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Case Study

Glidewell reaches new levels of productivity with Stratasys J3 DentaJet

octobre 30, 2023

Ilan Sapir, the Manager of Digital Treatment Planning at Glidewell Dental, has worked as a digital dentistry specialist for more than 15 years in a range of lab sizes and dental practices. He specializes in optimizing and manufacturing restorations using CAD/CAM equipment and a variety of materials.

In the past few years, Sapir has helped dental implant companies develop libraries and surgical kits and fabricate surgical guides for all types of implants, including Extramaxillary Zygomatic and Pterygoids. 

At Glidewell, Sapir’s department provides services for dentists that include planning implant positions, and fabricating surgical guides like tissue supports, bone supports, and stackable surgical guides with immediate loaded provisional at the day of surgery.

“At Glidewell Dental, we strive to provide the best treatment planning for our doctors with all types of surgical guides,” Sapir said. “As our department started to grow, it became a challenge to deliver to our customers on both speed and capacity, without compromising on quality.”

Glidewell develops guides that incorporate immediate loading of healing and long-term provisional components for the day of surgery, including stackable surgical guides. They found that some of their printing technologies were unstable and forced them to deal with print failures and accuracy issues, causing delays and forcing the lab to remake models.

“Our main challenge was inconsistency in printed surface results and fitting parts in assembly,” Sapir said. “We had lots of printing failures overnight, and we had to have long post-processing to get to the final result. This created a lot of backlogs.”

With the Stratasys J3 DentaJet, Glidewell has been able to triple its production, while ensuring high quality and consistent parts. Sapir called the new printer a “game changer” for Glidewell and its customers because of its capacity, accuracy, and ease of use. 

The J3 DentaJet is a part of the Stratasys DentaJet series, a line of professional-grade 3D dental printers that use PolyJet technology to facilitate simultaneous printing of multi-material applications. It can produce mixed trays of up to three materials at the same time, including a large quantity of implant models, surgical guides, and gingiva masks, all on the same tray. In the lab, Sapir uses the J3 DentaJet to produce surgical guides used for bone support, tissue support, and bone reductions.

guide glidwell

“Every job used to take around 10 hours,” Sapir said. “Now, we can triple, and sometimes even quadruple our capacity. With other technologies, we often had to run the machine overnight and pray to have good results in the morning. Now, thanks to the consistency of the printed parts, we can run the machine two or three times a day. Not only is the productivity of the platform unmatched, but the parts are much more accurate, especially when it comes to assembly.” With the J3 DentaJet, Sapir’s lab produces more than 30 guides a day, with no delays or backlogs. The lab usually waits just 30 minutes to two hours for the parts to be printed, and the longest process took up to three hours — but produced around 50 guides in one tray. 

Inside part of a J3 DentaJet printer

“Because there’s no delay in processing, I can print every model that I want and ship in the same day,” Sapir said. “We don’t have to split jobs into two or three sessions. Our capacity went from peaking at 40 surgical guides in 10 hours with 2 machines, to peaking at 100 surgical guides in 8 hours, with only one machine,” Sapir said. “The speed of processing is much faster than other technologies that we’ve tried.” PolyJet multi-material jetting technology prints the support structure along with the dental part, using a dedicated material that supports overhanging areas as each layer of resin is completely cured, ensuring that the final part is accurate and has the desired shape. 

There is no support scarring or decline in accuracy due to downward facing surfaces, as is prevalent with other types of 3D printing technology. Once the printing is complete, the parts are removed from the build tray and the support structure is washed off using a waterjet. There are no additional post processing steps required. 

“Complex geometries are where the J3 DentaJet wins them all,” Sapir said. “When you’re printing stackable guides or bone reduction guides with special connections, you need the sides of the model to come out perfectly flat. With the J3 DentaJet, we have zero adjustments when the guides come out of the machine or while washing them.”

planning model printing with J3, using grabcad software

Sapir noted that not only are parts seating perfectly on models, but the metal sleeves fit much better than they were with their other 3D printers. In addition to receiving exceptional results from the hardware, the nesting software, GrabCad, is also making nesting and fleet management seamless and simple. "We don’t spend any time on nesting,” Sapir said. “We drop parts onto the tray, fix any errors in the files with one click, and choose the strategy. Two minutes later, we load the job onto the tray and walk away.”


According to Sapir, the J3 DentaJet is perfect for labs that are looking to increase throughput and capacity. “I was really impressed with the speed, quality, and peace of mind I have with this machine,” Sapir said. “The J3 DentaJet is a different creature.”