The Argen Corporation, a leading innovator of digital dentistry solutions, has celebrated their 10-year anniversary of going digital. Since starting in 2011 with a single Selective Laser Melting machine, Argen’s digital services have evolved into a robust, 140,000 square foot manufacturing facility that utilises diverse milling and printing techniques with over 115 machines. Argen invests heavily in talent, technology, and equipment to provide high-quality, cost-efficient digital solutions to dental laboratories across the world.
As Anton Woolf, chief executive officer of Argen, expressed: “We are so proud to celebrate this 10-year milestone of providing innovative solutions that help our dental lab customers succeed. It has been an incredible journey and we look forward to supporting our labs over the next 10 years.”
In the early 2000s, the dental industry discovered that designing restorations on a computer was significantly more efficient than the traditional methods. Recognising this rapid change in technology would soon transform the industry, Mr Woolf decided Argen would make the transition to digital. That choice was the start of Argen’s trajectory to becoming the leader and innovator it is today.
In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Argen Digital, Argen shares the timeline of how that decision led to Argen’s current position of prominence in digital dentistry.
2011 – Selective Laser Melting machine:
Argen purchased their first Selective Laser Melting (SLM) machine in 2009. The SLM machines were not designed for manufacturing dental products, so producing quality units from the machine was not an easy task. The two-year long effort, led by Paul Cascone and Eric Zamborsky, helped lay the groundwork for the development of SLM Noble, SLM High Noble, SLM Palladium 71, and SLM Captek.
2012 – Argen adds DPM and wax:
Argen continued to acquire additonal SLM machines, allowing for an increase in production capacity. Then, they began expanding the portfolio of digital products by offering digital precious metals (DPM), wax copings, and frameworks.
2013 – Zirconia, 3D printers, and 3D-printed models:
Building on the success of SLM, DPM, and wax, Argen expanded into 3D printed products. The Argen team worked closely with many material and equipment manufacturers to optimise material properties, colours, and accuracy, ensuring the technology functioned for dental applications. In addition to 3D printing, Argen made a big move into milled zirconia, predicting this material would become a major part of dentistry.
2014 – ArgenIS custom abutments:
Argen then added ArgenIS Titanium, Zirconia, and SLM Custom Abutments in 2014. Over time, the abutment manufacturing has evolved into a fully-automated process. The on-site CNC Swiss Screw machines mill blanks from grade 23 titanium – the most stringent grade in medical titanium. The custom-built five-axis FANUC Robodrills, six-axis FANUC robots (Maverick and Goose), and software all work together to streamline the abutment milling process.
2019 – New digital manufacturing facility:
Argen acquired a new and much larger digital manufacturing centre in 2019. The state-of-the-art facility has since kept pace with the growing digital outsourcing needs, and it continues to ensure the effective production of high-quality products for Argen’s dental laboratory partners.
2020 – Clear aligners:
Argen entered the orthodontics market in 2020 with clear aligners, an initiative that was years in the making. Manufacturing clear aligners is one more way that Argen enables dental laboratories to offer in-demand services to their customers, while also expanding their product and service offering.
Today, Argen’s 140,000 square foot manufacturing centre houses more than 115 printing and milling machines that run 24 hours per day, five days per week, and are serviced by more than 100 trained professionals.