SensAble chooses 3D Systems' ProJet 3D Printer and adds Williams Dental Laboratory to its Authorized Production Center Programme

Woburn 30 May 2008SensAble Technologies has chosen the ProJet DP Dental Professional (DP) 3000 Production System, developed by 3D Systems Corporation, a provider of 3D modelling, rapid prototyping and manufacturing solutions, to be a part of its integrated SensAble Dental Lab System, which scans, designs and fabricates frameworks and substructures for dental restorations. In addition, Williams Dental Laboratory Inc. of Erie, Pennsylvania has become a SensAble Authorized Production Center (SAPC) for creating dental restorations, including partial frameworks and crown and bridge substructures.

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The SensAble Dental Lab System is the first integrated digital solution to support the production process for partial frameworks as well as crown and bridge substructures. This solution uniquely incorporates "3D virtual touch" technology so that lab technicians can "feel" the on-screen image - and work as naturally and directly with a computer-based system as they do when using traditional hand-waxing techniques.

Once the digital wax-up is complete, the SensAble Dental Lab System automatically sends the digital data to the 3D Systems' ProJet DP Production System. The ProJet printer uses an additive process to build up thin layers, creating an accurate resin pattern. The same 3D printer creates the resin patterns for both partials and crown and bridge. The easy-to-use system can manufacture more than 100 units per build cycle, depending upon restoration type. The patterns have a smooth surface finish and can be cast in metal using traditional methods and materials.

"We are excited to team up with 3D Systems and integrate the ProJet DP 3000 into our digital dental solution", stated Bob Steingart, SensAble's president and general manager of the company's dental division. "The ProJet DP 3000 System consistently produces accurate patterns that our customers can feel confident in casting, knowing that their dentists will get dental restorations with a great fit."

"We are pleased that our ProJet DP System has been chosen to play a significant part in this comprehensive, integrated dental solution from SensAble Technologies", stated Abe Reichental, 3D Systems' president and chief executive officer. "With the combination of our and SensAble's technologies, we are delivering a valuable digital solution to dental labs looking for a competitive advantage."

3D Systems' materials and systems reduce the time and cost of designing products and facilitate direct and indirect manufacturing by creating actual parts directly from digital input. These solutions are used for design communication and prototyping as well as for production of functional end-use parts.

As a new SensAble Authorized Production Center, Williams Dental Laboratory now can produce exceptional quality dental restorations with state-of-the-art digital efficiency and repeatability for other dental labs around the country, in addition to its own dentists.

SensAble Authorized Production Centers provide design and production services to labs that prefer to outsource the entire design and production process or that wish to just outsource fabrication. SAPCs rely on the SensAble Dental Lab System, a touch-enabled integrated solution for the scan, design, and fabrication of common dental restorations. SensAble Authorized Production Centers are certified to adhere to procedural and material guidelines that ensure consistently high-quality results using the SensAble Dental Lab System.

Since 1941, Williams has been a full service dental laboratory serving dentists and dental labs. "With SensAble, we finally have a digital system for the far more difficult task of creating partial frameworks on a computer", stated William Stroh, president of Williams Dental Laboratory. "Because we're now working digitally, the thickness, contour and fit of our restorations are precisely controlled, and our accounts appreciate the tremendous fit and rapid turnaround we can provide."

"We began to deliver appliances using the SensAble Dental Lab System in January", continued William Stroh, "and have delivered more than 400 digitally-designed partials to dentists and their patients thus far. The impact on our business has been significant. With the time saved using the SensAble system, we can create more partials utilizing the same number of resources. We now look forward to expanding our business as a SensAble Authorized Production Center. The SAPC programme provides every lab with the opportunity to benefit from SensAble's digital technology."

"William Stroh is a visionary and a practical business leader, and he was one of the first to integrate the SensAble Dental Lab System into his operations", stated SensAble's Bob Steingart. "As labs of all sizes look to take advantage of digital solutions that enhance their businesses, we are delighted to count Williams Dental Lab in the growing line-up of SensAble Authorized Production Centers that will set the standard for the production of digitally-designed dental restorations."

Williams Dental Laboratory is an over 65-year old full-service dental laboratory in Erie, Pennsylvania, with over 30 employees that provides partial frameworks, crown and bridge work, and other dental restorations to dentists and dental labs.

Founded in 1993, SensAble Technologies is a developer of 3D touch-enabled (force feedback) solutions and technology that allow users to not only see and hear an on-screen computer application, but to actually "feel" it. With 32 patents granted and over 6000 systems installed worldwide, SensAble Technologies' haptic technology is being used in applications ranging from surgical simulation and stroke rehabilitation, to dental restorations, to designing toys and footwear; as well as a range of research and robotic applications. The company markets its own 3D modelling solutions as well as its haptic devices and developer toolkits to medical, dental, design, and manufacturing companies; educational and research institutions; and OEMs. SensAble products are available through direct and reseller channels worldwide. More SensAble news can be found in the VMW April 2008 article Touch of Life Technologies and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons develop arthroscopic training system.


Leslie Versweyveld

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