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3D Printing in Dentistry

Three-dimensional printing was once an extremely expensive and complex undertaking. Now, 3D printers are available for home and office use and dentists around the world are finding new and exciting ways to use this technology to improve patient outcomes.

Ready-to-Use Files

In order to print a 3D object, you must first use specialized software to create instructions for the printer. There are many pre-existing designs available for download either free or for a fee online. 

National Institute of Health: The NIH 3D Print Exchange allows users to upload and share their files for 3D printing projects. Users can also search their extensive collection to find files they can use or adjust for their own project. http://3dprint.nih.gov/discover

Pinshape: 3D files are available to download, some for free and others for a fee. Dentistry related items include a tooth, a digital activator splint, double and hybrid night guard splints, and a Herbst cast splint. http://bit.ly/1Eajz0a 

Autodesk 123D: 3D files are available to download (many for free). Dentistry related items include a variety of teeth and dental casts. Searching “dental” will produce the most results. http://www.123dapp.com/Gallery/content/all

CG Trader: 3D files are available to download for a fee. Dentistry related items include implants, teeth and gum models, a dental bridge, and teeth with pathologies. http://www.cgtrader.com/3d-models?page=2&keywords=teeth+3d+models

GrabCAD: 3D files available for download for free (with registration). Dentistry related items include implants, prosthesis, crowns and veneers, models, etc. Searching “dental” will produce the best results. https://grabcad.com/library?per_page=20&query=dental

STL Finder: 3D files available for download, some are free and others for a fee. Dentistry related items include prosthesis, tools (dental mirror, dental clip tray), and implants. Searching “dental” will produce the best results. http://bit.ly/1LnMM7k 

TurboSquid: 3D files available for download for a fee. Dentistry related items include tools, dental models, implants and teeth. Searching “dental” will produce the best results. http://www.turbosquid.com/Search/Index.cfm?keyword=dental

Software

If you would like to create your own items for printing, there are several software packages available for creating three-dimensional objects that can then be printed. 

3DTin: Free, provided you share your files under Creative Commons licensing. Choose from a library of 3D shapes or create your own sketch. http://www.3dtin.com/

FreeCAD: Open source (free) downloadable software for 3D modelling. http://www.freecadweb.org/

Tinkercad: Free, easy-to-learn online app anyone can use to create and print 3D models https://www.tinkercad.com/

Cubify Invent: Downloadable software, cost is $49 USD. You can send your items to them for printing. http://cubify.com/products/invent

123D Design: The free version gives you access to most features, but a premium version is available for at a cost. http://www.123dapp.com/design

DesignSpark Mechanical: Free downloadable software (Windows only). Add on modules are available for a fee. http://bit.ly/1eFEMfS

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