Arfona Launches New Method for Printing Dentures
A new method of 3D printing partial dentures has been jointly developed by Arfona LLC and Valplast International Corp. Arfona, a Brooklyn 3D printing startup and Valplast, a dental materials manufacturer have entered into a joint distribution agreement that brings extrusion based 3D printing to the dental industry with the introduction of the r.Pod® Desktop 3D Printer. A fused filament printer, r.Pod® prints partial dentures, dental models, custom impression trays and soft tissue gingiva for implant models. The new r.Pod® printer is the only 3D printer optimized and approved for printing Valplast®, the leading brand of flexible nylon resin for partial dentures and appliances.
In an industry that is expected to reach $3.1 billion by 2020, fused filament printing is still largely unknown to dental labs. Typically not used in dentistry because of limitations on XY resolution and layer height, fused filament printing offers a number of advantages over more common resin type printers by creating end-use parts and dental appliances as opposed to prototypes or diagnostic appliances that are typically printed on DLP and SLA printers. Arfona CEO Justin Marks, CDT elaborates on the advantages of extrusion printing:
“The ability to create end-use parts is the most exciting feature of the r.Pod® printer. In the past dental thermoplastics had to be either injection molded or vacuum formed, but the possibility to now 3D print them opens up a whole new world of CAD/CAM materials that didn’t exist before. This is particularly interesting for those who work with digital impressions because now there is now a completely digital workflow for restorations like Valplast® that in the past required physical impressions and traditional fabrication techniques.”
r.Pod® is a dual extrusion 3D printer, containing two nozzles that can be used to print parts with removable support material or multicolor/multimaterial parts. The same process that is used to print Valplast® can be used to print other types of nylon and flexible filament with Arfona’s removable support material. The complete line of Taulman and NinjaFlex® filaments can also be printed with ease on the r.Pod. A single extruder version is available for customers who do not require multimaterial printing. Both models feature the Flexion™ extruder and include a copy of Simplify3D® software with each purchase.
“We are thrilled that we can now move past the rapid prototyping stage and directly into additive manufacturing for Valplast® appliances,” says CEO Peter Nagy of Valplast International Corp. “Our knowledge of partial denture fabrication coupled with the most cutting edge technology is a slam dunk for labs who wish to go fully digital in their denture department.”
The r.Pod® Desktop 3D Printer is available for pre-order exclusively from Arfona LLC and Valplast Corporation from now through the end of November with the first deliveries scheduled for December 2016. Further information is available at http://www.arfona.com or http://www.valplast.com and on the companies’ respective social media pages.
About Arfona LLC
3D manufacturing shouldn’t be complicated, nor should it be cost prohibitive. This is the guiding philosophy behind Arfona, a 3D manufacturing specialty company that provides innovative materials and equipment to consumers and professionals in many industries. Located in New York’s East Brooklyn Business District, Arfona aims to facilitate the spread of rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing by providing high quality, unique solutions for 3D manufacturing at affordable prices.
About Valplast International Corporation
Valplast International Corporation was founded in 1953 by Arpad and Tibor Nagy who are credited with pioneering the flexible partial denture. With the creation and development of Valplast® resin the Nagy’s were able to offer the dental industry an effective method for constructing aesthetic and comfortable partial dentures without the need for metal. Today Valplast is a leading dental manufacturer of dental materials, equipment and accessories that are distributed globally.