Photo via Formlabs.

Resin-based 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs has launched a new educational platform that aims to accelerate the adoption of 3D printing in the dental sector.

The Formlabs Dental Academy will offer online and in-person courses, step-by-step guides, webinars and other educational tools designed to enable dental professionals to implement additive manufacturing technologies in their practice.

"Formlabs Dental delivers 3D printers, materials and workflows to meet the needs of the dental industry and support efficient personalized care at affordable prices and improved patient outcomes," said Philipp Striebe, Global Dental Marketing Manager at Formlabs. "Dental Academy Formlabs is the next step for the industry to capture these benefits by growing the skills, knowledge and business of 3D printing professionals."

"The platform provides free online courses, educational content and practical seminars that allow both dental laboratories, dentists and orthodontists to begin or improve their knowledge and skills in the field of digital dentistry to be beneficial for both their practice and their practice FOR YOUR PATIENTS'.

Dental parts 3D printed on Formlabs systems. Photo via Formlabs.

Formlabs Dental 3D Printing Portfolio

Formlabs launched its Dental business unit in 2019 alongside its Form 3B 3D printer, a resin-based system specifically targeted at dental laboratories. The machine is capable of printing clear aligner and retainer models, diagnostic models, surgical guides, occlusal splints, casting models and dentures. 

At CES in January, the company unveiled the successor to the Form 3B, Form 3B +, featuring updated hardware and improved software. Based on proprietary technology of Formlabs Low Force Stereolithography, the Form 3B+ is equipped with high-intensity lasers and new material settings that enable print speeds up to 40% faster than its predecessor. 

Over the past few years, the company has continued to work toward its goal of making chairside 3D printing more accessible to dental practices. For example, in 2020 the company launched a new range of biocompatible resins with BEGO, which were aimed exclusively at dental professionals, followed by the launch of its Draft Resin for the orthodontic market, its permanent resin for crowns and a soft tissue starter pack.

In 2021, the company announced a slew of new hardware, software and materials announcements for its dental 3D printing business, and most recently entered into a new partnership with dental 3D scanner supplier Medit in an effort to simplify the in-office workflow for clinicians.

The Formlabs Form 3B printer workflow. Photo via Formlabs.

Identifying a gap in education

Integrating 3D printing into dental treatment plans can have several benefits, including more efficient workflows and giving patients access to more personalized and affordable treatments for custom dental models, crowns, dentures and implants. 

To date, more than 25 million dental parts have been 3D printed using Formlabs systems, but according to the company, there remains a gap in 3D printing education in the field, which in turn is holding back the adoption of the technology in the sector. 

To address this, Formlabs introduced Dental Academy, a free resource for dental professionals to unlock the benefits of additive manufacturing through comprehensive training and educational content. The educational platform aims to provide dental professionals with vital information on the uses and benefits of 3D printing, dental applications and materials to help them achieve the best clinical outcomes for their patients.

Eventually Formlabs Dental Academy aims to help dental professionals achieve improved productivity and print results when using additive manufacturing for a range of applications, and therefore increase user satisfaction among their patients.

The Dental Academy curriculum has been developed to support undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate education and has emerged from Formlabs' work with industry leaders, educators and educational institutions such as the London Dental Institute, SWECADD and Capacitación Pérez Giugovaz.

The platform offers a variety of courses delivered online and in person at the company's offices in Boston, Berlin and Budapest, as well as at other trusted private education centers. Program focus areas include an introduction to SLA 3D printing and its use in orthodontic and restorative dentistry applications, as well as the benefits of digital dentistry.

Participants will also receive training on the basics of the technology, the materials available, and how the technology can be applied in the clinic and laboratory. 

"The Swedish organization for Computer Aided Digital Dentistry (SWECADD) is honored to be part of the Formlabs Dental Academy," said Dr. Michael Braian, founder of SWECADD and a key opinion leader at Formlabs Dental. "Formlabs has long been at the forefront of additive manufacturing in dentistry, and now they have a great educational portal for everyone."

After launch, courses will be available in English, Spanish, Swedish and German, and the platform will continue to evolve as new content is added. Upcoming Dental Academy courses can be viewed here:

Dental model and aligner 3D printed on Form 3B. Photo via Formlabs.


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