Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Research and Education|Articles in Press

Trueness and surface characteristics of 3-dimensional printed casts made with different technologies


      Statement of problem

      Three-dimensional (3D) printers should be capable of fabricating products with high accuracy for potential use in a wide range of dental applications. The trueness and surface characteristics of 3D-printed casts made with different technologies remain unclear.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the trueness and surface characteristics of 4 types of dental casts printed using 6 different 3D printers.

      Material and methods

      Four dental casts prepared for intracoronal and extracoronal restorations were printed using 6 different 3D printers—2 printers of each printing technology (FDM: Creator, Lugo; DLP: D2, ND5100; SLA: Form 2, Form 3). The printed casts were scanned to obtain standard tessellation language (STL) data sets that were superimposed onto the reference to evaluate their trueness (n=15). Trueness was measured based on overall deviations for each cast and for sectional deviations within the cavities. For qualitative evaluation, the surface characteristics of the 3D-printed casts were analyzed by using a digital camera, stereomicroscope, and scanning electron microscope. Statistical analyses were conducted using the Kruskal-Wallis test, followed by multiple Mann-Whitney U tests for pairwise comparisons among groups (α=.05).


      The overall median trueness values were lowest with the Form 3 (27.9 μm), followed by the ND5100 (30.0 μm), Lugo (37.1 μm), D2 (41.4 μm), Form 2 (46.9 μm), and Creator (83.3 μm) (P<.05). Sectional deviations within the cavity were generally greater than overall deviation. Macroscopic and microscopic images showed that the reproduced casts had the smoothest surface with the SLA, followed by the DLP and FDM printers. Horizontal layers were more discernible with the FDM printer.


      The trueness of the 3D-printed casts was influenced by the type of tooth preparation and was printer dependent. Among the tested 3D printers, the Form 3 produced the most accurate casts, while the Creator produced the least accurate casts.
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