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Dental 3D Printing - Precision

Dental 3D Printing - Precision

Dental 3D Printing

The Tech Details behind 3D Printers 

Part 3


SOL by Ackuretta dental 3D printer

The Tech Details behind 3D Printers - Part 3


In our previous article, we’ve discussed which factors influence 3D printing accuracy but we haven’t made a clear distinction between accuracy and precision.  

And to wrap up this three part series, we'll take another look at resolution, accuracy and precision - showing the clear difference between the three and supplying all the information you need to become a dental 3D printing pro.

What's Precision?

On a first glance, high-accuracy and high-precision sound like they mean the exact same thing. 

Here’s the thing: you can be the most precise dart player on the planet. But you end up losing every game, because you always precisely hit triple 1. An accurate dart player would aim for the bullseye and hit the bullseye (or at least close to it) three times in a row.

SOL by Ackuretta dental 3D printer
Dental 3D Printing accuracy and precision

How does this translate to 3D Printing?

Precise 3D printing means that you have a first result that you’d like to replicate multiple times and you have the ability to do so. Precision equals reliability or consistency. I want to achieve similarly accurate results each time and not attempt to print the same dental application again and all of a sudden have a very different result with my second or third print. 

So is my 3D printer able to achieve these results? Is it reliable enough? Those are the questions you need to ask yourself. 

But just as with most tech specs for 3D printing, precision is not just determined by the 3D printer. The choice of resin has an impact on the precision of your outcomes as well, therefore, opting for high-precision/high-quality resins will most likely result in better results. This is mostly due to the quality control mechanisms that premium resin manufacturers apply to all their products and in the case of resins, they especially focus on the batch consistency.

At Ackuretta, we've put rigorous quality monitoring protocols in place for our resins and our 3D printers to control factors, such as precision. Even though these added tests are time-consuming, they are necessary to be able to fulfill our promise of providing reliable dental 3D printers. Because, especially in dentistry, precision is vital.

What's accuracy then?

Part 2 of this 3 part series discusses just that - dental 3D printing accuracy. What does it mean and what are the major influences, but here’s a quick overview of it.

  • Accuracy means I hit bullseye. More clearly, it translates to: I design my 3D print as a perfect ball and end up getting a ball, not with a few dents or bulges, just perfectly round. 
  • And now less figuratively speaking, I want to achieve value X for my print based on my original printing file. As long as I achieve value X ( ∓ 100 micron), I have a printer that’s capable of very accurate 3D printing.
  • Here’s the big but! Accuracy is massively influenced by environmental factors, the resin you use, your slicing software (skills), your post-processing procedure and more… Find a detailed account of that in part 2 of this series.
CURO guide biocompatible class 1 resin for surgical guides

Let's summarize what we've learnt so far:

The XY Resolution of your 3D Printer

... impacts the smoothness of the 3D print. With a lower pixel size, you can achieve more intricate 3D prints.

The "Z-axis Resolution" = Layer Thickness

If you aim for really fine prints, a lower layer thickness might be better, but that tends to increase the printing time. There are few 3D printers that can effectively compensate. However, with SOL by Ackuretta, there's no need to compromise on speed.

Accuracy measurements are given in percentage

... based on the values we expect from the previously made design (= that's the true value). If my print is 99% accurate that means that there is only a very slight variation. If my print is only 70% accurate, then I have some significant difference from the true value.

Precision ⇎ Accuracy

Precision is the repeatability of a 3D print - can I achieve the same result with each time I print the same file.

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