3M ESPE Lava

Lava™ Chairside Oral Scanner by 3M ESPE

Research, Product Strategy, Usability, Industrial Design, Engineering Development

The Lava Chairside Oral Scanner is designed to help both dentists and patients take powerful steps forward in digital dentistry. This innovative system solves the challenges experienced with traditional dental impressions by providing dentists and patients with highly accurate real-time digital impressions, reducing fitting time and minimizing remakes.


Brontes Technology, a high tech startup out of MIT and Harvard, enlisted Manta to radically improve the ergonomics and usability of the overall system. Our experience developing a wide range of handheld devices and cart-based systems for the medical industry, as well as our rigorous process in the evaluation of ergonomics, proved to be a winning match for Brontes. We optimized wand ergonomics of the device, defined an improved the method of use, especially the optical wand — the primary interaction point for the dentist and the system's core technology. We also developed a cart-based system more suitable to the needs of the dental environment.


The product was so successful that Brontes Technology was acquired by 3M ESPE shortly after release of our first working prototypes. The 3M ESPE Lava Chairside Oral Scanner system design won BusinessWeek's IDEA Award.


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