Structo closes funding round, aims to launch automated dental 3D printing technology

Structo, a Singapore-based dental 3D printing solutions provider, has closed its latest funding round backed by government-linked global investor EDBI which will enable new automated products for mass production. 

“The recent rise in consumer demand for clear aligners, an orthodontic appliance that can only be produced through additive manufacturing, has accelerated the demand for more novel and customized solutions,” said Huub van Esbroeck, co-Founder and CEO of Structo.

“Partners such as EDBI have been instrumental in getting Structo to where it needs to be. [They] will help us continue to fulfill the dental industry’s need for novel solutions for mass customization through digital manufacturing.”

This round also includes GGV Capital, Wavemaker Partnersand Pavilion Capital.

Structo’s DentaForm 3D printer. Photo via Structo.

Structo and MSLA technology

Founded in 2014, Structo is said to be the only 3D printing company worldwide focusing solely on solutions for the dental industry. The firm originated from a team based at the National University of Singapore (NUS) who developed Structo’s liquid crystal mask technology (MSLA), a form of SLA printing.

MSLA has expanded into Structo’s dental additive manufacturing systems which are designed to achieve print speeds higher than conventional SLA printers at lower costs. The company has previously collaborated with Materialise to release software optimized for MSLA

Last year, Structo’s technology was adopted by ClearCaps, a dental aligner brand founded in Germany, to 3D print 250 clear aligner models for each of its 24 hours cycle. Most recently, California-based digital dentistry company uLab Systems partnered with Strcuto to streamline the production of orthodontic clear aligners.

3D printed dental aligner mold used to make the final product. Photo via ClearCaps.

Patient-specific customization

According to van Esbroeck, the dental industry calls for customization in every end-use product. Thus, following the investment round, Structo aims to further leverage automation for patient-specific products. van Esbroeck added, “EDBI’s support has allowed our team to develop capabilities in Singapore in engineering, product development, material sciences and manufacturing to push the boundaries of additive manufacturing.”

Chu Swee Yeok, CEO & President of EDBI, continued, “Structo is a great example of how an idea born in our local university can reach the global market with government-linked and private investors working closely together to provide funding at different stages of its growth. Such support is especially important in nurturing deep tech startups and ensuring a vibrant innovation ecosystem in Singapore.”

3D printed dental aligners. Photo via Structo.
3D printed dental aligners. Photo via Structo.

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Featured image shows 3D printed dental molds after MSLA process. Image via Structo.