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How to Choose the Best Dental 3D Printer for Your Practice

How to Choose the Best 3D Printer for Your Practice


Since their introduction in the 1990s, 3D printers have become increasingly valuable within the dental industry. Within this article, we will discuss the various benefits of using a 3D printer for your practice, as well as how to choose the best model for you. 


What Do Dentists Use 3D Printers For?

3D printers serve a vital role in most modern dental practices. In most cases, they are used to streamline and automate the creation of three-dimensional models and dental appliances. As technology advances, 3D printers have found applications in general dentistry, oral surgery, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics alike.


In conjunction with the use of a digital intraoral scanner, 3D printers in dentistry can be used to create the following:

  • Partial dentures
  • Full dentures
  • Nightguards
  • Retainers
  • Surgical guides
  • Diagnostic models


Advantages of 3D Printing in the Dental Industry

While a larger start-up cost typically comes along with investing in a 3D printer for your practice, there are various notable benefits – for both you and your patients.


Below are some of the most notable benefits of using a 3D printer in dentistry:

  • Exceptional precision
  • Simpler and faster production
  • Less waste
  • High-quality finished products
  • Create a range of different products from one single machine
  • More customization
  • In-office printing abilities


Types of 3D Printers Used in Dentistry

As three-dimensional printing technology advances, different types of 3D printers have been developed to further their abilities and applications. The three most common types of 3D printers used in dentistry are Stereolithography (SLA), Digital Light Processing (DLP), and Material Jetting or PolyJet Technology. 


Stereolithography (SLA) 

In Stereolithography (SLA), a precise laser beam is scanned across specified points of a vat of liquid resin. These fixed points are solidified by the laser beam, creating the finished product.


Digital Light Processing (DLP)

Digital Light Processing (DLP) makes use of the same concept that is used by Stereolithography, but rather than scanning a laser beam across liquid resin, a digital projector is used.


Material Jetting or PolyJet Technology

PolyJet 3D printers work much in the same fashion as traditional ink printers, though rather than ink to paper, the printer head prints three-dimensional liquid polymers onto the build tray. UV light is then used to cure the material.


What to Consider when Choosing a 3D Printer for Your Dental Practice

When browsing different models to select a 3D printer for your dental practice, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you choose the right model for you and your team. 


Printer Type and Technology

Consider what type of dental appliances you will be making with your new 3D printer. Different models and types of printers feature different technical specifications and printing abilities. 


If you will only be printing diagnostic models, you won’t need a specialized printer that excels in creating appliances for patient use. Alternatively, if you will be using your 3D dental printer to replace the need for an outside lab, you’ll want to ensure that you invest in a model that supports a wide range of precise printing. 


Different software platforms provide different printing capabilities, as well. Convenient features like one-click print set up, light touch supports, or automated post-processing help cut back on time and materials.


Build Volume

The build volume of your new 3D printer refers to the dimensions of space that can accommodate three-dimensional prints. 


If you anticipate the need to print multiple large appliances at once – such as mouthguards or dentures – you may want to select a 3D printer with a large build volume. Alternatively, if your practice will only be printing small dental appliances, you won’t necessarily need a printer with a larger build volume. 


Accuracy and Resolution

While man-made appliances and models are subject to human error, a 3D printer is able to produce a precise and accurate product without fail. 


Accuracy and precision can be attributed to the following specs:

  • Quality of the printer
  • Technology specifications and advancement
  • Quality of materials
  • Software settings
  • Post-processing
  • System calibration


Print Speed

Traditional impression-taking, model-pouring, and appliance fabrication methods tend to be time-consuming since all aspects of the process are done by hand. Outsourced laboratory work can take weeks to return, putting a delay on production and inconveniencing patients.


When using a 3D printer, digital impressions that are taken in a matter of minutes can be instantly sent to the printer and fabricated, eliminating the delay that typically comes along with working with an outside laboratory.


