Renishaw installs the first metal additive manufacturing system in Australian dental lab

In an Australian first, global engineering company Renishaw has installed its AM400 metal additive manufacturing system at full-service dental laboratory, Proslab’s Melbourne facility. Chosen for its improved efficiency and accuracy over traditional methods, the new machine has increased the efficiency, quality and accuracy of Proslab’s removable partial denture production.

Proslab was founded over 30 years ago to provide a one stop shop for Australia and New Zealand’s dental industry. The company is focussed on furthering its offering by using technology and was the first to introduce CAD/CAM processes for denture frameworks 15 years ago.

To produce its removable partial dentures, Proslab used computer aided design (CAD), milled the pattern and manufactured using the traditional method, lost-wax casting. The process is time consuming and can lead to reduced accuracy, as a result of human error during the manual processing stage.

“It is very difficult to achieve a consistently high level of accuracy using lost-wax casting,” explained Alex Harris, Applications Engineer at Renishaw. “Additive manufacturing is a highly accurate technique for producing removable partial dentures. Each part is built up in layers of cobalt chrome, directly from the CAD file. This removes the additional casting steps whilst improving efficiency and accuracy.”

Damian Synefias, CEO of Proslab said, “Initially, Renishaw manufactured some test parts to demonstrate the capabilities of the machine. Its dedicated UK medical / dental additive manufacturing team then flew to Australia to conduct detailed training with our staff.

“Incorporating additive manufacturing into the production of dentures required significant changes to Proslab’s internal processes,” however the frameworks we produce are now guaranteed to fit every time,” continued Synefias. “We have increased our turnover as we have improved our turnaround time and eliminated 100 per cent of in-house errors. This means fewer reworks are necessary, benefitting both patients and prosthetists.”

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