According to LMT magazines Answer issue, 8 percent of 1 person labs can accept digital impressions, 29 percent of 2 to 5 person labs, 76 percent of 6 to 20 person labs and 91 percent of 21+ person lab can accept digital impressions. That’s a lot of labs that already accept digital files and that number is growing every month I am sure. If you are getting models printed with those digital impressions there are a couple of tips you can employ that will help to get the file printed faster, which in turn will get the model back to your lab faster.
1. Keep model, including base to 15mm
First, if you have the model builder module from 3Shape, ExoCAD or another CAD software try to keep your model including the base to 15 mm. In 3D printing or additive manufacturing, the building of the layers on the Z axis is what dictates the time of the print run. The shorter the print run, the faster you can get your models returned.
2. Name Files with Patient Name
Second, if you are using an FTP site to upload your files to a model printing provider, it is helpful to name each file with the patient name and if the file is an upper or lower.
3. Labeling the Model
Third, if you are labeling the model the shorter the better. If you have a long file name it will wrap around the model and make it difficult to read.
A good example would be: WMC_FRYE_2153476
You wouldn’t want to go with: Whip Mix Corporation_FRYE_2153476_#20_A3_TI_ANTAG
And last but not least, if you are using a model printing service, have a good line of communication with their customer service support center. Make sure they have your contact information and can easily get ahold of you if there is an issue with your file. Just about each and every case you have is on a deadline. Open lines of communication can make the difference in a file getting printed overnight or having to wait until the next day, which will delay the turnaround time 24 hours.