Inside Dental Technology
September 2021
Volume 12, Issue 9

Maximizing Efficiency When Printing Aligners

HeyGears A2D printers and software transform production capabilities with automation

Christian Saurman

NEOLab is among the largest orthodontic laboratories in the US, with more than 120 employees and 3,500 active dentists nationwide. With more than 90% of those dentists utilizing a digital workflow, printing capacity is always a top priority, especially when considering new printer brands. We were first introduced to HeyGears through industry connections, and after learning more about their equipment and software advantages, determined they are a perfect partner for our high-production laboratory.

Automation was our biggest draw to HeyGears. We began with the A2D printer, paired with the UltraNet management software, allowing us to automate our queue and allocate jobs to open printers. With the addition of Streamflow, the pre-processing software component, we were able to integrate automation even earlier into our process. Now, instead of manually nesting our files for print, we simply add to Streamflow and the software best arranges the print job for us. Suddenly, nesting 30 models takes only a few minutes of active time, and waiting jobs can be automatically sent to available printers.

Shortly after we implemented the A2D, we integrated the A2D Ortho printers with HiVE attachments, allowing us to carry automation through the rest of the printing process. The HiVE automatically removes finished models from the build tray, cleans the platform, and resets for the next job; our only manual input is physically removing the finished models from a holding area.

In particular, we find the A2D Ortho and HiVE have increased our throughput numbers, and lowered the amount of technician time required to do so. In traditional printing processes, models require considerable post-processing to be fabrication-ready. However, models off the A2Ds require only a quick rinse before they are ready for the production floor. Plus, with quick printing times, we can get even more models out of our print room every day.

Certainly, working with the technology has been a great experience for our laboratory, but so has working with the HeyGears team. This company is extremely responsive, and any requests from our technicians are met with fast answers and seemingly round-the-clock help. NEOLab has one of the longest-standing workflows of 3D printing in orthodontics, but the automated features of HeyGears technology have brought advantages to our process we have not found anywhere else.

Ultimately, our HeyGears team and technology have become key resources for us, and are part of our current foundation for ongoing growth.

Key Takeaways

› UltraNet software makes the A2D series printers extremely efficient in terms of management.

› Streamflow pre-processing software can automatically design based on a specific subject's requirements.

› The A2D Ortho with HiVE module brings efficiency and no required manual input during the whole printing process.

› The HiVE module makes the fully automatic workflow possible without any manual input and allows 24/7 continuous operation.

› HeyGears provides 24/7 online fast-response service.

About the Author

Christian Saurman
Andover, MA

Manufacturing Information

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions contained in the preceding material are not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.

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