Innovation: From ENEA advanced materials and 3D printing for hi-tech dental prostheses


Researchers at the ENEA Materials Technologies Laboratory have developed an innovative process to create high quality dental prostheses with 3D printing at lower costs than the standard techniques. The process is based on "Digital Light Processing" (DLP) which uses Additive Manufacturing technologies to make dental prosthesis components by polymerizing layers of photosensitive liquid resin added with ceramic powder. The activities were carried out as part of the project PRODE [1], jointly with the CNA of Ferrara and the network of dental technicians at Identitaliagroup.

"It’s a very promising technique that could revolutionize the world of dental technology by reducing costs, processing times and waste for the benefit of end customers also in terms of adaptability and versatility," Giuseppe Magnani, Head of the ENEA Materials Technologies Laboratory pointed out. "In fact, ceramic prostheses or bridges would be printed in 3D with innovative ceramic-polymer mixtures after a simple three-dimensional scan of the mouth, achieving a  a high level of customization of shape, size, material and color".

This innovative procedure would allow, in the future, to overcome the CAD / CAM computerized technology currently used, which is based on the removal of material and involves longer processing times, less precision and more processing residues to be disposed of. "The greater efficiency and productivity and the reduction of processing waste allow to reduce manufacturing costs; furthermore, the possibility of seeing a "preview" of the prosthesis to be implanted makes it possible to create a product with higher quality and greater precision to the benefit of patients ", Magnani pointed out.

The ENEA Faenza Materials Technologies Laboratory deals with research and development of structural and functional ceramic materials (monolithic, coatings and composites) and the related production processes including the creation of prototypes; the development of biobased materials, engineering of innovative components and technological transfer of processes; thermomechanical, microstructural and chemical-physical characterization of ceramic materials, composites, advanced metals, biomasses and fertilizers and component qualification.

ENEA is engaged in research, development and engineering of advanced ceramic materials for applications in the production and recovery of energy and in the transport, aerospace, biomedical, agribusiness, chemical industry, construction and manufacturing sectors.


For more information please contact:

Giuseppe Magnani, ENEA - Head Materials Technologies Laboratory,

Faenza Materials Technologies Laboratory:

[1] Innovative technologies for manufacturing ceramic DEntal PROstheses. The project is funded as part of  Industria 4.0 (Digital Voucher)

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