College gets it’s teeth into state-of-the-art dental technology

Friday, 26 May 2017 By Dave Speck in Local People

A brand new centre for dental sciences is set to open at Barnet and Southgate College in September in partnership with The University of Bolton.

The Dental Technology Centre will open as part of a refurbishment of the college’s Southgate campus and will include state-of-the-art resources including three specialist laboratories with the latest industry-standard equipment.

College principal David Byrne said: “The state-of-the-art training centre moves away from the messy artisan craft of dental manufacturing to the cleaner tech driven world of CAD design and 3D Printing.

“We’re extremely proud to be leading on this unique project which will change technical education within the dental industry in London, bringing it firmly into the 21st century and beyond.”

Head of the Centre of Dental Sciences at the University of Bolton, Robert Biggs said: “The Barnet and Southgate College partnership will deliver much needed support for dental employers and educators in the region.

“The range and speciality of courses focuses on niche skills and training, which is long overdue in the dental technology sector. Together we aim to provide the most advanced, employment focused dental education in the UK for dental care professionals.”


Originating in 1878, Safilo has established itself as the second-largest global producer of eyewear. The company is world renowned by servicing over 90,000 stores in 130 countries and with a portfolio that boasts 25 of the world’s most reputable luxury brands such as Dior, Fendi, Jimmy Choo and Hugo Boss. With an eye for exemplary craftsmanship and carrying a variety of products ranging from sunglasses to prescription lenses, Safilo prides themselves with the highest standard in manufacturing eyewear throughout the entire design process from prototyping to the final product. Before exploring additive manufacturing technologies, Safilo constructed its concept prototypes using a traditional CNC machine. These would then be used as a template for workers to use towards developing actual prototypes. This slow and inefficient process resulted in lengthy lead times and higher production costs if mistakes or multiple iterations were required.

Prototyping with 3D Printers enables immediate Decision-making

In an effort to not only innovate but also reinvent their manufacturing and design process, Safilo used the Stratasys J750 3D printer to streamline their prototyping stage. With the benefits of having a full color, multi-material 3D printer, Safilo was also able to create more realistic prototypes as opposed to using traditional methods. The large build tray of the printer allows for a larger capacity of simultaneous prints, meaning the company could produce multiple variations of frames in a single print job. With the increase in efficiency and productivity, Safilo was able to cut costs and save time throughout the design process using the Stratasys J750 3D printer. 

Daniel Tomasin, the Product Sample Coordinator at Safilo states, “The ability to have our 3D printed concept prototypes mimic the exact same color and texture as the finished product has significantly accelerated the development of new eyeglass frames.” He adds, “In fact, with the removal of painting from the process, we can quickly respond to market trends and reduce our prototyping cycle from 15 hours to just 3 hours. This has slashed our developmental turnaround time by 60%, excluding post-processing, allowing us to accelerate our time-to- market and maintain our competitive edge with the launch of the latest fashion eyewear.”

“With 3D printing, we can play with textures and transparency, as well as blending a wide gamut of colors to achieve an incredible result, quickly and cost-effectively,” says Luca Bordin, a 3D Modeling Specialist at Safilo. He continues, “This ability to iterate often without incurring expensive costs allows us to perfect our design early in the design cycle. This arms us to not only dramatically reduce our turnaround time, but helps improve communication with the designers, enabling us to achieve the best product possible.”


If you are an established manufacturing company looking to raise the bar in innovation, how would you tackle it today? How would you provide better value to your customers?

The future factory, or commonly labelled industry 4.0, has seen a major push towards additive manufacturing. Yet, embracing a digital factory presents challenges with the transition from prototyping to a production-focused additive manufacturing factory. One of the main tests is to regulate scalability and an optimized production process that rely on platform based technology solutions. Another is to supply instant and on-demand customized products. With those challenges in mind, there are signs that denote a future factory is already here.

Stratasys recently unveiled the Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator at RAPID 2017, the first 3D printing platform that features the ability to perform interconnected print cells and automated workflow. The Demonstrator showcases a modular system built with reliability, scalability and repeatability as the backbone of its technology. Performing multiple tasks alongside each other provides an efficiency upgrade in production, which allows for additive manufacturing techniques that were previously unavailable. With the Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator, Stratasys is integrating the factory of the future with the ones we have today.
If you are interested in this printing solution, please contact us here to receive more information and a free quote.

Makerbot Education

The Rancho Solano Preparatory School reigning from Scottsdale, Arizona has stood out from the rest as a private pre K-12 school that fosters dynamic learning and prepares students with the skills needed to succeed in our modern world. Their academic vision as stated is to “cultivate in our students the ingenuity to thrive in a global society and to be architects of their future”.

Shannon Feaster, a member of the MakerBot Educator program, is a science teacher in the 4th and 5th grade. For 20 years, she has excelled at teaching beyond academic books to uphold the high standard of Rancho Solano.

Starting in August 2016, Shannon has used the MakerBot Replicator and the Makerbot Replicator Mini to enforce a dynamic learning environment in design with the use of 3D printed projects. This equipment has allowed her to teach in a style that compels her students to think outside the box, solve real-world problems and learn skills larger than life.
We caught up with Shannon to find out exactly how MakerBot’s 3D printing technology has allowed her to evolve her classroom and develop the students of tomorrow.

To read more >

Gladius Drone – Underwater Submersible ROV

Gladius Underwater Drone is capable of diving up to 100 meters (328ft) deep with a horizontal range of 500 meters (1,640ft), while staying submerged for 3 hours, allowing you to capture Ultra HD 1080P/4K quality photo and video directly to internal storage or live stream your dive in real-time. Whether you’re a scuba diver, underwater photographer, commercial diver, oceanographer or just want to have fun, we’ve intelligently engineered Gladius with features to fit a wide range of uses.