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July 5, 2024

Last week Shining 3D had their MEA reseller meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and I was kindly invited to give a lecture at the event. My lecture was on "Integrating Intraoral Scanning, Face Scanning and 3D Printing in the Modern Dental Office".

It was quite interesting to attend a reseller event as I got the inside scoop of everything the company is working on and some new stuff that is coming very soon! Shining 3D is quite a unique digital dentistry company as it is the only intraoral scanning company that also offers a face scanner, CAD and 3D Printer.

They are working on some pretty cool stuff which I thought I would share with you below!

Shining 3D's intraoral scanners have come a very long way.

Back in 2019, I reviewed their Aoralscan 1 scanner at IDS and gave it a pretty abysmal rating. Fast-forward 5 years, and they have come a long way. I reviewed their third generation Aoralscan 3 scanner just recently, and quite frankly, they have caught up to the other market leaders.

Their intraoral scanners, face scanner and 3D printer are actually quite good. For one, their scanner software is arguably the best out of any Chinese IOS and the general quality of both the hardware and software is high.

At this conference, Shining 3D had a number of new releases (both hardware and software) which were interesting, and it is amazing to see the company innovate. Many people have this perception of Chinese products just being a cheap copy and undercutting the market costs, but Shining 3D has actually innovated a brand new full arch implant workflow that is not seen in any other scanner.

I was genuinely impressed at the event, as I only expected minor hardware updates, like what we are seeing in other companies.

 Well without further ado, here is a full recap from their event.

Shining 3D's Brand New Intraoral Scanner

At the event the company announced a totally new intraoral scanner that is coming out in 3 months. I was surprised by this and it is a testament to how much research and development the company is putting into dental. They just released their wireless Aoralscan 3 last year and now they will have a brand new scanner on the market soon. 

All I can say at the moment is that it is a big upgrade in terms of hardware. Solving many of the gripes I had with the original Aoralscan 3. It also tries to solve a big issue in intraoral scanning currently. Can you guess what? 

I got to try the scanner on models at the conference and I was impressed. Really. It comes with a brand new All-on-X workflow.

All the details of this new release will be shared on our blog in September when it is launched. Keep an eye out!

Shining 3D's Software Development

One thing became apparent throughout the conference is that the company is investing a ton on their software development. This is seen through their entire line-up of dental products. From intraoral scanner to 3D printer.

Their intraoral scanner has a number of cool features and software apps - both those that we see in other scanners with robust software, and also some new features. For example they are working on jaw tracking with their face scanner which is neat.

Software in development, upcoming optional modules

On the scanning side, the company showcased all their apps (some old and some newly developed). These are the usual things such as smile design, ortho simulators etc. But they also have a patient tracking software (which is less common) and a new scanning software in development to help guide preparations. How this works is you upload an STL of a waxup and then after scanning the preps, the software will tell you areas that may need more preparation. This I think could be handy in veneer cases.

They are also continuing to develop their CAD software (which is free) on their scanner software. This is in effort to offer a total solution from start (scan) to finish (3D print). Currently you can design restorations, indirect bonding trays and splints.

Shining 3D Mac OS Integration is coming

Something curious that was announced is that in Q3 2024, Shining3D will release a Aoralscan software that is compatible with Mac OS. This will be compatible with M1 Pro, M2 Pro and M1 Max.

This will mean that Shining 3D will be the second intraoral scanner company to support Mac. The first being Medit. 

Is this going to be the next market trend?

3D Printing is a Big Focus for Shining 3D

At the event the company spoke about all parts of their portfolio, in particular about their 3D Printer the AccuFab-CEL.

One thing is clear, they are determined to be part of the dental 3D printing space.

Here are some interesting details about the AccuFab-CEL

  • It's their fastest printer - 20 min for models, 26 min for guides, 45 min for splints, etc.
  • The company is developing 1 click print solutions for their software. Meaning you just upload the STL and in one click, nesting etc will all be done ready for printing. Something we are seeing more and more in dental printers
  • They are developing and releasing more resins. Although it is an OPEN printer, the company said they will be able to develop more affordable resins than the current market leaders (e.g Keysplint Soft)
  • The company spoke a lot about accuracy and how they test it in their lab - stating 35 micron print accuracy

In the presentation about their printer 2 things caught my eye:

1) They are have launched a 'HyperClear Resin Tank'. This concept is something that was created by Asiga as the Ultragloss tray and then SprintRay did it, and now Shining 3D. 

The idea is provide a special resin tray to be used only with clear resins. When printing splints etc with these resin trays, the splints come out a lot more shiny helping minimise polishing and post-processing. It is cool that Shining 3D does it too now.

I have no doubt that these types of trays will likely become a market norm for any company offering splint resins. 

2) They have launched a small resin tank for restorative printing. The company has for a while provided big and small build platforms, but now they also offer a smaller resin tank - similar to what SprintRay does.

This is useful for restorative 3D printing as for don't have to pour so much resin in the tank to just print a crown. Again another cool thing to see Shining 3D is offering and keeping up with other market leaders in dental 3D printing.

The small platform can used to print a total of 16 posterior crowns or 2 full arches. 

Metismile is Performing Well

Not too much new stuff for the Metismile, which seems to be doing well. This is the most affordable dental specific face scanner and works great overall - check out my review of it here.

One thing the company did show, is that you can now use these sticker markers and stick them onto the lower teeth, and using the MetiSmile, do jaw motion tracking of the mandible. Another cool software feature and quite impressive in what is otherwise considered an economic option. 

The company seems to be pulling from its vast experience in metrology and technology to be able to pull all these things off.

Software in development, upcoming optional modules

Half the companies business is in Metrology

Metrology - the science of weights and measures.

Shining3D has a huge amount of experience in making scanners for other industries and has a vast amount of experience in metrology. They sell scanners to scan parts for all sorts of industries from automotive, aerospace etc. They obviously have a lot of knowledge in the accuracy, precision and repeatability of a measurements.

What became clear in this event is that a lot of their dental products draw from this experience and seeing how they use this experience in the dental industry was interesting. I can see many parallels with what they are doing in dental. Especially the face scanning, motion capture and photogrammetry space. 

And that is it. No doubt an exciting time for the company as they continue to grow. 

I said it a few years ago when I called the Aoralscan 3 a 'rising star' and a company to look out for. That continues to ring true.

What this company is doing in dentistry is quite amazing to watch. Their developments are fast and effective. They are actually releasing quite decent and game-changing products to the market (e.g Metismile), and at an affordable cost.

Keep an eye out for our September blog when we go over everything you need to know about their new intraoral scanner.

Any questions leave them 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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