Metal 3D printing capabilities improved for the dental industry
Coherent is acutely aware of the interdependence of hardware and software to achieve maximum productivity and streamline workflows in production environments. The company’s metal 3D printing / additive manufacturing platform Coherent CREATOR has been successfully received by industry since its introduction in 2016, with increasing uptake across many industry sectors.
However, the dental industry has proved to be a particularly smart fit for additive manufacturing, and the CREATOR more specifically, where it has emerged as a well suited production solution for dental laboratory applications thanks to its price/performance ratio with the ability to produce many small, precise yet complex, patient-specific parts in a single build.
Coherent has been quick to react to this market uptake and offer its dental laboratory clients even greater productivity gains through dedicated software for dental applications. Coherent’s software pedigree has never been in doubt with its innovative CAD/CAM software APP SUITE. Building out from this, Coherent has developed and now offers the DENTAL COCKPIT – a dedicated software platform for users of the CREATOR metal 3D printers for dental applications.
The results are a simplified process workflow and considerable time saving efficiencies. Within the DENTAL COCKPIT environment, multiple customer files can be opened and pre-processed automatically on the printing platform and be ready for 3D printing with two clicks.
Click 1: With the first click customers can open multiple STL files. The parts are then automatically aligned and nested on the platform, ID tags are attributed, and optimised support structures are generated.
Click 2: With the second click the 3D model is sliced, the scanning strategy is applied, and the G-code for the CREATOR 3D printer is generated. The DENTAL COCKPIT uses a set of optimised default parameters, according to powder material type that is imported from the APP SUITE.
This simplified workflow, which eliminates time and labour-intensive operations by the technician / machine operator, is based on highly complex automation algorithms developed by Coherent.
Ludovico Camarda, General Manager Coherent, OR Laser, commented on the DENTAL COCKPIT: “We have designed the DENTAL COCKPIT specifically for the dental industry to reduce complexity across the digital workflow where time is money. The DENTAL COCKPIT is the first two-click metal 3D printing solution on the market, I believe, and I am very proud of this achievement by our great team. With the positive feedback that we are getting from our partners and customers, we will continue pushing new boundaries.
“Automation for our dental customers was the key driver behind the development of the DENTAL COCKPIT software. Processes like nesting and generating supports for the parts are really time-intensive, particularly for users that are new to 3D printing, when they have to be done manually. We have automated these processes and it is saving our clients significant amounts of time, which also saves them money.
“The dental technician can still choose between different metal powders such as CoCr and Titanium to optimise the final physical characteristics of their parts. Then, once the G-Code is generated, the print job can start and finish with no further user intervention. This means they can move on to other projects, without worrying about the machine.”