If you weren’t at Whip Mix’s 6th Annual Digital Forum in September, you missed a lot! The popular digital lab business series featured several notable presenters including Greg Harris, Al Fillastre, Dr. Eric Nunnally, James Babbi, Mike Webb, Nanette Boyd, Dr. Hermogene Angeles, Evan Kemper, Cory Lambertson, and others. Throughout the two days, these industry experts presented the following topics . . .

  • The Digital Journey: Make it Predictable and Consistent
  • 3D Printing . . . Much More than Just Models
  • The Latest in Milling Technology using Roland Mills and Mill Box
  • How to Design RPDs for Printing
  • Advanced Model Builder and Impression Scanning Techniques
  • An Overview of Implant Studio
  • A Journey into Guided Surgery: Implant Planning, Design, and Surgery
  • 3D Printing and the Ways It Has Changed Our Lab

Of course, there were many eye-opening takeaways that made the annual CAD CAM Forum a very special one this year. Here are just a few that exemplify the practical importance of this annual learning experience.

1) Technicians are interested in the surgical components of implant dentistry and finding a niche as an implant specialty lab, but often don’t know where to begin or how to position themselves. Programs like this is how we'll learn.
 
2) Do your homework! Evaluate your current and potential needs for a printer and find one that will meet those needs. Select a printer that is “open”, with ease of material change and material options.
 
3) Don't invest in a piece of equipment. Invest in a partner that you trust!
 
4) Respect the technology! Even though many of the systems are marketed as “plug and play”, you must understand the technology and handle it as a calibrated, precision piece of laboratory equipment.
 
5) CAM can be complex - It's best to understand how you're machining and why, so you can take control of the manufacturing and custom-tailor your system to your specific needs or the needs of your clients.
 
6) Different machines have different capabilities - having an open CAM platform allows you to add multiple machines to your portfolio while allowing you to drive them with one driven workflow.
 
7) The Roland DWX-52DC has proven ideal for small labs, just as much as it is for the high production digital lab business. The automatic disc changing features allow for the smaller labs to free their time to be productive in other areas, where automation is not possible.
 
8) The monthly payment difference between and single disc mill (DWX-51D) and a multi disc mill (DWX-52DC) is less than $10 a day.
 
9) Buy equipment that helps your customer, not just you.
 
10) Buying is the easy part. In order to increase your sales, you will need to find more new customers. Don’t forget to sell!
 

Sound good? There's lots more where that came from. Plan to join us next year for another outstanding educational experience!

 

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About The Author

Bernie Jaroslow, CDT, has over 35 years of experience in the dental laboratory industry. He is currently the Laboratory Product Manager at Whip Mix Corporation responsible for identifying, developing and maintaining new product opportunities.