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March 14, 2024

Big news from the Chicago Midwinter Meeting!

Asiga, whose printers are renowned for their accuracy and print finish, has unveiled their new DLP 3D printer, the Asiga Ultra, and refurbished its Asiga Max UV 3D Printer - now called the Max 2.

The original Asiga Max UV is an awesome 3D printer that we have been using for years - you can see my review of it here.

So, I was really interested in getting a closer look at the new Asiga Ultra, and I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. This seems like one of the most exciting releases in the 3D printing space.

I’ve written my thoughts below; stay tuned for a recap of the Chicago Midwinter Meeting release.

Asiga Ultra Design

First things first, this printer looks amazing. Having seen it in person, it looks very futuristic and more like an apple product than a classic dental 3D printer. This printer also won a "Good Design Award", a prestigious award committee dating back to 1958, that covers many different industries.

It still shares the same Asiga 'DNA' but feels like a modern iteration. When you lift the lid there are two LED bars that look quite cool. The resin vat latches have also changed to make it easier to switch out resins on the fly. 

Overall I like the design. But what was more interesting to me was the new features covered below.

Asiga Ultra - Touchless Entry

Asiga have introduced something called Touchless Entry. Essentially this is a motion control for the lid.

This is a feature that allows you to open the lid of the printer without touching anything, It’s incredibly sleek.

Touchless Entry lets you wave your hand in front of the printer (just to the left of the LCD screen) to open the hood. This is a quality of life benefit more than anything that will help keep everything clean and prevent contamination by constantly touching the printer lid. Manual opening is available as well. 

Asiga Ultra Build Platform

There are two different models, the Ultra 50 and the Ultra 32. Same tech in both, just a different pixel (therefore, build plate) size.

The Ultra 50 is a 50 micron pixel resolution, whereas the Ultra 32 has a 32 micron pixel resolution.

The build plate on the Ultra 50 is just slightly smaller than the current Pro 4K, so it’s quite large. The Ultra 32 build plate is the exact same size as the Max, but with almost double the accuracy.

Here are the specific build platform sizes:

  • Ultra 32 - 121 x 68 x 147mm (4.76 × 2.67 × 5.78 inches).
  • Ultra 50 - 192 x 108 x 147mm (7.55 × 4.25 × 5.78 inches).

Asiga Max build platform (left) compared to Ultra (right).

A bigger build platform allows you to print more things at once, so the Ultra 50 printer seems great for a mid-size dental clinic or lab. It is a bit smaller than the Pro4K but that is printing at 80um.

If you compare it to the Pro4K 45µm (122 × 69 × 200mm) it is a much larger build area just not as much on the z axis so you can’t stack up large print runs, but again, that is something mainly labs would do.

I’ve written a blog about build platforms and what that means for 3D dental printing. Click here to read it.

Asiga Ultra Electromagnetic Platform Holder

Another cool quality of life feature is the new electromagnetic platform holder. This is a first for dental 3D printing.

How this works is that with the Asiga Ultra, the company built in electromagnets into the platform holder. There are no more knobs or dials to tighten to secure the platform. Rather you toggle it locked or unlock via the LCD screen.

When it is locked, it is next to impossible to pull it off. It is a super tight hold so it should not cause any issues when printing. When you togged the screen to unlock it, it comes off easily. Quite cool.

Asiga Ultra Infrared Material Heater and Chamber Heating

Asiga also introduced a material heater that can heat up to 70 degrees Celsius.

Proper heating of the resin vat is becoming more and more important, especially as resin materials are being packed with more and more filler and therefore becoming more viscous. These resins especially need to be heated properly to ensure successful prints.

The other benefit is print speed. Even on current resins such as Rodin Sculpture/Titan from Pac Dent, or Lucitone Digital Print from Dentsply Sirona, the IR heaters can be utilized to radically increase print speed.

It is also quite cool to see the resin vat glow red as the IR lamps heat it up.

Asiga Ultra Transparent Mode

Lastly, another cool thing that Asiga showcased is their Transparent Mode, which can print clear resins with increased precision. We did not get a chance to trial this at the Chicago Mid Winter show but I was told it should help help to eliminate blooming and overcuring of transparent resins - for dental applications I think this is most important for splints / night guards.

Asiga Max 2 - the refreshed Max

I also got the chance to look at Asiga’s new Max 2. It’s essentially a Asiga Max UV but with a facelift and will be sold at the same price as the original.

The Max 2 is the same as the OG Max, but with an updated UI and improved design. It also features Asiga's new transparent mode, which is present in the Ultra. While this feature is superficially invisible, the company says this mode will make a big difference for clear/invisible resin prints.

Otherwise this new Max 2 is the same size build platform, same technology, same everything as the original Max.

The company took the liberty to update the touchscreen to a bigger one and give the Asiga printers a bit of a makeover. I am all for it, this looks much more modern and stylish. 

Thats everything! What do you think about the Asiga Ultra and Asiga Max 2? Leave a comment below.

About the author 

Dr Ahmad Al-Hassiny

Dr Ahmad is a global leader in digital dentistry and intraoral scanners, carrying out lectures as a KOL for many companies and industry. He is one of the few in the world who owns and has tested all mainstream scanners and CAD/CAM systems in his clinic. Dr Ahmad Al-Hassiny is a full-time private dentist in New Zealand and the Director of The Institute of Digital Dentistry (iDD), a world-leading digital dentistry education provider. iDD offers live courses, masterclasses, and an online training platform, with a mission to ensure dentists globally have easy and affordable access to the best digital dentistry training possible.

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