Part 3: PrograPrint PR5 - Built by Technicians, for Technicians
Written by Martin Schmid CDT
3D printing technology has been around for many decades. In recent years, the level of sophistication has drastically improved, to the point where 3d printing technology is now transforming today's dental laboratory workflows. Additive manufacturing is a cost-efficient, high production, precision manufacturing process that continues to expand in capabilities from producing models, wax forms, splints and surgical guides and digital try-ins and full and partial dentures. As with all evolving digital technologies, however, dental laboratories continue to demand systems that are user-friendly, have little manual intervention and produce consistent results. When Ivoclar Vivadent began the development of the PrograPrint 3D printing system our first commitment was, to create a guaranteed workflow with the PR5, where splints and dies will accurately fit and where crown and bridge patterns burn out like real wax!
The Beginning of it all.
My colleagues on the R&D team and I set to work to create a 3D print technology and process that was built by technicians for technicians. Our goal was to maximize production and precision while minimizing guesswork throughout the entire print, clean and post-curing process. That meant a commitment to developing machines and materials that worked together in a completely validated workflow and providing operators with an incredibly easy and clean user experience. The journey to develop the next generation of additive manufacturing technology has been long and challenging as we pushed the envelope to meet our customers’ demands. We believe we succeeded with the launch of the PrograPrint 3D print system.
Each component has been truly designed and manufactured from the ground up with the demands of users in mind.
Accuracy in Workflow.
First we tackled the operation of the PrograPrint PR5 printer. Our customers requested the printer have a self-calibrating DLP light engine that ensures reliable and consistent high precision output across the entire 125x78mm build plate with no deformation of components at the edges. We developed a self-calibrating, high-definition DLP light engine with 4 million pixel resolution, and 49µm pixel size and 50µm layer thickness for print accuracy to meet that demand.
2 million pixel resolution,
4 million pixel resolution,
The Cartridge System.
To address users concerns about print material handling, contamination, and waste, we developed a truly innovative and unique cartridge system for easy and virtually contactless handling of the resin materials. Then we took the concern one step further by incorporating built-in automatic material recognition technology into the printer and an intuitive user interface that alerts operators to the level of the print material contained in the cartridge, informs users if the wrong material has been inserted for the application chosen and will automatically mix the resin before printing if the material has not been used for a while.
Material formulation was next.
The ProArt Print Wax, Splint and Model resin materials were formulated specifically for use in the PR5 printer. ProArt Print Wax produces wax forms for pressing or casting crowns and bridges that burn cleanly without leaving any residue. ProArt Print Splint produces clear, color stable surgical guides and splints that are strong but not brittle. ProArt Print Model offers long-term stability, detailed surface texture and a color similar to conventional die stone.
Ivoclar Vivadent’s research and development team won’t rest until you are satisfied that the innovative technologies brought forth to the marketplace meet your standards. PrograPrint’s coordinated system of materials and machines offer dental laboratories the 3D print precision and ease of use experience they demand.