Ortholine® provides a wide variety of specialty products, such as functional and removable appliances, retainers, space maintainers, clear aligners, snoring appliances, TMJ splints, sport protectors and more. The company also provides study models to clinics for treatment planning and assessment. In order to grow, Ortholine needed to enable faster throughput without compromising its high standards and without costly expansion of its technician staff and facilities.
Ortholine’s increasing number of case orders meant that the company needed to find more storage space for its models. Orthodontic appliances are often lost or damaged during the course of treatment so, as part of its services, Ortholine used to painstakingly label and store individual product models in the event they might be needed for making replacements. This required considerable physical storage space and took expensive man-hours away from client cases.
Ortholine opted for full CAD/CAM digital in-house production to streamline every aspect of its workflow, including receiving the patient’s initial dental impression, creating study models and computer aided manufacturing (CAM). Ortholine chose the 3Shape Ortho System™ for creating and working with digital models and the Objet Eden260TM 3D Printer for model and appliance manufacturing. 3Shape’s Ortho System helps to communicate directly with orthodontists online regarding specific cases and contains features for archiving digital models created by the scanner. The software also communicates directy with the Objet Eden 3D Printer without requiring extra conversion steps or overhead. 3Shape’s Ortho System™ includes the R700™ 3D scanner and OrthoAnalyzer™ CAD software. With the R700 scanner, Ortholine can capture both impressions and models. The software provides diagnosis and treatment planning tools.
The Objet Eden260V 3D Printing System provides fine-detail and smooth surface printing, even inside cavities which makes it ideal for the manufacture of orthodontic models and appliances. The Objet Eden 260V 3D Printer is easy to operate and its small footprint made it easy to integrate into the lab. The Objet 3D Printer contains unique automatic-run features that enable it to produce output completely unattended by operators for long periods of time – even over the weekend if needed.
The intuitive tools in 3Shape’s Ortho System enable Ortholine technicians to complete tasks in a fraction of the time it took in the past with manual methods. Technicians can now immediately initiate manufacturing of their digital models on the Objet 3D Printer while moving on to the next case. The daily production yield per technician increased dramatically in a very short time so Ortholine can offer its customers appliances and models with short delivery times and competitive prices.
Ortholine now provides efficient and low-cost storage services for its customers’ models and case histories with 3D scanning and the digital archiving features of 3Shape’s Ortho System. Ortholine also provides orthodontists with tools for virtual treatment planning and assessment without a physical model. These capabilities create new revenue streams while solving facility space problems. Digital storage also helps Ortholine streamline appliance replacement services, reduce administration costs and store full models without fear of damage. With the system’s intuitive search functions, the front desk staff can quickly retrieve cases, leaving Ortholine’s technicians free to focus on core products. Ortholine’s CAD/CAM investment was rapidly returned through higher revenues, faster throughput, rationalized production and reduced operation costs.