Ease of Use and Maintenance

Having a 3D printer that provides a simple and easy-to-use interface can help ensure that things run smoothly in the lab. A system that is confusing or difficult to use can create delays, negatively affecting daily operations and overall production levels. 


When choosing your new 3D printer, consider how easy it is to use and maintain. In the dental industry, cutting out unnecessary time and effort whenever possible is absolutely crucial.


Cost and Return on Investment

Of course, cost is an important factor when browsing for a new dental 3D printer. With so many different options on the market, the cost of a 3D printer can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 


One thing to keep in mind is that while there is the initial cost of your 3D printing system to consider, the ability to have a fully-functional and automatic laboratory on-site can be invaluable. 


In addition to the additional production that can be added to your monthly schedule, you will be able to avoid the costs that come along with outsourcing to outside laboratories. Eliminating the need for outsourcing your lab work can reduce overall production costs anywhere between 75-95%. 


3D Printers for Dentistry from Safco Dental Supply

Safco Dental Supply is proud to provide a comprehensive selection of 3D dental printers. See our dental 3D printer comparison below to learn more about the best dental 3D printers.


Asiga® 3D Printers

Asiga 3D Printers come in a wide and convenient range of products that have been specifically designed for the ever-evolving dental industry.


Though the Asiga 3D dental printers are economically priced, each model provides various exceptional benefits and applications.


The Asiga Max UV offers the following benefits:

  • 62µm resolution
  • Ideal for the printing of all types of dental appliances
  • Convenient compact size
  • Open material system
  • Material changeover in under 30 seconds
  • Single-pint calibration in under 60 seconds


The VeriBuild LCD 3D Printer provides the following benefits:

  • 47µm resolution 
  • Open material system
  • Advanced and intelligent software
  • WiFi capabilities
  • Auto calibration
  • Smooth surface printing
  • Slice thicknesses between 25-100 microns


The Asiga Pro 4K is the largest model within Asiga’s line of dental 3D printers. It provides the following benefits:

  • Choose between 65µm or 80µm resolutions
  • Ideal for the printing of all types of dental appliances
  • Latest DLP imaging technology
  • Large print envelope 
  • Open material system
  • SPS™ Smart-Positioning-System Technology enables accurate and consistent layer-forming
  • Convenient and easy-to-use touchscreen user interface


3Demax Complete 3D Printing Solution

The 3Demax Complete 3D Printing Solution is a DLP 3D printer that is notable for its compact size, optimal speed, and optimal precision. 


New radio frequency identification (RFID) technology enables easy calibration, which helps avoid misapplication and allows for automatic material identification – two highly-valuable aspects in dentistry.


Printing speed is accelerated up to 50% thanks to a high-speed procession processing system. The 3Demax is exceptionally user-friendly, further eliminating any chance of misapplication. The system comes with DMG’s White Glove Service, which provides comprehensive support for sales, installation, use, and maintenance. 


Below are some more notable benefits of the 3Demax Complete 3D Printing Solution:

  • Multiple device production enabled by a large build plate
  • Capable of designing and creating a wide range of 3D dental applications 
  • Accepts all standard STL files
  • Makes use of cloud-based DentaMile connect software
  • High-quality Luxaprint 3D printing material
  • Fully-integrated 3D resin curing provided by 360º illumination
  • Fully compliant with Medical Device Regulation (MDR) regulations


Explore Safco Dental Supply for Your 3D Printing Needs

With the information you’ve learned here, you will be well-equipped with the knowledge you need in the selection of the best 3D dental printer for your practice. 


For high-quality dental products, place your trust in Safco Dental Supply. We provide a wide range of products to fit every need, with free shipping on orders over $250. 


We strive to get you your products as fast as possible. All orders placed before 4:30 pm CST (3:30 pm on Friday) are shipped out same-day.


Give us a call at 800.621.2178 to speak with one of our experts about the best 3D printer dental options on the market.

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