To investigate the dimensional stability of various 3D-printed models derived from resin and plant-based, biodegradable plastics (PLA) under specific storage conditions for a period of up to 21 weeks.

Materials and Methods

Four different printing materials, including Draft V2, study model 2, and Ortho model OD01 resins as well as PLA mineral, were evaluated over a 21-week period. Eighty 3D-printed models were divided equally into two groups, with one group stored in darkness and the other exposed to daylight. All models were stored at a constant room temperature (20°C). Measurements were taken at 7-week intervals using the Inspect 3D module in OnyxCeph software (Image Instruments GmbH, Chemnitz, Germany).


Dimensional change was noted for all of the models with shrinkage of up to 0.26 mm over the study period. Most contraction occured from baseline to T1, although significant further contraction also arose from T1 to T2 (P < .001) and T1 to T3 (P < .001). More shrinkage was observed when exposed to daylight overall and for each resin type (P < .01). The least shrinkage was noted with Ortho model OD01 resin (0.16 mm, SD = 0.06), and the highest level of shrinkage was observed for Draft V2 resin (0.23 mm, SD = 0.06; P < .001).


Shrinkage of 3D-printed models is pervasive, arising regardless of the material used (PLA or resin) and being independent of the brand or storage conditions. Consequently, immediate utilization of 3D printing for orthodontic appliance purposes may be preferable, with prolonged storage risking the manufacture of inaccurate orthodontic retainers and appliances.

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Author notes


Private Practice, Traben-Trarbach, Germany.


Assistant Professor, Department of Orthodontics, University of Saarland, Homburg/Saar; and Private Practice, Traben-Trarbach, Germany.


Private Practice, Hennef, Germany.


Associate Professor, Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Medical Faculty, Dental School, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Professor, Dublin Dental University Hospital, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.