Dental expert turns to 3D printing to grow exports

Dental expert turns to 3D printing to grow exports

Dental expert turns to 3D printing to grow exports

First published in Business news
Last updated

A COMPANY on the outskirts of York which specialises in cosmetic tooth alignment is looking to capitalise on revolutions in 3D printing as it launches its products in the Philippines.

Cfast, based in Shipton by Beningbrough, was launched by former York Hospital staff nurse Gary Dickenson and dentist Biju Krishnan, who developed a clear brace system for straightening teeth.

In just two years of trading Cfast had doubled sales to just over £1 million and not only exports its products but also trains dentists across Australia, the US, and Europe.

Now as the company prepares for launch in Asia, it is investing in new 3D printing technology to speed up the process, and keep skilled work in the UK.

The technology will allow dentists in the Philippines to take moulds of clients' teeth, scan them with a 3D scanner then email the file to the Cfast team in York, who will then print the mould so the the brace can be produced in the UK before being dispatched to the client.

Mr Dickenson, Cfast's chief executive, who left nursing to work in dental sales before setting up the business, said: "If dentists want to use our products they have to come one of our courses, no matter where they are in world.

"However I have still thought about how we can do more to maintain the quality of our product while being a global business.

"The 3D printing will not only improve quality as I can make sure everything going out is to our standard, but it will cut our labour costs abroad and keep the skilled work in the UK."

Mr Dickenson said that once the 3D scanning and printing system has been installed in the Philippines in August the system will be rolled out with Cfast's existing international clients, and used when the company launches in Germany in September.

Since being launched in 2012 Cfast has trained more than 1,000 dentists and works with 400 dental practices across the UK.

After a successful launch in the US, Cfast sold 20 per cent of its North American business to Nesbraska-based Nexa Dental for £0.5 million.

The company has created braces for a number of celebrities including Holly Willoughby, MasterChef's Greg Wallace, and much of the cast of The Only Way is Essex.

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