system as well.
The DentaForm printer is capable of making 10 clear aligner models in 30 minutes. It utilises a build volume of 200 x 150 mm with high production speeds. It’s easy to see why ClearCaps gravitated towards this particular system. While 250 clear aligners in a day seems like a lot, the company plans to increase its output even further.
Structo’s Mask Stereolithography
Dental 3D printing has always been one of the most common industrial uses for additive manufacturing. Generally, companies use DLP systems such as EnvisionTEC Vida or the Roland DG. While Structo printers also use light curing tech, they work with a system called Mask Stereolithography.
“We always strive to be at the forefront of the latest technology to help us deliver superior treatment outcomes,” explained Jesse Bartels, founder of ClearCaps . “To meet our high quality, high volume manufacturing requirements, we look for a printer that can deliver the throughput we require over time as we rapidly increase our production volumes. When we came across Structo’s impressive MSLA technology more than 2 years ago, we decided to get on board.”
MSLA technology uses utilizes a panel light source array and a digital mask to control which regions in the printing plane are illuminated by the light source below the platform. Wherever it allows light to pass through, the light will strike photocurable resin, thus solidifying to form a layer of the printed object. The process repeats itself till the object is fully printed. The large build platform permits the printing of multiple dental aligners all in one go.
Featured image courtesy of Structo and ClearCaps