Comparison of the accuracy between 3D printed and milled dental models by a digital inspection software
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STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: The production of full arch dental models through Rapid Additive Prototyping (3D Printing) have been questioned for their accuracy in the past decade. PURPOSE: To compare the accuracy of 3D printed and milled dental models, using a digital metrology software. MATERIALS AND METHOD: A mandibular arch typodont was duplicated to produce a conventional Type IV dental stone model. This Model was scanned to create a digital model and an STL file was created which would be sent to Milling and 3D printing machines.15 models were printed using 3 different 3D printing companies and 10 models Milled with a CNC (Computerized Numeric Controlled) milling machine. Each model was scanned and a digital model was created. These scanned models were then super imposed to the scan of the master model through an inspection software (Geomagic Control X, 3D Systems) for accuracy of production. RESULTS: The mean difference in measurement in Absolute Gap, by either of the two methods of prototyping adopted, (0.075 mm for 3D Printed and 0.084 mm for milled) are well below the clinically acceptable values mentioned in previous literature. The means in absolute tooth distance discrepancy for both prototyping methods (0.0361 mm for 3DPand 0.0353 mm for Milled) were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: 3D printed dental models were more accurate statistically than milled dental models. In general, the mean accuracy for both methods of rapid prototyping is within clinical tolerance and both are clinically acceptable.