New value-added opportunities for dental technology laboratories


The third 'CAD/CAM and Rapid Prototyping in Dental Technology' specialist forum

The third 'CAD/CAM and Rapid Prototyping in Dental Technology' specialist forum, taking place in Erfurt on 24 and 25 May, provides an overview of the latest trends in digital design and manufacturing in dental technicians' work. On a practical and comprehensive basis, dentists and suppliers from the dental market can find out about what is possible both today and in the near future.

Complete development, precisely tailored products

Computer supported production procedures are now an established part of many skilled trades, and have radically changed the professional profiles as a result. This process is taking place more and more quickly all the time. In the area of dental technology, a very wide choice of technologies and possible applications now exists that is increasingly difficult to appreciate - and not only for the layperson. Owners of dental laboratories frequently do not know how they should respond, which technology is the most suitable, and when it is worth making an investment at all. This year's specialist forum on dental technology provides many answers to these and other questions. There may not be many blanket solutions, yet the combination of computer-supported design and manufacturing is not only opening new technical approaches - it is also offering business-related options. Antonius Köster, modelling craftsman and initiator of the specialist forum: "Dental technicians have special knowledge - they sometimes have to find new strategies for applications. If, for example, they develop drafts for dental technology restorations using digital tools on the computer, then they have many different possibilities for realising them: on the basis of data communications, they can use production capacity which they are not able to provide themselves - and which they do not necessarily have to provide themselves."
Implants produced using CAD/CAM solutions can be planned more precisely and are more accurate than conventionally manufactured products. Analyses of chewing movements can be integrated in planning and construction, for instance, and therefore lead to uniform ergonomic solutions. In addition to this, Rapid Manufacturing not only saves time during production, it also spares patients one to two visits to the doctor.

New solutions with materials, production and the creation of value

At the third 'CAD/CAM and Rapid Prototyping in Dental Technology' specialist forum, new materials are set to be presented. These enable, for instance, metal-free working and the solving of old manufacturing problems. The use of generative, machined and combined processes also offers a wide range of new approaches for the area of dental technology. Further contributions deal with differing approaches and solutions for the area of implantology.
The extremely high cost investments in new CAD/CAM-supported processes can initially scare many business-owners off. Discussions on the choice of the suitable systems on the second day of the event will make the decision easier for the users. An explanation is also provided of the value creation possibilities that are offered by external production capacities without firms having to invest their own capital.

Perspective - network - outlook

The specialist trade fair that is taking place at the same time invites conference participants to exchange their ideas with the speakers, the different suppliers and additional contact partners. This means that they can deepen the knowledge they have gained in the presentations and make new contacts. The implementation of innovative ideas developed in small handicraft businesses often fails because the capacity levels are too limited to develop them for practical suitability. The Rapid.Tech in Erfurt offers many opportunities to discuss projects with colleagues and other companies and to find possibilities for product realisations. A glance over the precipice into the other presentations also promises interesting impulses: processes from the area of aviation and medical technology have already found a way into the dental market. The trade fair also offers visitors a view of the near future: a lot of what is presented at the trade fair as a prototype will soon be marketable.

The world of additive manufacturing visits Erfurt

The 'CAD/CAM and Rapid Prototyping in Dental Technology' specialist forum is taking place in the scope of the 'Rapid.Tech 2011' specialist trade fair and users' conference. From 24 to 25 May, experts will meet in Erfurt for the eighth time to share ideas and discussions about the current positions and new trends in the area of generative manufacturing procedures.

The improved levels of precision, the optimised quality of the components and the hugely expanded range of materials are making direct manufacturing using generative processes interesting to more and more sectors. This year's Rapid.Tech is mapping out this development and offering both 'old hands' and newcomers superb opportunities for expanding their knowledge and contacts. Accompanying the specialist trade fair, the users' meeting, the 'CAD/CAM and Rapid Prototyping in Dental Technology', 'Medical Technology', 'Aviation' specialist forums and the Design-Engineers' day will provide a current overview of the status and the development of the production of prototypes and the direct production of end products and their components.

With the 5th STUDENT DESIGN AWARD for Rapid Manufacturing, endowed with a 6,000 Euro prize, talented young newcomers get the chance to stand out through the creative use of generative manufacturing procedures.

The programme of the specialist 'CAD/CAM and Rapid Prototyping in Dental Technology' forum and that of the users' meeting, the Design-Engineers' day, as well as additional specialist forums and information on the STUDENT DESIGN AWARD are available for downloading in the internet at