Founded in 2007, Dio Corporation (Dio) is a medical manufacturer based in Busan City in South Korea. The company aims to provide the most advanced dental implant and digital dental solutions to professionals across the world.
Dio currently produces more than 4,000 products from its state-of-the-art production facility per year.
Since 2010, Dio has expanded its market share and formed a strategic alliance with Dentsply International, a leading global dental and medical equipment supplier with over a century of experience. This strategic alliance has resulted in Dio products being sold in over 70 countries, with promising continuous sales growth and expansion.
Why 3D printing?
Traditional methods of production, for example dental model manufacture, required many hours of manual hand carving of models. Add this to the molds taken from the patient, the process was messy, slow and even with the most skilled technician resulted in poor accuracy.
When CAD/CAM began to emerge, Dio quickly identified the advantages of the technology. Since these early days the team has witnessed a rise in prominence and the uptake within dental labs and surgeries. They saw dental professionals that still relied on traditional methods starting to lose ground and become less competitive.
“3D printing was moving from a niche technology to mainstream. We knew that to stay competitive and give customers the quality of product we needed to be investing in 3D printing technology.” - Lee Jangseon, General Manager, Head of R&D - Dio
3D scanning and printing has revolutionised dental manufacturing, with just one example being in the production of Lingual Brackets. These are an alternative to braces and aligners allowing invisible movement of teeth. Dio manufactures a 3D printed, double wire bracket which is produced to the exact specification for each patient.
With all dental devices such as these, accuracy is paramount to ensure that optimum orthodontic forces are applied to teeth and the brackets are comfortable and effective. Manual production of these brackets would be both costly to undertake by hand and not result in satisfactory fit. Additive manufacturing makes the production of these brackets effective for patients, due to the accuracy, and results in a much faster turnaround.
The industry was recognising that 3D printing was bringing better results for patients, through better fitting and more effective appliances. CAD/CAM was increasing the speed of production, and that was resulting in reductions in ‘time in chair’ for dental professionals and reduced patient waiting times.
With a vision to grow and become the leader in the field, Dio understood that they needed to invest in the best equipment to ensure the best quality appliances for its customers.
The team examined a number of solutions from different manufacturers and eventually engaged with distribution partner Jive Solutions who introduced them to a range of printers and materials offered by EnvisionTEC. After seeing the various machines and 3D print materials as well as the capabilities of the EnvisionTEC range, it became apparent that the products from other manufacturers were not even in the same league.
“We examined our options, and while there are a lot of players now entering the dental market, EnvisionTEC’s experience is evident from its focussed product range of 3D printers and materials” - Lee Jangseon, General Manager, Head of R&D – Dio
The team at Dio opted for a number of models to fulfil the different needs of the business. The EnvisionTEC Ultra 3SP Ortho for example, provides a large build area for the mass production of dental models, bite guards, aligners and indirect bonding trays. Printing in different orientations ensures massive numbers can be produced simultaneously. The Micro and Vida desktop models are used in the manufacture of lingual and labial brackets and the direct production of indirect bonding trays. These smaller machines are ideally suited to this task with the production of the tiny appliances being executed with exceptional surface finish and accuracy.
New applications and improvements are discovered all the time. EnvisionTEC continues to evolve and add the applications to benefit dental, orthodontic and medical professionals. In order to grow, Dio will need to accommodate new applications and the requirements of its customers. Dio can rely on EnvisionTEC to support them, and when further manufacturing capacity is required Dio can simply add EnvisionTEC machines without the need to re-train its team.