“Graphy” From South Korea Prints 3D-Printed Alignment Aid With Shape Memory

There is hardly an industry or sector that is not supported by 3D printing technology. Graphy recently launched what is claimed to be the “world’s first” directly 3D-printed orthodontic splint with shape memory function at a show in Cologne, Germany. The manufacturer from South Korea works respectively prints with photopolymer resins. The new product makes it possible to speed up the treatment process for patients. It could make replacement aligners largely obsolete.

Many Manufacturers Launch New 3D Printers For Dental Restorations


The market for 3D-printed dental restorations has grown immensely in recent years. More and more new products, materials and hardware have been made available, which has also expanded the possible applications. Printer manufacturers have also taken notice of this development. As a result, several new devices have been introduced to the market that are specifically designed for dental applications. Some of the printers are for example the multi-material PolyJet J5 DentaJet 3D printer by Stratasys, the resin-based NXD200 3D printer by Nexa3D and the high-speed dental 3D printer by the manufacturer NBEE.


New Printing Material: Tera Resin


For a long time, manufacturer Graphy has wanted to make its mark on the dental 3D printing market and now seems to have found its niche. Two years ago, the company developed its own 3D printing material: Tera resin. This is characterized primarily by flexibility and heat resistance, which makes it particularly suitable for dental models. It was designed with two carbon backbones, which allow the molecular formula of the material to be precisely controlled and adapted to specific customer requirements. Graphy’s aligners have received CE certification and are close to 510(k) clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)


What Makes it a Shape Memory Product?


When Tera resin is deformed or stretched, it still retains its original shape. This is because as soon as the material comes into contact with hot water, it resumes its original shape. Competing products are not able to do this, Graphy says. Thus, they would not fulfill their orthodontic capability. The shape memory is also responsible for the fact that a single aligner can perform an entire treatment step where several different aligners would otherwise be required. The result: the treatment process is accelerated and material consumption is reduced overall and per patient. Not only the treatment process, but also the production of the aligner itself has an enormous time saving compared to the conventional method.


What other 3D-printed medical products are you aware of? Let us know in the comments!

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