UV curing is a curing process in which high-intensity ultraviolet (UV) light is used to create a photochemical reaction that instantly cures a purpose material or resin. UV curing is an integral part of the printing and post processing operation.

This test is to identify how different UV boxes affect the accuracy of the finished print. The post curing process is an important part of the workflow, and the different tools used along the way are bound to have an effect on the results. This is especially applicable to UV boxes because of the variance in the power source and in wavelength, but there is no review on this to date.

MATERIALS
  • FreeShape 120 3D printer
  • QuraModel 2.0
  • Five dental models
  • Testing gauge
  • Cleaning alcohol & cleaning
  • Ackuretta UV Box
  • Dentmate UV Box
  • Meccatonicore UV Box
  • Dreve UV Box
  • Uvitron UV Box
  • Up3D Acubu 3D Scanner
METHOD

We produced five prints in total and then cured them in five different UV boxes to compare the different results. The target Final Surface Hardness for Qura Model 2.0/CURO Model 2.0 is 88HD.

To minimize environmental effects, the print process is performed in a controlled environment and produces multiple prints of the same object for testing in different UV boxes.

  1. Select a set of solid removable die dental models for this project to avoid any ambiguity.
  2. We selected a model without the bar for attaching it to an articulator so that the surface of that extra piece does not affect the results of the accuracy test.
  3. Print a testing gauge and measure the time it takes for the print to reach its optimal surface hardness (HD) in different UV boxes. The duration of the curing process (top/bottom) for the testing gauge is shown in the Results section.
  4. Open Alpha 3D and set the Printer and Material for the test, i.e. QuraModel 2.0 and FreeShape 120.
  5. Use Alpha 3D to create a print file from the 3D model. The print file produces five copies of the same object to test in each of the UV boxes.
  6. Reset a FreeShape 120 3D printer.
  7. Load the print file onto the FreeShape 120 3D printer.
  8. Start the print process. The print process takes approximately 180 minutes
  9. When the print process is complete, remove the build platform and remove the prints from the build platform.
  10. Remove the supports and clean the print thoroughly with alcohol and compressed air. This process takes approximately five minutes.
  11. Put the prints in the UV box. 
  12. Scan each of the prints and measure the accuracy of the finished object in relation to the original 3D digital model. 
EXPECTED RESULTS

Even if the final surface hardness is the same, we want to know the rate of change that is best for producing the most accurate print

Before performing this experiment, we expected to see different levels of accuracy because of the different power settings of the oven. Each UV box produces a different level of output and the curing is already noticeable between the various UV boxes.

ACTUAL RESULTS
UV Box Price Final Surface Hardness (HD) Post Curing Time
in minutes: (top/bottom)
Power setting 
Ackuretta UV Box USD $400 N/A 25/25 N/A
Dentmate UV Box USD $650 88 15/15 Power output: 16/16  Flashing rate: 5/10
Meccatonicore UV Box USD $1000 87.5 25 Power output: 70%
Dreve UV Box USD $4000 88 25 Regular air 

 power output: 80%

Uvitron UV Box USD $3000 88 5/5 Single setting; On
1. PRINT SCAN ACCURACY
UV Box Accuracy
Ackuretta UV Box 86.97%
Dentmate UV Box 94.57%
Meccatonicore UV Box 79.96%
Dreve UV Box 92.00%
Uvitron UV Box 96.78%
2. FULL ARCH MODEL SCAN ACCURACY
UV Box Accuracy 
Ackuretta UV Box 92.00%
Dentmate UV Box 96.85%
Meccatonicore UV Box 82.64%
Dreve UV Box 97.43%
Uvitron UV Box 97.41%

1. PRINT SCAN IMAGE AND ACCURACY
 
Ackuretta UV Box: 86.97%

Upper limit: 93.41%  Lower limit: 6.44% 
Dentmate UV Box: 94.57%

Upper limit: 3.813% Lower limit: 98.386%
Meccatonicore UV Box: 79.96%

Upper limit: 88.15%  Lower limit: 8.19% 
Dreve UV Box: 92.39%

Upper limit: 95.79 Lower limit: 3.40

The Dreve UV Box provides the option to fill the internal space with nitrogen or ambient air during the curing process. We set the UV box to use air for this test.

Uvtron UV BOX: 96.78%

Upper limit: 99.15  Lower limit: 2.37
2. FULL ARCH MODEL SCAN IMAGE AND ACCURACY
Ackuretta UV Box: 92.02%

Upper limit: 97.13% Lower limit: 5.11%
Dentmate UV Box: 96.85%

Upper limit: 99.37% Lower limit: 2.52%
Meccatonicore UV Box: 82.64%

Upper limit: 91.71% Lower limit: 9.07%
Dreve UV Box: 97.43%

Upper limit: 1.62 Lower limit: 99.05
Uvtron UV BOX: 97.41%

Upper limit: 99.53% Lower limit: 2.12%
DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION

In this experiment, Dreve’s UV box shows the highest accuracy results and it’s price (USD $4000) also reflects on the quality; Dentmate’s UV box shows good results and remains more affordable (USD $650) for smaller businesses; Ackuretta’s UV box also shows promising results and has the most affordable pricing (USD $400) in the market. When selecting a UV box for your practice, affordability and machine capability should be equally important determining factors.

This was a relatively simple experiment to conduct because we keep a variety of UV boxes available for testing in our print lab and it is easy to duplicate and print the same object with the one machine. We then simply prepare times on the UV box and start each print as soon as it is ready. Each of the ovens requires a different process and setting to attempt to achieve the same results. It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when using a UV box to make sure that the results are consistent. 

Ackuretta Technologies Private Limited