3D print could be ultimate selfie
AN Otago and Southlandbased company which has made a successful business out of focusing on people’s mouths is taking a leap into the 3D printing market.
For more than 20 years The Lab has been producing custommade dentures, mouth guards and snoring appliances but now it sees an opportunity in the emerging commercial and consumer 3D printing market.
International sales manager Jeevan Verma said the company was investing about $400,000 into the technology and had partnered with Callaghan Innovation to establish a 3D printing hub in Dunedin.
Using the latest body scanning and 3D colour printing technology, the company will be able to create custommade replica figurines to order, Mr Verma said.
People would be able to have almost anything printed in 3D, including family portraits, pets, wedding cakes, and newborn babies, he said.
The scanning process uses hundreds of individual cameras and takes a matter of seconds.
It will be the first time such a service had been offered in the South Island.
The technology also has commercial and engineering applications, which the company was also exploring, Mr Verma said.
It was a natural progression for the company, which already used 3D printing as part of its everyday operations, he said.
As well as investing in commercial 3D printing technology the company is turning its focus to digital manufacturing of dentures.
The Lab had always tried to provide its customers with the latest technology and the company had invested about $350,000 into a new denture milling machine and 3D scanner, Mr Verma said.
The new machines would mean faster treatment for patients, better fitting and higher quality dentures and was less invasive than traditional methods, he said.
‘‘This is just another step in the evolution of the company which will really provide our customers with an innovative but affordable service.’’
Mini me . . . The Lab’s new venture into 3D printing will give people the opportunity to own a miniature version of themselves, much like the one company director John Preddy has of himself.