HP HPQ expanded its collaboration deal with direct-to-consumer orthodontics company, SmileDirectClub, to develop 3D-printed teeth molds.
Reportedly, SmileDirectClub will use 49 HP Jet Fusion 3D printing systems to make more than 50,000 unique mouth molds per day. This equates to the company making more than 18 million individualized 3D-printed mouth moulds a year.
The companies also announced a new recycling program, in which HP will recycle the excess 3D material and the already processed plastic mouth molds and turn the same into pellets for traditional injection molding. This is expected to lead to more sustainable production.
Notably, industrial 3D printing is growing on the back of medical industry wherein dental is a key driver. SmartDirectClub, which has served more than half a million customers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, is seeing rapid growth and has plans to make inroads into Australia and the UK in 2019.
3D Printing in Dental Industry
3D printing is gaining widespread adoption in the dental industry as it allows dentists to carry out procedures with more precision and efficiency. Notably, dental 3D printing is a process of creating three dimensional solid dental models, such as implants, surgical guides, braces, dentures, crowns and bridges.
Demand for dental 3D printing is driven by the rising need for modern dentistry and the growing dental disorders. Moreover, increasing demand for customized dental 3D printers and a solid need for efficient dental procedures are further fueling the global dental 3D printing market.
Research firm Transparency Market Research expects the global dental 3D printing market to see a 17.5% CAGR from 2017 to 2025, reaching a value of $3.4 billion.
Notably, SmileDirectClub, in order to keep up with the surging consumer demand, has more than doubled its investment in HP 3D printing solutions.
However, we note that high costs of dental treatments are an overhang on the market’s growth.
By leveraging the benefits of teledentistry coupled with HP’s 3D printing technology, SmileDirectClub is offering a cost that is up to 60% less than traditional options, per reports.
HP’s Efforts in 3D Printing
Apart from expanding its traditional printing product portfolio, HP is also focusing on enhancing its 3D printing business capabilities. Notably, the 3D printing market presents significant long-term investment opportunities as large number of engineers, designers, architects and entrepreneurs are now turning to 3D solutions for primary designing and product modeling.
Thus, in order to establish its presence in this space, HP unveiled its Jet Fusion 3D printing solution last year.
On the last conference call, HP stated that it is focused on extending both production and prototyping install base of 3D printing across the automotive, industrial, consumer and healthcare markets. Management also mentioned that each quarter, millions of final production parts are being produced on the Multi Jet Fusion platform. Moreover, it sounded optimistic about the range of applications in printers.
We believe, HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printing solution will help it establish a stronger footprint in this intensely competitive market, dominated by well-established players, namely Stratasys SSYS, 3D Systems DDD and Voxeljet VJET.
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HP currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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