One of the questions that I often get asked is “how does 3D printing compare with milling?” To my mind, that’s lot like asking “how do social networks compare with email?” The two are similar, but social networks (like our beloved Dental Lab Network) offer vastly different advantages over conventional email.
The same holds true with 3D printing, I think, and it’s not just because I work at Objet that I say this. I think anyone who looks at the market will agree that digital dentistry is the future. More specifically, there are six reasons why 3D printing is a cost-effective alternative to milling:
1. Printing can reproduce complex shapes without requiring special strategies or use of special parameters to compensate for the size of the cutting tool
2. Curves, holes and more complex shapes are easier and more accurately reproduced with 3D printing.
3. Printers do not require burs. The nature of the printing itself gives excellent detail with out the constraints of the size of the smallest bur. There is nothing to break or change. The need to order and keep burs in stock is eliminated
4. Printing reproduces the object to be printed exactly as designed without waste.
5. You can print multiple parts at the same time.
6. Very easy to learn and operate. Requires very little training time
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