Inside Dentistry
June 2019
Volume 15, Issue 6

Passion Drives 3D Printing Leader

SprintRay strives to make additive technology accessible to everyone in dentistry

SprintRay co-founder and CEO Amir Mansouri, PhD, says a customer once told him that SprintRay was "all passion and service." That seems to be an apt assessment of the 5-year-old company, which Mansouri co-founded with the goal of making high-resolution, 3D printing more accessible and affordable for everyone.

"We love 3D printing, we love product development, and we love dentistry," Mansouri says. "When we make a product, our process is guided by these three passions. Because we design, manufacture, and support all of our own products, you can see that passion in every step of the printing process."

Pivoting to dentistry early in the company's existence was a key turning point that Mansouri refers to as the best decision that he and his colleagues ever made. SprintRay's MoonRay has been established as one of the most user-friendly, fast, and accurate 3D printers on the market.

"Each patient better served by a doctor with a 3D printer is a small realization of our original vision," Mansouri says. "The community we serve is full of bright innovators who push the boundaries of treatment quality. Because of them, we know that the result of our work is that people receive better, more affordable oral care."

In addition, we have a large group of doctors whose practices have been financially revitalized by the implementation of in-office 3D printing. Our products present opportunities for high-value, speedy return on investment. With the current downward pressure on fees and the trend of direct-to-consumer products that don't involve the dentist, our customers are finding that 3D printing can be a great solution.

For doctors who are interested in this new technology, SprintRay considers three principles to be nonnegotiable for a dental 3D printer. The first is material compatibility. "A 3D printer that cannot use the industry's top FDA-approved materials is not a dental printer," Mansouri says. "Being able to fabricate direct-placement appliances adds so much potential return on investment to a machine that is going to be used for dental purposes."

The second principle is user-friendliness. This allows dentists to spend more of their time with their patients instead of troubleshooting their production tools.

The third principle is customer support. "We make printing as easy as possible, but things don't always go according to plan," Mansouri says. "When that happens, a Facebook user group alone is not adequate. Providing technicians who offer live phone and email support is the bare minimum, and adding live training and resources is even better."

The next step, Mansouri says, is making the print process even more seamless via new partnerships, integrations, and software. "We want dentists to experience effortless integration between their 3D printers, scanners, and treatment plan software," he says. "The long-term goal is to put a 3D printer in every dentist's office."

We need to continue to provide outstanding value and listen very closely to what our customers want. Thankfully, we have an incredible community of dentists who are very vocal about what works and what doesn't. Of course, the most common questions from dentists regarding the future of 3D printing revolve around the fabrication of definitive restorations. Mansouri says to stay tuned, and again, his passion is evident.

"I cannot say too much about this yet," he says, "but I am very excited about some of the things that we have in development."

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