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Industrial 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal’s healthcare business unit Desktop Health has announced the launch of its first proprietary Digital Light Processing (DLP)-powered machine.
Available in entry-level, ‘Pro’ and ‘Pro XL’ iterations, Desktop Health’s ‘Einstein‘ 3D printer features the same DLP architecture as the systems of fellow Desktop Metal firm EnvisionTEC, but its performance is also boosted by a new technology called ‘HyperPrint,’ that effectively provides it with a build speed boost of up to 50%.
Alongside Einstein, the firm has released another FDA-cleared resin too, in the shape of Flexcera Smile Ultra+, which it claims is “one of the strongest ever to receive clearance for permanent use.” When deployed together, these products are designed to enable dentists to more rapidly 3D print realistic, patient-specific prosthetics, ranging from crowns, veneers and bridges, to inlays and onlays.
“Combining advanced resin science with 3D printing technology delivers superior strength, aesthetics and durability,” said Michael Jafar, CEO of Desktop Health. “Beautiful, functional, same-day dental prosthetics with ceramic-like strength are now possible – with the added bonus of cutting patient waiting times from weeks to mere hours.”
“The Einstein 3D printer, coupled with our next-generation Flexcera Smile Ultra+ resin, is a major breakthrough for the dental community.”
Desktop Metal’s clinical business unit
Since its foundation less than a year ago, in March 2021, Desktop Health has rapidly expanded its activities, with the aim of establishing a portfolio of 3D printing technologies that “drive the advancement of personal healthcare.”
Desktop Health has already built up a strong 3D bioprinting offering, first by inheriting EnvisionTEC’s Bioplotter platform following its $300 million acquisition by Desktop Metal, then by buying the rights to ‘PhonoGraft,’ a technology that with further R&D, could be used to regenerate the human eardrum, as well as cardiovascular and neuronal tissues.
Through the Shop System of its parent firm, Desktop Health has also begun offering chrome cobalt binder jetting to dental clientele, enabling them to produce custom bridges, crowns, partial dentures and guides without having to engage in CNC machining, at a throughput of 32 partial dentures per four-hour production cycle.
Similarly, the business’ ability to address the lucrative dental 3D printing market has been boosted by Desktop Metal’s purchase of EnvisionTEC as well. Based around its patented Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing (CDLM) process, EnvisionTEC’s systems have already gained a strong orthodontic foothold, thus with its Einstein launch, Desktop Health now appears to be putting this know-how to good use.
Desktop Health’s Einstein Series
Designed to address the varying accuracy, speed and versatility needs of dental 3D printing users, ranging from those of clinicians to lab scientists, the Einstein is available in three configurations. The first of these, effectively an entry-level version, features a 7.48″ x 4.21″ x 4″ build volume, which is much smaller than that of the 9.8″ x 5.5″ x 6.5″ Pro XL, but is still said to be more than sufficient for everyday use.
By contrast, the machine’s Pro and Pro XL editions are designed for deployment on a larger scale by labs and specialists, with the need for more capable systems, hence at 92µm and 95µm, they have a higher native resolution than the base model. Weighing in at 150 lbs, the Pro XL is by far the heaviest iteration to boot, but it also comes fitted with a 4K chip, that with mechanical pixel shifting, is able to reach an accuracy of 45µm, making it a significant step above the other Einsteins.
Where the machines are similar, is that they each run at a wavelength of 385nm using Desktop Health’s ‘NanoFit 385’ technology, which is said to yield implants with “an accurate fit, natural-looking finish and stunning clarity.” Likewise, the Einsteins are all fitted with ‘HyperPrint,’ a productivity enhancement that harnesses the power of heat and a closed-loop software upgrade, to deliver a speed boost of up to 50%.
Using the dental version of the Envision One as a benchmark, which features an already-impressive build speed of up to 45 mm/hour, the Einstein could therefore be capable of curing material at a pace of 68mm per hour, giving it the potential to deliver a significantly higher dental prosthetic throughput than its predecessor.
Introducing a ‘next-gen’ Flexcera
Initially-launched as the ‘Flexcera Smile’ two years ago, which was mainly designed for the production of temporary dental restorations, the new Smile Ultra+ resin is significantly more robust. In large part, this is due to the material’s long chain chemistry, as well as its integrated ceramic content, which according to Desktop Health, makes it up to three times more fracture-resistant than “select competitors.”
Flexcera Smile Ultra+ also features a high-level of moisture resistance, enabling prosthetics produced to avoid discoloration, while its natural overall aesthetic provides resulting implants with a lifelike translucence that’s said to make them ideal for applications within smile restoration.
When it comes to certification for end-usage, the material has gained 510(k) Class 2 medical device clearance from the FDA, meaning that it can be used in the production of permanent dental prosthetics. This accreditation stems from the certification of Desktop Health’s Flexcera Base resin in May 2021, which at the time, Jafar hailed as a step that would kick off “a remarkable new era in dentistry.”
With its latest material, it’s thought that Desktop Health’s dental revolution can now enter full swing, and early adopters of the new Einstein and Flexcera, like dentist Dr. August de Oliveira, are already finding that they yield high-quality results.
“As a dental professional, I see first-hand how the personalization of 3D printing for healthcare is impacting my patients,” explains de Oliveira. “For me, the combination of the Einstein 3D printer and Flexcera Smile Ultra+ resin will help this industry finally deliver applications with stunning clarity, a perfect, customized fit and an impressively natural-looking finish.”
“Patients care about the procedures offered by their dentists, and many are now considering switching to a dentist who uses more advanced technology.”
Technical specifications and pricing
Below are the technical specifications for Desktop Health’s entry-level, Pro and Pro XL Einstein 3D printers. Each system is available to order now at $8,999, $19,999 and $34,999 respectively. Those interested in finding out more about the machines’ capabilities can do so here.
|Einstein||Einstein Pro||Einstein Pro XL|
|Build Envelope||7.48″ x 4.21″ x 4″||7.09″ x 3.98″ x 6″||9.8″ x 5.5″ x 6.5″|
|XY Native Resolution||99µm||95µm||92µm|
|Enhanced XY Resolution||65µm||63µm||45µm (with pixel shift)|
|Dynamic Layer Thickness||25-150µm||25-150µm||25-150µm|
|Footprint||16″ x 16″ x 27.5″||16″ x 16″ x 30.5″||28.7″ x 18.9″ x 63″|
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Featured image shows Desktop Health’s entry-level Einstein 3D printer. Image via Desktop Health.