May 29, 2017 | By Tess

Arfona, a Brooklyn-based dental 3D printing startup, has just been named winner of the 2017 Propelify Startup Competition. The company, which has developed an innovative 3D printer for manufacturing partial dentures, is hoping to make dental care—and specifically tooth replacement—more accessible to patients.

Founded by dental technician Justin Marks in 2016, Arfona has devised what is being called a groundbreaking method for 3D printing partial dentures in a fast and cost-effective manner. The innovative process consists of Arfona’s flagship product, the r.Pod 3D printer, as well as a range of dental filaments. The r.Pod 3D printer, made in collaboration with dental materials manufacturer Valplast, is the first additive manufacturing system designed specifically for producing Valplast partial dentures and appliances.

The Brooklyn-based startup was recently recognized at the Propelify Innovation Festival, an annual event that brings together thousands of innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and performers. Hosted at the Hoboken Waterfront in New Jersey, Propelify is especially notable for its Startup Competition.

The contest, sponsored by Samsung NEXT, Staples, Google, and Techstars, attracted over 120 applications from startups around the country. From that pool, ten semi-finalists were chosen to present their companies to a panel of judges at Propelify, after which four finalists were selected to make their pitches on stage in front of the judges and an audience.

(Image: Propelify Innovation Festival)

This year, Arfona was crowned winner, and was awarded with a $10,000 cash prize as well as $25,000 in business credits from the competition’s sponsors. As part of the prize, Arfona will also be given the chance to meet with executives from Staples and Samsung, and will have access to certain press opportunities.

Marks commented on the win, saying: “We are thrilled not only for the win but for the opportunity to make oral health issues front and center in the tech and investor communities. More than 178 million Americans are missing at least one of their natural teeth and many patients go untreated because the process is either too expensive or too unpleasant. We’re proud to be working on a solution to this problem and to be recognized by the startup community for our achievements.”

What sets Arfona’s technology apart from many other 3D printing dental technologies is that it uses fused filament printing rather than resin 3D printing, which is more common for dental applications. By using FFF, Arfona has shown it can create biocompatible end-use dentures, going beyond simple prototypes.

As the startup’s website claims: “The photopolymers that are typically used with dental 3D printers are messy to work with, contain hazardous chemicals, and are limited to short term or single-use appliances. With r.Pod 3D printing we have taken popular thermoplastics such as Valplast and transformed them for use.”

Arfona’s r.Pod 3D printer features twin Flexion print heads and comes with Simplify3D printing software.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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Dorothy wrote at 11/27/2017 8:15:06 PM:

looking for more information on this product. I am a supervisor in the dental service at the East Orange VA Hospital. I have asked our dental lab technicians to supply me with some information on what type of equipment they would need to start doing the Valplast dentures in house. Please provide me with some information. thank you Dorothy Koenig, AO Dental 160 385 Tremont Avenue East Orange, NJ 07018

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