Dentists could soon be 3D-printing your crowns, dentures and more

Form 3B
(Image credit: Formlabs)

Formlabs now has a 3D printer aimed specifically at dentists, and capable of producing the likes of dentures more speedily – and more cost-effectively – than existing processes.

The Form 3B – a fresh dentist-targeted spin on the Form 3 printer which came out earlier in 2019 – is optimized to work with Formlabs’ dental resins. It uses stereolithography or SLA, an advanced 3D printing technique whereby liquid resin is hardened into a solid object using projected ultraviolet light.

As TechCrunch reports, Formlabs says that the printer is currently capable of producing crowns and bridges, dentures, clear retainers, custom mouth guards, splints, prototype models and more.

In actual fact, though, this is a bit more than just a 3D printer. Formlabs has created a ‘Formlabs Dental’ division and offers an entire Dental Service Plan.

Planning for the future

So the Form 3B might cost a thousand dollars more than the basic Form 3 – it starts at $4,999 – but that includes software to tie into a dental practice’s existing workflow, plus a year of the aforementioned Dental Service Plan (as well as a liter of resin).

The service plan includes full training and priority support (from a team of certified dental specialists), along with ‘proactive check-ins’ and regular equipment diagnostics. Furthermore, there is a printer hot-swap facility whereby if the Form 3B breaks, the client gets a new printer sent over as opposed to having to wait for the faulty model to be shipped away, repaired, and sent back.

Furthermore, Formlabs notes that it’s acquiring Spectra, the company’s main resin supplier, in order to be able to take better control and push forward with making medical-grade resins.

Those interested in the new Form 3B can check out an upcoming live product demo to find out more, as outlined in the below tweet.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).