Stratasys unveils Objet260 Dental 3D Printer to advance adoption of digital dentistry

Market-leading 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has announced its new Stratasys Objet260 Dental 3D printer. Equipped with Polyjet Triple Jetting technology, the Stratasys Objet260 Dental can 3D print three different materials on a single tray, allowing the production of several applications under a single 3D print job.

The machine is to be formally unveiled at the LMT Lab Day 2018 in Chicago alongside two further dental products, flexible biocompatible material MEDFLX625, and Pop-Out Part (PoP) technology for the removal of supports from clear aligner arches.

Supporting the transition to digital dentistry

With the global dental market forecast to reach 37 billion U.S. dollars by 2021, Stratasys, like rival 3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems (which yesterday launched its NextDent 5100 3D printer), is capitalizing on its experience of manufacturing machines and materials for the dental industry to appeal to a wider range of dental laboratories.

This push from 3D printing to dental technologies is in the opposite direction to companies like Straumann, which are moving incorporating 3D printing into existing dental businesses.

At the heart of Stratasys’ offering is its PolyJet Triple Jetting technology, which combines droplets of three base materials to 3D print objects made of multiple colors and materials in a single print run. It was launched in 2014 with the Objet500 Connex3 3D printer.

Clear aligners 3D printed on an Objet260 3D printer. Photo via Stratasys.Clear aligners 3D printed on an Objet260 3D printer. Photo via Stratasys.

The appeal of PolyJet Triple Jetting

The Objet260 Dental 3D printer can be used to manufacture surgical guides, models, and other appliances. On the 3D printer’s single material mode, these appliances can be produced with a shorter change-over and reduced material waste.

The Objet260 Dental also promises a more affordable solution for mid-sized labs looking to expand their services. An optional “Dental Selection” upgrade includes support for three further regular materials as well as special materials to reproduce a range of gum-like textures and natural tooth shades.

Reiterating Stratasys’ intentions to place digital dentistry “in the hands of more customers than ever before,” Stratasys Director of Healthcare Solutions Mike Gaisford said:

“There’s no denying the power of 3D printing for digital dentistry to significantly decrease turnaround time, reduce labor costs, and provide new streams of revenue. Multi-material 3D printing pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in dentistry today while unlocking the next-generation of applications for tomorrow.”

Additional materials and technology

Launched alongside the Objet260 Dental 3D printer, MEDFLX625 is a biocompatible material that allows dental and orthodontic laboratories to 3D print flexible and rigid biocompatible materials for direct print applications such as indirect bonding trays, such as surgical guides and soft-tissue implant models.

Additionally, PoP technology facilitates support removal with manual peel-off, which is especially useful for the high-volume production of clear aligner arches.

The Objet260 Dental can 3D print multiple materials simultaneously, including accurate models of the oral cavity. Photo via Stratasys.The Objet260 Dental can 3D print multiple materials simultaneously, including accurate models of the oral cavity. Photo via Stratasys.

Object260 Dental 3D Printer specifications

System size: 870 x 735 x 1200 mm 

Build size: 255 x 252 x 200 mm 

System mass: 264 kg

Material cabinet size: 330 x 1170 x 640 mm

Layer thickness: 16 microns (.0006 in.)

Build Resolution: 16-micron (high quality), 28-micron (high speed)

Compatible materials: VeroDent (MED670), VeroDentPlus (MED690), VeroGlaze (MED620), Clear Bio-compatible (MED610), VeroWhite, and TangoPlus

Support materials: SUP706 (soluble) and SUP705 (WaterJet removable)

Additional materials (Dental Selection upgrade): VeroYellow, VeroMagenta, TangoBlackPlus, and Digital Materials to reproduce a range of gum-like textures and natural tooth shades.

Software: Objet Studio

Does this stand out as a leading application of 3D printing? Nominations for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2018 are only open for another week. Submit yours now.

Could your design be our awards trophy? Protolabs is sponsoring the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards design competition. Submit your design now to win a 3D printer.

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Featured image shows the Objet260 Dental 3D printer. Photo via Stratasys.

Royal Navy unveils 3D printed “Nautilus 100” mothership concept

Earlier this year, the Royal Navy ran the Nautilus 100 challenge together with UK Nest, a not-for-profit Technology forum that “promotes the Engineering, Science and Technology interests of UK Naval Defense”. Scientists, designers, and engineers from across defense and aerospace sectors were tasked with envisioning the future of underwater warfare.

20 participants, aged between 16 and 34, from companies including BAE systems, Lockheed Martin, the MOD, QinetiQ and Rolls Royce came up with a number of designs. Innovations included flying-fish drones, unmanned eel-like vehicles and, perhaps most interestingly, 3D printed dissolvable micro-drones, and a 3D printed submarine, which have now been unveiled to the public by the Royal Navy.

3D printing under the sea

The “Nautilus 100 mothership” submarine resembles a hybrid deep-sea creature with a whale shark mouth and the body of manta ray. Its hull is designed to be 3D printed from “combination of light but strong acrylic materials bonded to super strong alloys”, to help withstand the extreme pressure at the depths of the ocean.

Included on the hull are tiny graphene scales, controlled by an electric current, for reducing noise, to morph in shape to further mimic the appearance of a ray.

