3D Printing Allows Company to Serve Customers Around the World
“We are ready to target the top end of the global market. The Objet Eden 260V from Stratasys will be key in helping the company to achieve this goal.” – Toshimasa Aso, CEO
ASO International is a leading orthodontic laboratory in Japan that started back in 1982 and has since enjoyed steady growth in the industry. Starting as a one-man dental lab in downtown Tokyo, ASO has now grown to occupy 46 business bases to serve almost 70% of the Japanese orthodontic market. 10% of their business comes from serving orthodontists in foreign markets, a number that Toshimasa Aso, CEO of ASO International, wants to grow using 3D printing technology.
Aso first discovered this technology back in 2001 at the American Association of Orthodontists conference in Chicago. He was sold after seeing Stratasys’ Objet Eden260V 3D printer in action and purchased one shortly thereafter. Little did he know that it would play a major role in helping his company broaden its opportunities on a global scale.
Building a Global Business
Toru Kawakami, ASO’s General Manager for CAD/CAM imaging says that digital technology has opened doors for the company they never even knew existed. He explains, “We can receive STL data from anywhere in the world and then create models using our Eden260V 3D printer. Now we can work with an orthodontist located just a few miles away or one that is located 5,000 miles away. Our ability to serve more customers has grown exponentially.”
With 3D printing technology, ASO has been able to streamline their production by increasing the number of solutions they can produce and offer to their customers. By eliminating the need to outsource, all of ASO’s in-house development increases productivity and output without sacrificing quality.
Physical models can also be stored as digital files, freeing up valuable storage space along with the associated costs. Kawakami writes, “We have centralized the collection of all models from orthodontists at our Tokyo headquarters. Sending scanned 3D data instead of physical models to customers produces significant savings on transport costs, while eliminating the risk of damage to the models in transit.”
New Technology Equals New Opportunities
With Stratasys’ 3D printing solutions, ASO is constantly growing and finds new opportunities for success on the global market. Aso writes, “The use of cutting edge technology allows us to capitalize on new and emerging opportunities. Orthodontists always approach us with new ideas, asking us to do new things. Without new technologies like 3D printing, we wouldn’t be able to meet their expectations and grow our business . . . We are ready to target the top end of the global market. The Objet Eden260V from Stratasys will be key in helping the company to achieve this goal.”