2014 Trends: Automation
Earlier this year, we published a post discussing the near-future of our business and industry as a whole. Since then, a number of the topics we touched on have seen even further advances: the furthest of which being 3D printing. It seems a new era will be driven by the capabilities 3D printing technology provides. It’s an exciting thought that dental technicians will grow more resemblant to digital designers than the sculptors of our industry’s past.
Going into 2014, we thought we’d revisit the subject. One of the next big steps in the dental restoration process seems to be automation, or expanding functionality and practicality of existing technologies.
Within the last year, manufacturers have developed easier-to-use, more intuitive CAD interfaces which are also smaller and more affordable. This has given small businesses throughout the industry previously unattainable access to new technology. The potential of CAM milling systems has also drastically increased, becoming both more user-friendly and with a wider range of capabilities.
Where does it go from here? Well, there is room for improvement in eliminating analog processes during the production processes. Taking the human element out of tedious tasks and putting it where it belongs–in areas a machine can’t (foreseeably) perform as well as a skilled artist technician.
We’ve seen technology grow. Now it’s time to find new ways to implement these technologies into our automated workflows.
As these technologies become more prevalent throughout the industry, suddenly everyone is on the same page. This is where quality, customer service, and proven results will prove invaluable to labs like ours.
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