Are All Roland Mills Created Equal?


To make a long story short, YES and NO. During a visit to Roland’s assembly plant I was able to see their state of the art manufacturing process and it was amazing. Indeed all Roland DWX-50 mills are the same because Roland uses precise manufacturing processes to make sure every fastener is tightened to a specific torque. Every component and subassembly goes through inspection to make sure each is within tolerance. There are also manufacturing protocols in place to insure every part, nut and bolt is in the proper place and NOTHING is left out.  All Roland DWX-50’s have the same specs, same spindle, all are 5 axis, all have a maximum A B axis range of 15 degrees. YES, each Roland DWX-50  is made in a state of the art factory for consistent quality from one machine to the next.

So where does the “NO” come into play? First, no mill is plugged into the wall and ready to mill crowns and bridges. As you probably know, there is a CAM software needed. The CAM is like a conductor of an orchestra. An orchestra without a good conductor is simply a large number of musicians without direction. The CAM, like the conductor, has the capability to get the most operational efficiency and capability from any mill. At CAP we package Roland mills with SUM 3D from Cim Systems of Italy. This dental specific CAM controls everything the mill does. From picking up a new tool at a specific time, to the depth of a cut, speed of a cut, speed of the spindle and the controlling of all 5 axes of the mill while the tool is cutting and the spindle is in motion. Initial SUM 3D CAM packages come with basic mill strategies. As a result, the combined purchase of SUM 3D and Roland mills will provide a system that is ready to mill.

All CAM software strategies can be modified, unless of course it has been locked up by a system manufacturer or reseller, which in some cases is not a bad thing. At CAP, our engineers have been in continuous non-stop mill strategy development and fine tuning for several years. As a result, when purchasing a Roland and Sum 3D form CAP all the engineering efforts and subsequent mill strategies are included. In fact, I believe mill strategies for SUM 3D from CAP are unlike any other. Here are some of the CAP advancements and CAM strategy upgrades included and available with SUM 3D from CAP for Roland.

  • Mill strategies that are optimized for both speed and reduced chipping
  • High definition milling. This includes a 0.3 mm tool to define occlusal anatomy
  • Strategies for milling of the most complex (and likely profitable) izir, screw retained zirconia restorations. These strategies are set to mill up to 14 unit bridges
  • Screw retained crowns
  • Hybrid custom abutments
  • And more

What I find very interesting is many lab owners go very deep when determining what mill to purchase and have little interest in the CAM. Once the mill decision is made, a distributor is selected and the lab gets whatever CAM and mill strategies the distributor is selling. As a result, some Roland owners end up with a system that can be far less effective, less efficient and have limited indications. In conclusion, when the search for a mill results in a Roland DWX-50 one has likely made a wise choice. However, make sure when purchasing the orchestra it comes with the best available conductor (or CAM).

You may not be aware, Roland has been a large frame printer manufacturer for much longer than they have been in dental. For a video of the Roland’s manufacturing facility and a closer look at how they produce machinery you can go here:


Thanks for reading,

Bob Cohen, CDT

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