Categories
3d-printing dentistry

Formlabs raises $150MM

Formlabs raises $150MM in a Series E round. This investment values the 10-year-old Somerville, MA company at $2 billion dollars. A double unicorn is an… ibex?

ibex
Photo by Lou Tamposi, taken in the Vanoise National Park. Ibex
CC BY-SA 2.5

It was a viewing of Print the Legend in Nov 2018 that turned this author into a Formlabs and CEO Max Lobovsky fan. I had helped select the Form 2 as a high-volume manufacturing platform some years before, but it was the documentary — which paired Formlabs + Makerbot against 3D Systems + Stratasys — that expanded my understanding of Formlabs from the local option to a vendor dedicated to 3D printing as a revolutionary platform.

The form factor and price point may make the Formlab’s family of products seem like toys compared to machines costing 10 or 100 times as much. That’s the strategy! If ubiquitous 3D printing is your goal, then Formlabs is showing how to do it.

The form factor enables single piece-flow. This is a lean manufacturing concept that strives to reduce batch sizes in exchange for easier error handling and load balanced workflows. Incremental changes in capacity are easy and affordable to implement. Go small to go big!

That’s not to say that 3D printing — and in particular, the SLA kind of printing — has sustainability challenges regarding material recycling and energy consumption. How is 3D printing greener than other types of manufacturing? It would be good to know the answer to that question.

The platform is one thing but what makes it valuable is the types of products that can be made. So, to that end, we need more end-use materials! When can we start printing clear aligners? What about greener materials? Could we print a compost-able dental model?

Congratulations to Formlabs raises $150MM and good luck meeting the needs of the dental industry in the future. Read more about the dental industry on the Metatooth blog.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/05/19/formlabs-raises-150m/

Categories
startup

Metatooth <> Inc.ubate Coworking

Metatooth selected as a 2021 Entrpreneur in Residence at Inc.ubate Coworking Lynn

I am pleased and honored to be an Entrepreneur in Residence at Inc.ubate Coworking. Check out the others in the cohort including Dot Connector Consulting and The Sophisticated Chaton. This opportunity provides Metatooth with office space to plan, collaborate, and learn. Most importantly, it helps keep alive the drive to bring 3D printing “at scale” to Downtown Lynn. Thanks to EforAll Lynn and the Greater Lynn Chamber of Commerce for their past support. The encouragement I’ve received from these groups is so appreciated.

Check us out tonight at the Lynn Museum from 5-7pm!

Receiving support is the easy part. Metatooth still needs to deliver! More on that below.

Where are the mouthguards?

I am happy to report that metatooth.com has delivered sales in 2021! Unfortunately, the complaint rate is untenable. Development costs are low but the pace has been slow for a complete in-house process. Recent breakthroughs to report include the creation of models from impression scans. This is a fundamental building block for many custom products — not just dental.

Metatooth is eager to process more impressions. Order an impression kit to support this effort. You’ll have access to your digital impression for seven years and will have an opportunity to evaluate new products.

Thanks for your support and good health!

Click here to order a kit to support R&D

mouthguard

 

Categories
development

raspberry pi lirc install

This is the one that worked for me: https://devkimchi.com/2020/08/12/turning-raspberry-pi-into-remote-controller/

Categories
dentistry

Dentsply Sirona acquires Byte for $1 billion

According to Morningstar’s GLOBE NEWSWIRE, Dentsply Sirona acquires Byte in an all-cash deal for $1.04 billion.dentsply sirona acquires byte

Quite remarkable that Byte is a “unicorn” in the direct-to-consumer dental space. It joins industry-leader and rival Smile Direct Club who raised over $1 billion with their IPO last year. Smile Direct Club took a beating in the press along the way. Byte avoided this by highlighting the dentist-directed aspect of their business. Also remarkable that a staid 135-year-old company like Dentsply Sirona would acquire a company whose domain name is byteme.com. The direct-to-consumer business model was once anathema to companies in this market. Dentists are asking pointed questions on LinkedIn and other platforms. The “dentsply” of Dentsply Sirona is a mash-up of Dentists’ Supply Company, which started out making dentures in New York City circa 1899. (Full disclosure, the author was an employee of Dentsply Sirona from 2014-2017.) A good reminder that successful businesses change to meet the market, especially when that market is growing at >20% per year!

