A Fully Digital Approach to Direct Metal Print
Direct metal print (DMP) appliances clinically function as conventional orthodontic appliances. This fully digital approach generates a faster workflow, more predictable appliances, and quicker replacement in case of loss or breakage of appliances.
How Direct Metal Print Appliances Are Made
Direct metal printing is an additive manufacturing technology that builds high-quality complex metal parts from 3D CAD data. In the machine, a high-precision laser is directed to metal powder particles to selectively build up thin horizontal metal layers one after the other. This cutting-edge technology allows for the production of metal parts with challenging geometries. Such production is not possible using traditional subtractive or casting technologies. On the other hand, a variety of functional metals are available to print designs from prototypes to production series.
Exploring the Possibilities of Direct Metal Print
A fully digital workflow for building direct metal print orthodontic appliances such as the hyrax is now possible using CAD/CAM with 3D printing. This technique eliminates all of the initial issues associated with getting an impression including gag reflex, patient discomfort, and problems resulting from impression material such as dimensional changes and air entrapment.
Another advantage is no need for separators (needed with conventional molars bands) because the printed hyrax is a digital model. This means that the bands surround the molars, without a need to extend into the interdental space. As a result, there is one less visit to the dentist, no painful separators, and no printing of the physical study models.
Moreover, a copy of the impression in the digital archive makes replacement simple should an appliance break.
More Advantages with This Additive Manufacturing Technology
In addition, the treating orthodontist controls the design by adapting the distribution of the differential force transferred to the dentition. In this way, individualized forces transfer from the expansion screw to the dentition.
Additional advantages associated with our direct metal print include:
- Production of small and extremely complex shapes with no need for tooling.
- High-quality parts and serial part manufacturing at the tightest tolerances.
- Industry’s best surface finished parts with exceptional accuracy.
- Accommodate innovative part design versus conventional processes.
- Topology optimized parts and mass customization.
- Complex and thin-walled structures allow significant part weight reduction.