Non dental but the association should be obvious. Using common and relatively inexpensive digital technology the user was able to create a virtual three dimensional object then re-produce it as a real solid object with a 3D printer. A $2,000 consumer printer not a $75,000 dental milling chamber. Admittedly the printed object is crude, not nearly good enough for precision dental work but the concept is solid.
The first intraoral camera was a lumbering wheeled crate that sold for over $40,000. Today we have light USB plug in cameras that cost around $2,000. Based on the creative use of 3D imaging shown ion the story and video below we will soon be taking 3D digital study models for less than the cost of alginate and plaster and it will make a lot less of a mess. We will look back on the days of elastomeric impression materials with the same horror we view solid plaster impression which needed to be hammered out of the mouth from days gone by.
Wenman turned the photos into three-dimensional digital maps, using a free program called Autodesk 123D Catch. Then he used the maps to print miniature plastic replicas on the $2,000 MakerBot 3-D printer in his home office.