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8 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Dental Sandblaster

| Nathan Frey |

Our guest post today is brought to you by Nathan Frey of Vaniman Manufacturing Co.  Nathan leads marketing and technical sales with a focus on improving the user’s experience with Vaniman products.


 

Have you ever looked at a dental sandblaster and thought, “what else can I do with this thing?”  Here at Vaniman, we know the answer to this question is, “a lot”.  In fact, micro sandblasters are used in more industries than you think.

During the 33 years we’ve been in business we’ve seen many uses for sandblasters outside of the dental industry and every once in a while we see something truly amazing.  Here are eight of those most surprising things you can do with a dental sandblaster.

1. Creating Amazing Works of Art in Glass

Glass Etching is a skilled art form where the artist uses a sandblaster to create works of art in various glass mediums.  The surprising thing is the astounding level of detail involved.

The best glass-etchers can create life-like portraits and amazing landscapes so detailed you’d swear it was cut by laser.

2. Uncovering 50 Million Year Old Fossils

When a Paleontologist goes digging for fossils the majority of discoveries made are encased in a rocklike material known as “matrix”.  The matrix must be removed to reveal the fossilized bone and tissue that lies hidden within.

Dental sandblasters are often used because of the precision and delicacy they provide which removes the “matrix” without damaging the fossil.

If you’re curious to this in action, you can visit the Vaniman Facebook Group page and see how we used our sandblaster to prepare a 50 million-year-old fossilized fish.

3. Cleaning Rust & Corrosion on Metal

Sandblasters are exceptional at cleaning corrosion and are used in everyday life to clean dirty car parts, rusty tools, or even revitalize rusty patio furniture.

The process is so effective; Archaeologists use it to remove corrosion on shipwrecked objects as a means of removing the marine layer buildup.

4. Helping NASA Travel to Space

We’ve helped NASA travel to space!  Well, that might be a little misleading but NASA engineers, just like some of you technicians out there, work with a micro blaster for surface preparation.

They use sandblasting to create an ideal surface-area roughness in order to apply water-resistant compounds.  We never know which missions benefit from the sandblasting process but, hey, they just found water on Mars and we like to think a sandblaster helped.

5. Fixing Broken Hearts

Intravascular stents were introduced in the 1980s and are revolutionary medical devices. The stents are created using a microfabrication process which leaves microscopic burrs and other impurities on the freshly manufacturing stents.

These impurities require removal to prevent adverse reactions in the human body so stent makers use micro abrasive sandblasting to solve this problem.

6. Making Movies

Ever seen a stop motion film? Here are a few recent examples you might recognize: “The Box Trolls”, “Kubo and the Two Strings”, and “Coraline”.

Puppets are created and posed in a series of photographed frames which, once played fast, create the movie.  Those models are usually created with a 3D printer.

After the models have been created, the production teams use a sandblaster to smooth and shape the model surfaces to display emotion and texture.

7. Personalizing Gifts

If you’re a crafty person, you can use a sandblaster to etch on any sort of glassware and create a custom gift for friend, family, or yourself!

Our favorite example of this is something Vaniman does at dental trade shows.

We hand out custom engraved pint glasses we personally sandblast while at the show to visitors of our booth.  To do this yourself all you need is a sandblaster and a stencil.

8. Carving Your Own Mount Rushmore

Have you wondered how hard of a surface a sandblaster can cut through?

A sandblaster actually works great for carving stone and engraving rock as hard as granite. (Take that Gypsum)

An astonishing example can be found in the New York City Public Library where artist Bob Carpenter used a sandblaster to adorn the granite flooring and walls with library donor names.

 

Hopefully, you found the capabilities of the dental sandblaster interesting and insightful.  The next time you think about starting a new hobby or if you’re just looking to clean up old tools, look no further than that pressurized piece of technology humbly awaiting the next job.

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