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What are a dental technician and a goldsmith doing in the same workshop? On the surface, nothing. Yet technology has brought them together. Andrea Zuliani, 59, a dental technician with his business in Bressa di Campoformido, in the province of Udine, since 1989, told us how. He is the protagonist of CNA Storie of the month. It all stems from a training course sponsored by CNA with the Ecipa Foundation to popularize the use of 3 D printers. Testimonial, a goldsmith, who has long resorted to this technique for the production of models, the basis of his handcrafted creations. It was a real breakthrough for Andrea, previously forced to outsource all milling. “The material was very good for the models that we then use to build prosthetics,” Andrea explains. I captured him, because I realized that it was time for me to start using this technique as well. I was tired of sending out these fabrications. The results we got from his advice and counsel were instrumental in making a three-dimensional, 3-micron precision model.”

I was tired of sending out machining

Technology in the service of craftsmanship

Thanks to these innovations, Andrea manages to reduce time and maintain craftsmanship: “The speed is in the time it takes us to make a piece,” Andrea explains. With the new technologies we have acquired, we are able to model an entire arch on the computer in two hours. Now to model the esthetic areas we only need to press a button, whereas before we took ten minutes for each element.” Thanks to Cad, Andrea explains, “we are able to solve so many problems, especially for precision machining. By staying small, we manage to give something more, in terms of shapes and colors,” Andrea adds.

By staying small, we manage to give something extra, in terms of shapes and colors

Families cut back on care spending

Rising inflation has reduced families’ ability to spend. And this is affecting resources allocated to health and personal care. Sectors such as dentistry and dental technology are greatly affected by these fluctuations. “I see more and more people not taking care of themselves. We find that there is less availability,” Andrea says.

In Andrea’s workshop, Enrico, 62, and Alex, 22, work shoulder to shoulder. The past, present and future of this business. “Alex gained experience in other workshops,” Andrea explains. He found himself unemployed after the company where he came from went bankrupt. I hired him as an apprentice. He followed the path to become a worker. I hope he will take the reins of the workshop,” is his hope. Andrea then goes on to tell about Enrico: “He is 62 years old. He comes from a top lab and helps out as an on-call employee. He also took a course to learn how to use the 3d printer: he is very good on analog techniques, but with the computer…. he’s a bit of a barfly!”