When it comes to the most suitable field for 3D printing application, the first one I could think of is probably the medical and dental treatment. Our team previously talked about how additive manufacturing is influencing these industries. Now with the launch of r.Pod® Desktop 3D Printer from Arfona, this storm is still spreading wildly.
Developed jointly by the Brooklyn 3D printing startup and Valplast, a dental materials manufacturer, r.Pod® Desktop 3D Printer claims to be the only 3D printer optimized and approved for printing Valplast®, the leading brand of flexible nylon resin for partial dentures and appliances.
Fused filament printing
In a traditional dental clinics, the dentist usually uses resin type printers to make prototypes. However, as resin is actually not supposed to put into a human’s mouth directly, dentists have to seek other ways to produce the end-use parts. What’s special about fused filament printing is that, though the material is not easy to be printed with common printers, it is most suitable to be made into end-use parts because its biocompatibility to a human mouth.
“The ability to create end-use parts is the most exciting feature of the r.Pod® printer. In the past dental thermoplastics had to be either injection molded or vacuum formed, but the possibility to now 3D print them opens up a whole new world of CAD/CAM materials that didn’t exist before. This is particularly interesting for those who work with digital impressions because now there is now a completely digital workflow for restorations like Valplast® that in the past required physical impressions and traditional fabrication techniques.” (Arfona CEO Justin Marks)
r.Pod® is a dual extrusion 3D printer, containing two nozzles that can be used to print parts with removable support material or multicolor/multimaterial parts. The same process that is used to print Valplast® can be used to print other types of nylon and flexible filament with Arfona’s removable support material. The complete line of Taulman and NinjaFlex® filaments can also be printed with ease on the r.Pod. A single extruder version is available for customers who do not require multimaterial printing. Both models feature the Flexion™ extruder and include a copy of Simplify3D® software with each purchase.
“We are thrilled that we can now move past the rapid prototyping stage and directly into additive manufacturing for Valplast® appliances. Our knowledge of partial denture fabrication coupled with the most cutting edge technology is a slam dunk for labs who wish to go fully digital in their denture department.” (Peter Nagy, CEO of Valplast International Corp)
Feature Image: Arfona