Across the globe demand for Removable Partial Denture (RPD) frames is booming, with France seeing particularly sharp growth due to an increase in patient reimbursements.
For some dental labs, the only way to keep up with the new orders is to add another printer.
But what if you could increase your output without buying a new machine?
This is what France-based Fusion Dentaire Occitanie achieved thanks to Oqton’s dense interlocked nesting feature for additive manufacturing of RPD frames. Configured in just a few clicks, this feature allowed them to double their metal printer’s throughput.
Fusion Dentaire Occitanie is a dental production centre on a rapid growth trajectory, working long days and weekends, hiring more people and using Oqton to automate data preparation time. They are even expanding their machine park with automated polishing and a second metal printer to keep up with the orders.
However, the delivery of the printer was unexpectedly delayed, which meant that the dental centre was facing the prospect of having to refuse new customers.
In a bid to forestall this situation, Fusion Dentaire Occitanie co-owner Franck le Meur reached out to Oqton’s customer support team and discussed the possibility of using the interlocked nesting feature to fit more RPD frames in a single build.
Interlocked, or high-density nesting is a unique method of placing RPD frames for metal 3D printing developed by Oqton.
In general, nesting refers to the printing preparation stage in which you aim to pack as many parts as possible onto one build plate to save costs and increase productivity.
In Oqton’s Manufacturing OS, parts are automatically nested to achieve maximal machine productivity. For printing RPD frames, the software initially ignores supports and positions the parts so that they are interlocked and the nest density is higher. Supports are then recalculated, and generated to be shared between the frames.
Just an hour after le Meur’s call, Oqton’s application engineer adjusted the settings, talked the Fusion Dentaire Occitanie team through the steps, and set up the first build together with them.
Without prior test runs, they successfully produced a build with a record-breaking number of parts. A machine that initially printed on average four frames in three and a half hours now had an average output of eight to nine frames in just four hours on a Trumpf TruPrint 1000 machine. That’s an increase of almost 100%.
Other dental labs have been using Oqton’s interlocked 3D nesting feature for RPD frames to increase output too. You can read about Crown Ceram, a French dental prosthetics company that started using our Manufacturing OS in 2020. In addition to interlocked nesting, with Oqton they reduced data preparation time for the RPD frames from one hour to build ten parts to 15 minutes.