by EOS, GmbH
IDS 2013: Industrial, digital EOS manufacturing process enables high productivity and high-quality dental end parts at reduced costs per part.
Cologne/Germany – EOS, the technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated solutions for additive manufacturing (AM), exhibited at the 35th International Dental Show (IDS), the world’s leading fair for the dental industry.
During the show, EOS showcased dental solutions and introduced the new removable partial denture (RPD) solution. With the AM technology, laboratories and manufacturing service providers can produce high-quality dental crowns and bridges, plastic dental models and removable partial dentures in a highly productive way and at attractive costs per part.
“Currently, an industrialization process is changing the dental industry in a sustained manner. The EOS technology process contributes to an automation and digitalization of manufacturing processes.
With AM via laser sintering, digital technologies have become established in several fields of dentistry and are already a firm part of the industry. Laser-sintered dental prostheses have almost completely replaced precision casting in some countries,” says Martin Bullemer, Business Development Manager Medical at EOS.
A further stage in the process has been digitized with optical impressions. In the future, more and more dental technicians will thus pick up a computer mouse, instead of a wax knife, and use an intraoral scanner, instead of an impression tray—this saves time and makes work processes more efficient.
Digital manufacturing of dental crowns and bridges
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLSä) has been available to produce crowns and bridges since 2005. Manufacturing systems as well as materials have well established themselves in the dental market. With over 60 installed systems worldwide, it is the most widespread solution on the market. Around 6.8 million units are currently being produced with these systems every year.
The CE-certified material EOS CobaltChrome SP2 (CE 0537) and the EOSINT M 270 system are used for the digital production of crowns and bridges.
Both elements of the process chain come from EOS and satisfy the high quality standards for medical products. The finished products comply with the relevant standards EN 1641 as well as EN ISO 22674.With the EOS systems, up to 450 dental crowns and bridges can be cost-efficiently manufactured in 24 hours. This corresponds to an average building time of around three minutes per unit.
The final product is characterized by a homogeneous metallic structure with high precision and constant tolerances, enabling a good fitting and reproducible properties. Following the manufacturing process, the dental prosthesis only has to be separated from the platform and a dental technician subsequently further finishes it. The DMLSä system can run up to two production cycles per day and can manufacture up to 80,000 units per year. Hardly any personnel are needed to operate the DMLSä system, except for loading and unloading the system. The AM of dental prostheses is an industrial production process and, thanks to the high productivity of the system, the production costs decrease while the quality of the final products remains consistently high. As for the manufacturing of dental restorations, 3D data are already available—custom-fit dental models can be produced on the plastic laser-sintering systems FORMIGA P 110, which then serve as the basis for the further processing and veneering of the restorations by the dental technician.
The Digital Manufacturing of Dental Models: economic process, high manufacturing capacity
The FORMIGA P 110 and the material PA 2105 are used to produce dental models. 40 to 70 complete jaw models can be manufactured within 14 hours (excluding cooling time) depending on the design, size and part height.
The high production capacity is a result of the multiple layer manufacturing. The individual parts are not connected by support elements, they are only fixed by the surrounding, non-fused powder. On account of the support-free method of production, no manual finishing is necessary, apart from a brief blasting.
The dental models can be automatically tagged with patient or customer names. Thanks to the mechanical mode of production, the component precision, fit, feel and look are exactly reproducible. Dental models can be directly manufactured a number of times—e.g. as a control model—and in contrast to plaster models are break-proof. Through the time-efficient and economical AM production method, the dental model is ideally produced parallel to the corresponding crown or bridge. The manufacturing time can be reduced on an average by one working day and the dispatch times for conventional impressions can be eliminated fully from the manufacturing chain.
Design and use of the physical model
The EOS technology offers absolute flexibility of design. Within the scope of dimensional accuracy requirements, the dental models can be manufactured as solid or hollow bodies with respective implications for production time and material costs.
Common saw-cut models can also be produced and models can be integrated in numerous articular systems as well as model-based systems. The models are opaque, match the color of the very popular super-hard plaster and their surface is slightly rough. The properties are therefore comparable to those of the classic master model. What’s more, the plastic models are very hard-wearing, and during steam blasting inherently stable.
The plastic model is primarily used for ceramic veneers, to check for occlusions and to adjust the interproximal contact points. The fit of the crown margin is ensured by the CAD/CAM procedures and should only undergo a visual check. Anatomic impressions for analysis, on the other hand, can be produced and, on account of the temperature resistance, the model is also suitable for the production of aligners.
‘Additive Manufacturing Systems from EOS Rapidly Gaining Market Acceptance’
Novi, Mich., Feb. 19, 2013—Until recently, laser sintering of parts and implants for dental units was uncommon. Today the technology is on its way toward widespread acceptance.
EOS, the technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM), estimates that in the past six years about fifty million laser-sintered dental crowns, copings, and bridges have been created in over 60 direct metal laser-sintering (DMLSTM) systems worldwide. In some countries, EOS’ market share for metal (primarily cobalt chrome) dental units is 80 to 100 percent.
EOS and its partners in the dental industry are currently working on manufacturing a certified cobalt chrome partial that will officially debut at the International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne, Germany this March.
In plastic laser sintering, EOS has recently rolled out its new FORMIGA P 110, a system suitable for making dentition models out of a specially customized polyamide, PA 2105. Such models are required where ever intraoral scanners are used.
Laser sintering will produce even more dramatic changes to the dental market in the decades ahead. “Our present product line supporting lost wax is probably going to be obsolete in ten to fifteen years,” predicts Bill Oremus, president of Rhode Island-based BEGO USA, a division of 113-year-old German dental giant BEGO GmbH. “The end of casting is approaching as the application of additive manufacturing to dentistry begins to alter the landscape.”
The high quality, durability, and cost-effectiveness of laser-sintered products led BEGO USA to purchase an EOSINT M 270 two years ago. “The U.S. market is primed to take advantage of the cost and time savings that additive manufacturing can provide,” Oremus says.
“Any lab that uses our DMLS system at or near capacity to make dental units can get the best cost-to-part ratio in the industry,” says Thomas Thiel, a Medical Dental Technologist and an engineer in EOS’ dental applications division. “With DMLS, you can make 450 copings and bridges in a day, whereas a dental technician using lost wax casting might make 20.”
Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Germany, EOS is the technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing solutions for additive manufacturing (AM, or “Industrial 3D Printing”). EOS offers a modular solution portfolio including systems, software, materials and material development as well as services (maintenance, training, specific application consulting and support). As an industrial manufacturing process it allows the fast and flexible production of high-end parts based on 3D CAD data at a repeatable industry level of quality. As a disruptive technology it paves the way for a paradigm shift in product design and manufacturing. It accelerates product development, offers freedom of design, optimizes part structures, and enables lattice structures as well as functional integration. As such, it creates significant competitive advantages for its customers. For more information please visit www.eos.info.
EOS Electro Optical Systems GmbH
Public Relations Specialist
Phone: +49 (0) 89 893 36 x2134
EOS of North America, Inc.
Electro Optical Systems
Field Marketing Manager
Phone: +1 248 306 0143 x8104
Fax: +1 248 306 0298
Parker Group (editorial US)
Phone: +1 401 272 1510
Our Thanks to Nick O’Donohoe of Parker Group and EOS, GmbH for permission to publish this informative update.