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July 26, 2016 | Tom Ballard

“GIGTANK 365” participant iPrint 3D focused on orthodontists and their patients

GIGTANK 365 - 2016(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final article in a seven-part series leading up to the “GIGTANK 365 Accelerator Pitch Night” which occurs later today in Chattanooga. To register, click here.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

The last start-up in our review of six of the 11 that will present at tonight’s pitch night for the “GIGTANK 365” summer accelerator is, appropriately enough, a local one.

In fact, iPrint 3D is a spin-out of an established Scenic City company named Motion View Software, LLC. The latter makes powerful, versatile tools that allow orthodontists to do more while saving time and money. It offers high-resolution model scanning, precision indirect bonding, digital treatment planning, instant non-radiation face scanning, and high-speed, high-resolution 3D printing.

The parent company is well-established in its field.

“We have strong relationships with about 70 percent of the colleges that have orthodontics programs,” Knoch says. “They use our software to straighten teeth.”

Making 3D software for diagnosis and treatment planning for orthodontists was not everything that Knoch thought Motion View could achieve.

“I wanted to get more out of the software to do more for the patient,” he explained.

After initially becoming a dealer for several 3D printer manufacturers, Knoch decided the devices available for orthodontists were too expensive and lacked the precision they needed. Then, he made a key discovery.

“I happened to see a design made by an engineer,” he explained. “I bought the design and decided to modify it and sell printers.”

That was about two years ago, and Knoch has pursued his goals, mostly self-funding iPrint 3D’s R&D. “We’ve spent all of our capital to design, build and test our (prototype) model. We know it works.”

As he started looking for investors, Knoch contacted Launch Tennessee which connected him back to his hometown and Mike Bradshaw, Executive Director of CO.LAB. The start-up applied for “GIGTANK 365” and will finish the accelerator tonight.

“We have a lot of people interested in our printers,” Knoch says. There will be two models. One has a print area that is seven inches by seven inches by seven inches. The other model can print a larger area that is 12 inches by 14 inches by 10 inches.

The printers take only about a third of the time of most other models. They can also provide a resolution as small as about 25 micron layers as well as printing multiple sets of multiple patient models in a single run.

This tagline in iPrint 3D’s marketing materials probably says it best: “Design what you need . . . print it . . . use it.” That includes bonding transfer trays, surgical guides, occlusal splints, and an entire skull.

Knoch expects to broaden iPrint 3D’s offerings beyond orthodontists eventually.

The “GIGTANK 365” pitch night begins at 5:30 p.m. today at the Edney Innovation Center, 1100 Market Street.

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