It's amazing how much dental care has evolved over the years, this is yet another revolution in dental health. We all want better teeth, you can learn more here about ways to keep them clean and healthy, there really isn't any excuse for bad teeth anymore considering the online resources we all have access to.
Chuck, the type you mention is pretty old, just past the ones you heat in boiling water and bite into. The next stage, which comes before the one described in this article, is what I've got. I bite into some truly disgusting gloppy pink stuff in a form and almost choke on it for a minute or two while it's hardening--but that's only the mold. Then I wait two weeks while a lab does I don't know what--twiddle their thumbs?--and then I get the clear plastic, looking just like the one in the photo to this story. The one described here would be a lot better than what I've got for the speed alone, and much better than the earlier-stage ones (I've used them, too).
I'm waiting with bated breath for this to come to dentists for mouth-guards. Two weeks, the standard time for making them from molds, is much too long if you're having trouble sleeping due to snoring or teeth grinding.
3D scanning is a critical part of this whole effort. With it, companies like Fight-Bite no longer have to go through the time consuming and messy mold making process required by mouth guards and other products. The customization angle is huge--that's why this has traditionally been a manual, one-off development process.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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