Being a reseller of CAD CAM equipment we have found it to be very interesting that many decision makers in dental labs want help figuring out if it's the right time to buy. From a business perspective it's all about return on investment (ROI).
So, for the sake of this exercise let's look at the cost of borrowing $10K over 5 years. Based on 21 manufacturing days in a month the $10K turns out to cost about $8.50 per day. So, a $27K scanner will run a little less than $25 per day. That said, if you are outsourcing models and the model base work flow is costing $25 more than just sending a digital file for manufacturing you can logically see that it does not take much work to get to a break even or to become significantly more profitable.
In addition, you need to add in the labor to scan and design the cases in your facility. This cost can very widely with efficiency of the individual(s) performing this operation. On the other side of the coin, you gain the savings of the cost of packaging and shipping (in addition to time savings). In reality, these two costs may be close to equal, so, it's a wash.
In conclusion, labs outsourcing 20 plus units a month are at the break even point to purchase a scanner and CAD software that is in the cost range of about $27K.
In conclusion, one can figure a daily cost of about $8.50 per $10K borrower over 5 years.
Hope this post can help some of those in question. Please feel free to add comments.