Strength and Surface Properties of a 3D-Printed Denture Base Polymer

J Prosthodont. 2022 Jun;31(5):412-418. doi: 10.1111/jopr.13413. Epub 2021 Aug 25.


Purpose: This in vitro study evaluated the flexural strength, impact strength, hardness, and surface roughness of 3D-printed denture base resin subjected to thermal cycling treatment.

Materials and methods: According to ISO 20795-1:2013 standards, 120 acrylic resin specimens (40/flexural strength test, 40/impact strength, and 40/surface roughness and hardness test, n = 10) were fabricated and distributed into two groups: heat-polymerized; (Major.Base.20) as control and 3D-printed (NextDent) as experimental group. Half of the specimens of each group were subjected to 10,000 thermal cycles of 5 to 55°C simulating 1 year of clinical use. Flexural strength (MPa), impact strength (KJ/m2 ), hardness (VHN), and surface roughness (μm) were measured using universal testing machine, Charpy's impact tester, Vickers hardness tester, and profilometer, respectively. Data were analyzed by ANOVA and Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) test (α = 0.05).

Results: The values of flexural strength (MPa) were 86.63 ± 1.0 and 69.15 ± 0.88; impact strength (KJ/m2 )-6.32 ± 0.50 and 2.44 ± 0.31; hardness (VHN)-41.63 ± 2.03 and 34.62 ± 2.1; and surface roughness (μm)-0.18 ± 0.01 and 0.12 ± 0.02 for heat-polymerized and 3D-printed denture base materials, respectively. Significant differences in all tested properties were recorded between heat-polymerized and 3D-printed denture base materials (P < 0.001). Thermal cycling significantly lowered the flexural strength (63.93 ± 1.54 MPa), impact strength (2.40 ± 0.35 KJ/m2 ), and hardness (30.17 ± 1.38 VHN) of 3D-printed resin in comparison to thermal cycled heat-polymerized resin, but surface roughness showed non-significant difference (p = 0.262).

Conclusion: 3D-printed resin had inferior flexural strength, impact strength, and hardness values than heat-polymerized resin, but showed superior surface roughness. Temperature changes (thermal cycling) significantly reduced the hardness and flexural strength and increased surface roughness, but did not affect the impact strength.

Keywords: 3D printing; CAD/CAM; mechanical test; polymethylmethacrylate; surface properties.

MeSH terms

  • Denture Bases*
  • Materials Testing
  • Polymers*
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Surface Properties


  • Polymers
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate