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Delcam to launch dental software upgrade at Dental South China

Higher-definition modelling methods in DentCAD give much better representation of fine details

Delcam will launch a major upgrade of its software for the design and manufacture of dental implant restorations with the release of the 2012 versions of its DentCAD and DentMILL programs at the Dental South China exhibition to be held in Guangzhou from 7th to 10th March. 

Delcam is the only company able to offer a complete, open implantology solution, from accurately capturing the implant position and orientation, through to the high-precision, multi-axis milling of customised abutments, implant bridges and dental bars, with a management system to track every stage of the process.  The company remains committed to its drive to replace "closed” manufacturing methods, in which the user is restricted to the use of a limited range of equipment and materials, with "open” systems, in which manufacturers can combine their own choice of equipment and software, and then use a broad variety of materials.  Thus, DentCAD can accept data from all leading dental scanning systems and output designs to any machining software, while DentMILL can take models from most dental design systems and generate toolpaths for a wide range of machine tools.

The major change in DentCAD is the introduction of a higher-definition method for modelling.  This gives much better representation of fine details such as cusps and fissures on the tooth, and so allows a closer match to the surrounding teeth to be modelled.

It has also enabled the creation of a much more extensive and more realistic library of standard tooth designs for DentCAD.  Designs much closer to real teeth can be selected from the library that require far less editing to produce the final model.

The second major change has been the incorporation of best-fitting algorithms from PowerINSPECT.  These allow the positions of scan adaptors to be located to high levels of precision and so enable extremely accurate production of multi-implant restorations, such as dental bars.

Another key area for development has been dental bar design.  This has been improved to give more control over the shape of the various profile sections of the bar and to make it easier to incorporate full custom abutments within the bar.

The most obvious change to DentMILL is improved integration into the DentCAD workflow, including the introduction of a new interface that replicates the cleaner style introduced in the 2010 version of DentCAD.  This features a reduced number of toolbars to allow the maximum screen space for toolpath generation and simulation, together with bolder and clearer icons.  The new interface has been designed in association with dental laboratories and milling centres to ensure that technicians with limited experience of computer-aided machining will find the software easy to learn and to use.

Material use has been made more efficient with improved and more flexible nesting tools to position the various restorations within the block.  In particular, the ability to undertake part-to-part pinning has been added, rather than having separate sintering pins for each restoration.  Background processing means that toolpath calculations can be started on the first items added to the block, while the remaining restorations are still being positioned.  This approach can reduce the overall calculation times.

DentMILL has also benefited from enhancements to the latest version of PowerMILL on which it is based.  These include a number of new strategies that offer smoother machining to give the best possible surface finish.

Closer integration has also been added between DentCAD and DentMILL and Delcam’s OrderManager workflow management software so that the system is updated automatically with design and manufacturing data as it is generated.  This is in addition to the ability for the milling-centre staff to immediately see incoming orders, approve them and download scan data to begin the design or to download design data for machining.  The additional automation makes it easier to use the system to manage all the manufacturing steps through to eventual dispatch, and to maintain a ‘real-time’ view of the centre’s total order status.  Delcam’s OrderManager can be used with the full variety of manufacturing methods as it can easily be tailored to manage any milling centre’s individual process steps.

Each customer has access to view all their orders, from initial order acknowledgement through to eventual dispatch, to check their progress without needing to contact the milling centre, so saving time for both customer and supplier.  The laboratory is notified automatically if any further information is required, and when the order has been dispatched so that it can give the dentist the expected delivery date.

As well as incorporating a high degree of automation, the system has been designed to be extremely easy to use for staff at both the laboratory and the milling centre, thus minimising administration time whilst maximising feedback.   All stages of each transaction are logged, providing complete traceability for every order.

30 January 2012

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