Detail of the Nautilus’ hull. Photo Via UKNest

3D printing technology would also play a part in some of the submarine’s defense systems.

The Mothership would be capable of launching eel-like unmanned underwater vehicles, “each using blue-green laser energy to communicate, forming a self-meshing underwater network with secure command and control (C2) applications”.

The eels in turn would contain pods carrying dissolve on-demand sensors and micro-drones (made of cold saltwater-soluble polymers) produced by 3D printers. These micro-drones would be used in a number of different ways, such as data gathering or vehicle escort duties.

3D printed eel drones can the seabed. Image via UKNest3D printed eel drones can the seabed. Image via UKNest

Futuristic or Far-fetched?

Voices from the Royal Navy itself are optimistic. Rear Admiral Tim Hodgson compared the innovation behind the submarine designs to “Nelson’s tactics at Trafalgar” and the “revolutionary Dreadnought battleships”.

Commander Peter Pipkin, the Royal Navy’s Fleet Robotics Officer added, “Today’s Royal Navy is one of the most technologically advanced forces in the world, and that’s because we have always sought to think differently and come up with ideas that challenge traditional thinking.”

The designs however have also been criticized by the BBC’s Jonathan Peake, writing that in reality, “there simply isn’t the resources to turn these latest dreams into reality,” and noting that most of its expenditure would likely go on conventional nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers.

A possible design of 3D printed self-defense decoys. Image via UKNestA possible design of 3D printed self-defense decoys. Image via UKNest

With a commitment from the UK’s Ministry of Defence to spend 1.2% of its budget on innovation, 3D printing technologies certainly have some space to thrive. In 2016, the Royal Navy also launched its first 3D printed airplane drone.

More projects will certainly on the radar if the Royal Navy are to compete on a international level alongside forces like the Marines, and the U.S. Navy.

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Featured Image: Simulation of the Nautilus 100 in action. Photo via: UK Nest.

Ultimaker unveils next generation of open-source 3D printing

Ultimaker 3When Ultimaker, a manufacturer of open-source 3D printers headquartered in Amsterdam with an office in Boston, announced recently the global availability of the next generation of its 3D-printing product line, it promised professionals unprecedented freedom of design. Open-source 3D printing has become popular, particularly in the desktop printing market, according to John Kawola, U.S. President of Ultimaker.

In an interview with PlasticsToday, Kawola reviewed his more than 10-year career in the 3D-printing industry, starting at a time when prototyping with polymer materials represented 90% of the market. “What’s happened in the last five years is that the market has changed drastically,” said Kawola. “It has consolidated, and I was part of that consolidation. Also, we saw the introduction of desktop 3D printers as well as the rise of metal 3D-printing machines. Today, there’s more public awareness, and part of that is due to the [advent of] desktop printers selling at $5,000 and less. That’s where Ultimaker fits in.”

“What has happened in the desktop space in just the last couple of years is that a large portion of the growth of 3D printing is now in the desktop segment, from 275,000 units to over 400,000,” Kawola said. “The percentage being sold in the enterprise space was close to zero five years ago. Today it’s close to 50%. Parts are better, more materials are available, the machines are more reliable and the desktop printers are bumping up against the larger, more-expensive machines. For the price difference, more companies are looking at desktop 3D printers [rather than] the $50,000 stand-alone printers.”

Find out what’s new and what’s coming in 3D printing at the 3D Printing Summit at this year’s PLASTEC East event in New York City in June. Go to the PLASTEC East website to learn more about the event and to register to attend.

“Open source or open materials 3D printing is the idea that somebody has developed hardware and software but they don’t try to keep it secret or patent it; they open it up so that even the software codes are open,” explained Kawola. “The idea behind open source is that the greater community will make the products better and everyone can share in this.”

Ultimaker has embraced the concept of open source and offers software that is open to the greater community for anyone to use. “As a company, Ultimaker has had a net benefit from our open source product,” Kawola noted. “The product is better—we can improve the software at a much faster pace. We have been able to do many things much faster. But in reality, people copy you and compete with you. Is it a net benefit or net detriment? We still feel it’s a net benefit,” he added.

Materials is one area that has benefitted. Because it’s an open environment, the range of materials that have been developed and put on the market has grown very quickly, Kawola stated. “The big guys had closed systems and you had to buy their film or powder. By 2007 or 2008, 90% was Stratasys materials for Stratasys machines, which had attractive margins

Honda unveils partial 3D printed micro car

Honda has developed a short range ‘ Micro Commuter ’ electric vehicle for use by Japanese confectionery maker, Toshimaya.

The car is a joint development with Kabuku Inc., and is based on an open innovation model which incorporates the idea of variable design platform.

The vehicle uses a chassis constructed from Honda’s rigid but lightweight pipe frame structure, and 3D printing techniques have been used to create the exterior panels and luggage space.

micro_commuter_parts

The Micro Commuter is powered by Honda’s Micro EV technology, designed for short-range trips up to approximately 80 km (50 miles).

This unique car differs from other examples of Honda micro EVs in providing space for a driver only and a generous space to carry deliveries of sweet treats.

It will conduct local deliveries of Toshiyama’s most famous product, dove shaped shortbread, ‘Hato sable’.

You May Also Like: 3D Print Your Favourite Ford Vehicle at Home

micro_commuter_rear view

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