Where to go from here

This observer would expect the combined offering to allow CEREC Primescan users easy access to the Byte product line. The existing dentist-directed service allows consumers to purchase direct, Byte gives Dentsply Sirona’s orthodontic customers access to proven tele-dentistry tools. Some orthodontic practices now start all patients — including teens — with clear aligner trays, switching to brackets only if the trays are not being worn correctly. This acquisition gives Dentsply Sirona a fighting chance against Align Tech‘s dominance in the clear aligner market. Not to overlook that Byte is a consumer-facing brand that can be leverage into other product lines.

The strength of Dentsply Sirona’s materials portfolio might also be a consideration. Current best practice for producing clear aligner trays at scale is by vacuum forming to a printed dental model. Might this acquisition encourage a printed end-use product? We will have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts on Dentsply Sirona acquires Byte in particular or direct-to-consumer dental products in general? Please leave a comment!

 

Categories
development

Design x Metatooth r10

Release 10 of Design x Metatooth is now available.

Design x Metatooth (pronounced “design by metatooth”) is a web-based 3D modeling application. Release 10 has now been published, check it out at design.metatooth.com

Release 10 adds Save functionality. Users may now save their work and reload using the retrieved URL. Try it for yourself! Please share your work with Metatooth and your feedback on the user experience. User documentation is below.

User Documentation

Resize your browser width to 1000 pixels or more to access the menu bar.

Throughout, you may adjust the zoom using your mouse’s scroll wheel or middle button. Use the buttons along the menu bar to switch modes or issue commands. The keyboard shortcut for the mode/command is displayed to the right of the button name.

Rotate View – Press r to return to this rotate view mode. Rotate with the primary (typically left) button.
Measure – Press m to switch to measure mode. Down-click and drag with the primary button to get the 2D or point-to-point distance between two locations on screen. Release the button to view the measurement. The measure tool can be reset any time within this mode. Switching to a different mode will remove the measure tool from the screen.
Pick – Press p to switch to the pick mode. Single click with the primary button to mark the intersection point below the cursor.
Draw – Press d to switch to the draw mode. Click and drag with the primary button to mark a line on the target mesh.
Save – When new annotations are present, the save command is available. Press s to save the plan. Refreshing the URL will clear the undo/redo history.
Undo – This command’s keyboard shortcut is z. Undo will remove the last object (pick point or line) made. Undo is available in Rotate View, Pick, and Draw modes.
Redo – This command’s keyboard shortcut is y. Redo will recover the last object removed by the undo command. Redo is available in Rotate View, Pick, and Draw modes.
Download – The download button in the upper right can be used to save the visible mesh to disk as a Binary STL file.

Categories
coding development

Design x Metatooth r9

Release 9 of Design x Metatooth has been published!

Design x Metatooth r9

Design x Metatooth (pronounced “design by metatooth”) is a web-based 3D modeling application. Release 9 has now been published, check it out at design.metatooth.com

Release 9 adds Pick, Draw, Undo, and Redo functionality to the basic View (Rotate + Zoom) & Measure capabilities. On screen help is non-existent, please refer to the user documentation below.

User Documentation

Resize your browser width to 1000 pixels or more to access the menu bar.

Throughout, you may adjust the zoom using your mouse’s scroll wheel or middle button. Use the buttons along the menu bar to switch modes or issue commands. The keyboard shortcut for the mode/command is displayed to the right of the button name.

Rotate View – Press r to return to this rotate view mode. Rotate with the primary (typically left) button.
Measure – Press m to switch to measure mode. Click and drag with the primary button to get the 2D or point-to-point distance between two locations on screen. The measure tool can be reset any time within this mode. Switching to a different mode will remove the measure tool from the screen.
Pick – Press p to switch to the pick mode. Single click with the primary button to mark the intersection point below the cursor.
Draw – Press d to switch to the draw mode. Click and drag with the primary button to mark a line on the target mesh.
Undo – This command’s keyboard shortcut is z. Undo will remove the last object (pick point or line) made. Undo is available in Rotate View, Pick, and Draw modes.
Redo – This command’s keyboard shortcut is y. Redo will recover the last object removed by the undo command. Redo is available in Rotate View, Pick, and Draw modes.
Download – The download button in the upper right can be used to save the visible mesh to disk as a Binary STL file.

Categories
coding development

Design x Metatooth r8

Design x Metatooth r8

Design x Metatooth is a web-based 3D modeling application. Check it out for yourself at design.metatooth.com! r8 adds Measure functionality to the basic View (Rotate + Zoom) capabilities. On screen help is non-existent, refer to the user documentation below.

