A new resin enabled Glidewell to boost its throughput by more than a third. Does it deserve a place in your practice?

3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY is advancing at breakneck speeds. One example is Draft Resin, a new material innovation by Formlabs for printing orthodontic models at higher levels of speed and efficiency without compromising accuracy. Dental and orthodontic users can expect to print up to four times faster than with previous resins. Single models can be printed in under 20 minutes, opening same-day delivery to more orthodontic practices.

In revamping the properties of the original Draft Resin, Formlabs aimed at enabling the 3D printer to move faster. Another criterion was reducing post-processing time for faster, easier workflows. The result: a new core formula that’s more photo­reactive and can operate at lower temperatures than standard resins, accelerating print speed, UV curing and solvent washing.

To validate the new material, Formlabs ran a variety of models through dozens of its Form 3B, Form 2 and Form 3BL printers. Every part was 3D-scanned and checked against the original manufacturing file, as well as thermoforming appliances, which are fitted back to an original metal master model to ensure reliable print accuracy. Alongside internal validation, Formlabs also provi­ded materials and test parts to external dental laboratories.

For labs, Draft Resin enables improved production and efficiency, with over 94 models possible per day on a Form 3BL. Compared to Formlabs’ Grey Resin, which can print seven models in three hours and 16 minutes, Draft Resin accomplishes the same job and layer height (100 microns) in just one hour and 17 minutes. According to Formlabs, one prominent user, Glidewell, increased throughput by 34 percent using Draft Resin. Of course, those same advantages are available to private practices that have adopted 3D printing capabilities.