[CASE STUDY] Metal 3D Printing in Dental Industry: HBD SLM 3D Printers in Dentek Lab

Anabelle Yearsdon
by Anabelle Yearsdon
Updated Jun 10, 2023 772

The Turkish province of Izmir is one of the global centers holding dozens of dental outsourcing laboratories and receiving orders for the production of dental and orthodontic appliances from Europe and the Middle East.

Modern dental production is virtually impossible without the use of advanced additive manufacturing technologies, primarily selective laser melting of metals.

Over the past two years, dental laboratories in Izmir have purchased more than 80 HBD SLM printers. Top 3D Shop representatives were able to talk to the managers of the largest laboratories and discuss the increased interest in this additive manufacturing equipment. According to estimates, the number of HBD SLM machines in Izmir may exceed one hundred as early as next year.

 

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About the company

Dentek was founded in Izmir in 1983. Today it is one of the largest dental laboratories in the European region: over 300 highly qualified specialists work with the latest equipment on an area of more than 3000 square meters. Specialists at Dentek provide services to about 60 thousand dentists from 12 European countries, including Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, and Belgium.

The company embarked on working with SLM systems in 2007. During two years, dental technicians were using two EOS SLM units for the manufacture of crowns and bridges. The excellent results prompted the management to expand their fleet of additive equipment.

In search for reasonably-priced metal 3D printers, the company opted for the Sisma brand, as at the time of the decision, EOS did not manufacture machines with the required build volume. In addition, Sisma offered SLM devices equipped with two lasers, which significantly speeded up the process of printing dental structures. Today, four Sisma units are in operation in the Dentek laboratory.

The following production expansion along with poor service support from the local Sisma subsidiary prompted the laboratory management to look further.

 

Equipment

The fabrication of denture frameworks is one of the most labor-intensive tasks. It was decided to reduce the production costs of these structures as much as possible. 

Having weighed all the pros and cons, Dentek opted for SLM printers from the Chinese company HBD. And the choice proved a success: after a couple of weeks of using the first machine, the laboratory ordered another shipment of three HBD units, followed by two more.

The HBD company entered the metal 3D printing industry in 2007 and launched its first 3D printer, the HBD-150, in 2013. Since then, HBD has expanded its lineup of equipment and released over a dozen of industrial SLM printers with different build volumes: from the HBD-80 with a 120 x 80 mm cylindrical shaped chamber to the HBD-1500 with a working area of 460 x 460 x 1500 mm.

The HBD-150D 3D printer is widely used for medical applications, primarily in dentistry. The machine is equipped with one or two 200W lasers and is widely employed to print dentures, crowns, and jaw implants.

The key specifications of the 150D include a cylindrical build volume of 150 x 100 mm, laser spot size from 40 to 80 microns, and layer height from 10 to 40 microns.

The system works with titanium, aluminum, chromium-cobalt, nickel alloy, as well as stainless and tool steel fine metal powders.

 

Why HBD?

The Dentek laboratory was looking for an affordable solution able to deliver decent results. After trying other companies’ machines, they were completely satisfied with the HBD 3D printers with their stability and cost-efficiency.

According to Berkan Öztaş, Deputy General Manager of Sales at Dentek, HBD SLM printers are the best in their class. The units are characterized by ease of integration, stability, reliability, print quality, and compatibility with metal powders from different manufacturers. 

Another strong point of these 3D installations is their high print speed, which is 40% faster than that of similar Sisma machines.

Besides, the Dentek management particularly enjoyed the prompt, qualified support given by the HBD team.

 

Bottom line

Due to their advanced printing capabilities, automated operation, and recognized ease of use, the HBD SLM systems are perfect for digital dentistry. These machines completely eliminate the process of waxing, embedding, and casting as well as reduce hidden costs, which allows for more economical production compared to traditional techniques. Thus, the printers of the company are great for professional use in medical treatment and other spheres, like automotive, research and development, jewelry, prototyping, and customization.

Anabelle Yearsdon
Anabelle Yearsdon
Updated Jun 10, 2023
About the expert
A linguist by profession and 3D enthusiast by passion. Spirited researcher of existing and new AM technologies, inquisitive tester of various devices, and a true connoisseur of creative ways. In addition to digital manufacturing, Ana enjoys learning new things, cooking for her loved ones, and chilling in video games.

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