Smile! Beautiful teeth for everyone

Item date:

9 August 2022

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Praktijkverhalen

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Lake3D gives everyone the prospect of a beautiful smile. Even people on a slightly less affluent budget for healthy teeth. How? By printing dental elements using a new technology: material jetting. Indistinguishable from real teeth and just as strong.

 

Petra Doelman, COO of Lake3D, explains:

 

What exactly is that, 'material jetting'? 

"Material jetting uses printheads in the same way as in the printing industry. It allows us to print objects layer by layer with enormous precision. And if we use several printheads at the same time? Then we can combine materials. And add color and gloss, for example. That's how we make that unique smile possible, also for people who don't have a big budget for this, such as the elderly. Like the elderly." 

 

Strong and wear-resistant

Petra Doelman is tremendously excited about the possibilities of this new way of printing. "With the existing additive manufacturing techniques, it is not possible to develop dental prostheses, for example. The material is simply not strong enough for that. With material jetting we can realize these properties. In this way we can have correct prostheses rolling out of the printer with a high degree of wear resistance;

"With this technology, we can make strong teeth roll out of the 3D printer"

From temporary use ...

Petra explains that while 3D printers are currently being used in the dental market, they only print models and dentures for temporary use. "Our project focuses on printing dental elements for permanent use, such as crowns."

... toward permanent solutions

"This means that we are not only building a material jetting printer. We are also developing a new material and software to convert the cad cam design into instructions for the printer. This will allow us to print prototypes at the end of the project. And then present them to experts in the dental market."

Networking, networking, networking

Lake3D sought contact with LIOF for this project. Petra: "Without the support of LIOF, this project would not have gotten off the ground. With the loan from LIOF we were able to finance the project to a large extent. We also received useful feedback on our business and project plan, which undoubtedly improved our plans. In addition, LIOF opens doors for us. We benefit from valuable access to networks and we were able to give presentations at important conferences, for example. Such as Medica on the Move.

"That puts a smile on your face, doesn't it?"

Lake3D doesn't do it alone

This smart entrepreneur also collaborates with other companies. Like ChemStream in Antwerp. This company conducts research into the composition of the material. Chill at Chemelot performs the tests on the material and the prototypes. In addition, Lake3D works closely with a laboratory and a dental practice in Maastricht.

 

In Limburg and the rest of the world

Meanwhile, the printer and a first version of the software are ready. Petra: "This version can print teeth based on polymers. We are still working on the formulation of the composite material. So that we can make healthy and beautiful teeth available to everyone in the short term. Not only in Limburg and the Netherlands, but also in the rest of the world."

 

A good balance is half the battle

So great future plans! Finally, do the entrepreneurs have any smart tips for other entrepreneurs? "Make sure you have diversity in your team. And the right balance. Our three founders each have very different qualities and complement each other perfectly. In addition, our team fifty fifty consists of women and men, different nationalities and age groups. Great to see how well that works out!"

Lake3D team