Milling machine vs 3D printer

Hayden40

Hayden40

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Hi everyone,
We are looking for doing some investment on digital equipment to improve our quality.
We are thinking of to buy ( or lease) a 3D printer to print dentures or to have a milling machine?
The question is can we use the same milling machine to fabricate denture, crowns and framework as well.
Please let me know what do think and which option the best to increase the productivity and the quality.
Thanks
 
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Brett Hansen CDT

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We have a PM7 from Ivoclar. I know there are labs that are using it to mill dentures. We also have an Asiga 4K printer which people are using to print dentures. I can't speak to the quality of either milled or printed dentures because we are a fixed lab. I will say, I think you need both a mill and a printer. A mill is the most important, but if your clients start going digital, you will want a printer to fabricate the models as well. Also, printing veneers is better than milling. We are starting to transition all of our wax patterns to our printer instead of milling them because they fit better.
 
SarahGalecki

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Both work great, but I would recommend the milling machine if you can afford it! It allows you more options to grow and fabricate.
 
Brett Hansen CDT

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If you are looking for your first mill. The Wieland/Zenotec/Ivoclar Mini mill was our first mill and is was great to learn on. We still have it although it hasn't been used in three years since we got the PM7.
 
bigj1972

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If your gonna spend the money, might as well do it right.
PM7
 
CoolHandLuke

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or you could call Axsys 248-926-8810, you'd do well with a 5x450 or 5x500
 
Car 54

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PM7, give me the Programat CAM any day of the week.
 
CoolHandLuke

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whats the appeal of the Programat CAM?
 
Car 54

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Ease of use, it's not overly complicated when and where it doesn't need to be.
Granted I was using the Wieland CAM, so the transition was easy, but dang, it's so quick and user friendly.
Fast calculations, also doesn't hurt :)

I'm sure Hyperdent is wonderful too, if I would have started out with that.
That is the CAM Axsys mills run, correct?
 
Brett Hansen CDT

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I think of the PM7 like an iPhone. I am sure there are comparable mills out there for cheaper, but the PM7 is a great mill and it is pretty much plug and play. The support from Ivoclar is also top notch.
 
CoolHandLuke

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Ease of use, it's not overly complicated when and where it doesn't need to be.
Granted I was using the Wieland CAM, so the transition was easy, but dang, it's so quick and user friendly.
Fast calculations, also doesn't hurt :)

I'm sure Hyperdent is wonderful too, if I would have started out with that.
That is the CAM Axsys mills run, correct?
yes, and while i understand Easy to use is a great selling point, verifyability and the ability to error-correct i'd think would be a stronger selling point?

can you simulate your end result and see collisions with Programat CAM? does it let you customize your toolpaths in any meaningful way? can you rerun your job from the point where it broke a tool?
 
Car 54

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yes, and while i understand Easy to use is a great selling point, verifyability and the ability to error-correct i'd think would be a stronger selling point?

can you simulate your end result and see collisions with Programat CAM? does it let you customize your toolpaths in any meaningful way? can you rerun your job from the point where it broke a tool?

I don't know, I've never had to do that or go there :)
 
Brett Hansen CDT

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yes, and while i understand Easy to use is a great selling point, verifyability and the ability to error-correct i'd think would be a stronger selling point?

can you simulate your end result and see collisions with Programat CAM? does it let you customize your toolpaths in any meaningful way? can you rerun your job from the point where it broke a tool?
Yes, there is a simulation that we run before every job. Yes, if a tool breaks, you can restart the job. I don't customize my milling strategies. I know techs like John Wilson have. When I need a new strategy, I call up tech support and they set it up for me.
 
CoolHandLuke

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Yes, there is a simulation that we run before every job. Yes, if a tool breaks, you can restart the job. I don't customize my milling strategies. I know techs like John Wilson have. When I need a new strategy, I call up tech support and they set it up for me.
similar to our hyperdent rollout then. cool beans.
 
Car 54

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Yes, there is a simulation that we run before every job. Yes, if a tool breaks, you can restart the job. I don't customize my milling strategies. I know techs like John Wilson have. When I need a new strategy, I call up tech support and they set it up for me.

That's what I did in having them set up the .3mm bur strategy for zirconia. Let tech support do it, they've done it before.
I think I even had them do a .7mm for PMMA.
 
Brett Hansen CDT

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That's what I did in having them set up the .3mm bur strategy for zirconia. Let tech support do it, they've done it before.
I think I even had them do a .7mm for PMMA.
Yeah, I don't have time to get into the nuts and bolts of milling strategies. I need to know enough to do some troubleshooting on my own.
 
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Dave Gress

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It comes down to speed, volume, and cost of materials. Milled denture materials can be expensive, in comparison to dental print resins. There is also an opportunity cost associated with milling one gingiva, then milling one tooth arch at a time. With printing, multiple cases can be printed at the same time. Reprints are inexpensive and relatively quick compared to milling.
 

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