Delcam's software allow dental company to provide comprehensive service
Delcam’s Power Solution software has enabled Hull-based InterLab to offer a comprehensive technological service for its parent company WHW, a leading UK dental and medical manufacturer, when the company needed a complete redesign of tooling used in artificial teeth production in conjunction with developing new automated manufacturing techniques.
Rather than outsource costly and specialised tooling services, InterLab chose to invest its resources in equipment and technology that allowed it to bring the processes in-house. In 1999, InterLab purchased a Renishaw Cyclone scanner and a Bostomatic high-speed machining centre to facilitate the reverse engineering project. Due to the complex organic shapes, it soon became apparent that additional software was required in order to manipulate the scanned cloud point data.
Delcam’s CopyCAD software was the only programme that the company could find to enable them to achieve this, with features such as horizon line plotting functionality, and the facility to split a tooth along a curve to eliminate issues such as undercuts.
PowerSHAPE enabled InterLab to quickly generate a split surface that was capable of linking up to 24 teeth cavities together and provide a uniformed surface between each complex tooth profile.
Since then, Delcam’s PowerMILL has been found to be flexible and user-friendly in building complex machining strategies. The macros feature saves time in generating entire toothpath strategies for producing teeth moulds.
By using Delcam software, InterLab was able to offer WHW the total solution. By revolutionising the production methods used in the manufacture of artificial teeth, the company has reduced its labour and production costs allowing for increased competition with other countries offering lower cost manufacturing bases.
InterLab’s knowledge and expertise in CADCAM and reverse-engineering technology has enabled the company to move in to rapidly evolving markets such as medical devices, where it has been undertaking research into maxilliofacial implantology. Following collaborative work with universities, the company is becoming well known in other markets.
The scope of InterLab’s expertise has increased dramatically and the company can now offer a range of specialised design and engineering services to many different industries.