Forbes reports on yet another launch by 3D printing behemoth 3D Systems. The company has announced a brand new scalable 3D printing system aimed at manufacturers.
3D Systems “launched its Figure 4 production platform, a system which the company says produces plastic parts 50 times faster than comparable 3D printing systems. The system is both modular and scalable, ranging from single-print engines to systems comprising 16 or more print engines.”
As Vyomesh Joshi, 3D Systems’s President and CEO, elaborates, “the system is an ultra-fast scalable platform working across verticals – aerospace, automotive, healthcare, dental, and durable goods. It’s configurable for different applications.”
3D Systems plans to target the dental industry first with their Figure 4 production platform. As Joshi explains, “we think there’s a $3.7 billion opportunity for 3D printing in dentistry by 2021.” 3D printing provides several advantages when it comes to applications in the dental industry.
“One of these is the accuracy of the fit – because many dentists today already make use of 3D scanners for their patients, it’s a simple step to use those scans to 3D print items like crowns and dentures. The 3D printing can also produce dental devices faster than traditional milling techniques.” As Joshi gleefully points out: “our system can print 20-30 crowns in fewer than 15 minutes, which is the same time it takes most milling solutions to produce a single crown.”
“3D Systems’s first target in the dental industry will be large dental labs, who manufacture dental apparatuses on a large scale. But because the system is modular, they’ll also be looking at smaller labs as well as some large dental practices that have already been insourcing some of their manufacturing.”
Joshi concludes, however: “this is not just a dental story. We are going to do this for every single vertical. From dentists to auto companies. That’s the big story.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Forbes