Case Study: Nakanishi Dental Laboratory Increases Manufacturing Volume with 3D Printing
From recent few years, there has been seen rise in the prevalence of dental diseases and demand for cosmetic dentistry. That’s why requirement for dental products including dental crowns, bridges, and different types of orthodontic appliances has also increased. It becomes very hectic for manufacturers to fulfil this demand by conventional production. 3D printing enables them to manufacture the product in less time with accuracy. One such lab, Nakanishi was in search of a manufacturing solution that could scale with its growing business, and evolve & adapt to the technology in the dental industry.
Nakanishi Dental Laboratory, Inc. is a family-owned dental laboratory founded by Ray Nakanishi in 1953 at Bellevue, Washington. The dental lab provides products and personalized customer services to dentists across the country.
With the intention to print models, Nakanishi had a 3D printer from a company but the printer was unable to meet lab’s accuracy needs. In early 2018, the dental lab was introduced to Carbon and then it decided to give 3D printing another chance after examining the quality of models produced by Carbon. Silicon Valley based, Carbon delivers digital manufacturing solutions by bringing together the innovations in software, hardware, and material science.
With Nakanishi’s rapidly growing business and to support customer demand, it needed to outsource the productions of some of its models. With the lack of production capacity, Nakanishi realized that it can’t move the production of more products to digital and needed another digital printer. Head of Digital Department, Kaila Nakanishi CDT started exploring 3D printing options.
In December, two of their three mills at the lab went down suddenly. While the dental lab was figuring out how to fix its mills, Carbon fixed the issue immediately. Looking at the efficiency of Carbon’s customer service, Nakanishi signed a contract for a second Carbon M series printer.
Nakanishi was able to grow its print volume with two Carbon printers and bring all its model production back in-house. With Carbon, the dental lab had increased print volumes approximately 23% quarterly and 50% month-over-month. After adapting Carbon printer, there was 60% decrease in hands-on labor/costs in nightguard and denture production.
Kaila Nakanishi, Technical Manager of Digital and All-Ceramics, Nakanishi says, “We are amazed at the quality, accuracy, and consistency of the parts that our Carbon printers provide. They are the true workhorses in our lab, and after our experience with Carbon’s service, we truly wish all our technology operated in a similar model. We love the subscription model!”
Carbon’s wide range of dental materials has been instrumental to help Nakanishi to work towards going digital. Now, with Carbon platform, the dental lab digitally produces a full range of products.
Nakanishi believes that Carbon has the potential to support nearly every product it offers to dental office customers with the combination of the its materials portfolio and Carbon Digital Light SynthesisTM technology.
In less than two years, Nakanishi has stopped fully traditional milled workflow and it is now splitting its time equally between milling and printing. Nakanishi expressed its interest to become a fully digital dental lab with Carbon. Nakanishi says, “With Carbon, we know that we’re always at the forefront of dental technology. Our customers love that they can depend on us for high-quality parts in a fraction of the time it used to take with traditional manufacturing methods.”
Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.