User Documentation

Resize your browser width to 1000 pixels or more to access the menu bar.

View – Press ‘v’ to return to view mode. Zoom with the scroll wheel or middle button. Rotate with the primary (typically left) button.
Measure – Press ‘m’ to switch to measure mode. Click and drag with the primary button to get the 2D or point-to-point distance between two locations on screen.
Download – The download button in the upper right can be used to save the visible mesh to disk as a Binary STL file.

Categories
custom-night-guard

Retainer vs Mouthguard

Retainer vs mouthguard: What are they and why would you choose one over the other?

Dental Retainer

essix retainer

A retainer is commonly used after orthodontic treatment. Your teeth will want to return to their original position after treatment, and the retainer ensures your smile stays they way you want it. Wear your retainer as directed by your dentist. It can take 12 months for soft tissue to fully heal after treatment.

Mouthguard

A dental mouthguard worn overnight, a night guard, is thicker than a dental retainer. The thicker (1.5mm) design is more durable to provide longer-lasting protection from the effects of grinding and clenching. The thickness also changes the relationship between the upper and lower jaws, which can relieve temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

dental mouthguard

Metatooth offers custom night guards in a hard acrylic material. Other styles may be soft and flexible, made from ethylene vinyl acetate. There are also hybrid designs, that make use of both materials.

Mouthguards made from a hard material will also act as a dental retainer.

Retainer vs mouthguard, which one did you choose? Tell us about it in the comments!

References

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ). WebMD. webmd.com, n.p., www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/temporomandibular-disorders-tmd. Accessed 08 March 2020.

Categories
custom-night-guard mouthhealth

Cleaning Your Custom Night Guard

Cleaning your custom night guard is important, it requires regular cleaning to stay in top condition and prevent bacteria growth. Luckily, it’s easy and straightforward to do. Follow these simple instructions to keep your night guard (and mouth!) fresh and happy.

custom night guard

The Morning After

Do you brush your teeth in the morning? For the same reasons you brush your teeth, your night guard requires the same care. Use your toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your night guard as you would your own teeth. It’s best to store your night guard in a glass of cold tap water to prevent bacteria growth. Change the water daily.

For a deep clean, use a denture cleaning tablet such as Polident(r). Once a week is sufficient. Avoid using alcohol or mouthwash, this will damage your night guard and shorten it’s life!

On The Go

If you use a travel case, make sure it’s clean as well. Wash with hot water and soap. Rinse and dry well. Dry your night guard before storing in the travel case. Do not put a clean night guard in a dirty case!

Night Guard Checkup

Depending on the severity of your bruxism, your night guard might wear out. While it’s made from a durable material, teeth grinding and clenching will change the night guard’s shape or even create a hole. Better the night guard than your teeth! Check weekly for worn patches or cracks.

Bring your night guard with you to your regular dental checkup. Your dentist can provide a more thorough check of your night guard (and your teeth!) to assure you that all is well.

Do not wear a damaged night guard. Metatooth can replace your custom night guard from your initial impression. Contact us to find out how. Thanks for learning about cleaning your custom night guard. Any other tips? Tell us about it in the comments!

Categories
development

Magento 2 on Heroku

Magento 2

Magento 2 on Heroku is what powers the metatooth.com online shop. This is a WordPress.org blog running on Heroku. Look for a post on integrating the two in the future. My first step was to deploy to Heroku. Here’s one of the few resources I found, but it is a good one.

https://www.chrisgrice.com/blog/magento-on-heroku-part-1/

In a nutshell, download the latest 2.x version from https://magento.com/tech-resources/download Then unpack, create a local git repository & commit.


$ mkdir Magento
$ cd Magento
$ tar xjvf ~/Downloads/Magento-CE-2.3.4-2020-01-16-11-26-09.tar.bz2
$ git init
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "Initial commit of Magento"

Normally, you would have to move auth.json.sample to auth.json in the repository to allow Composer to pull from the Magento repository. The PHP buildpack for Heroku will use the value of the COMPOSER_AUTH environment variable instead. It should also be in JSON format, as shown below.


$ heroku create
$ heroku config:set COMPOSER_AUTH='{ "http-basic": { "repo.magento.com": { "username": "<public-key>", "password": "<private-key>" }}}'
$ git push heroku master

Need an authentication key? I relied on the following documentation.

https://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.3/install-gde/prereq/connect-auth.html

Are you using WordPress and Magento 2 on Heroku? Tell me about it in the comments!