DentCAD allows complete bridges to be designed in minutes
Delcam will show the latest releases of its DentCAD and DentMILL dental software at the IDS International Dental Show to be held in Cologne from 24th to 28th March. DentCAD is a highly-automated, computer-aided design (CAD) program that can be used for the fast, reliable creation of dental restorations, including copings, crowns and bridge frameworks, while DentMILL is a knowledge-based machining (CAM) system for the manufacture of components for the industry.
Delcam will also be demonstrating the new release of its PartMaker machining software. This program is used to speed the manufacture of dental screws and similar accessories on turn-mill equipment or Swiss-type lathes.
DentCAD and DentMILL can be used together to provide a complete design and manufacturing system. However, both programs are completely 'open' and so can be used with software and hardware from other companies. For example, DentCAD accepts data from any scanner capable of exporting data in the STL format used widely within the dental industry. Similarly, DentMILL can output machining toolpaths to virtually any CNC machine. Most other dental CAM programs are part of a 'closed' system that can only work with unique data formats or specific scanning or machining equipment.
The key benefit of DentCAD is that is extremely easy to use and so is ideally suited both for dental technicians with existing CAD knowledge and those that have no previous experience of computer-aided design. The whole process is based on a series of "Wizards" that guide the user through the entire design process.
A wide range of visualisation and analysis tools are available at every stage, including sectioning, measuring, shading and transparency options that allow detailed inspection of the shape being developed. This ensures that the results are exactly as required by the patient.
The system is also very flexible, so allowing different design options to be developed and compared. For example, key parameters like the margin line and the cement thickness can be modified and the computer model will automatically update to reflect the changes. In addition, sculpting tools let the user add or subtract material interactively, while the dynamic editing tools allow the complete model to be reshaped quickly and effectively.
All the functionality in DentMILL is based on Delcam's PowerMILL CAM system, which is widely acknowledged to be the world leader in high-speed and five-axis machining. This allows the software to offer a far wider range of proven machining strategies than is available in other dental CAM programs.
The latest additions to the software are new five-axis options, which are particularly important for abutment manufacture as these components are difficult to produce with three-axis machining. The new five-axis functionality can reduce material wastage when producing copings and bridges. Previously, all the components needed to be oriented within the material block so that they could all be machined in a single direction. With the five-axis approach, the components can each be rotated to minimise the block thickness required, since the different pieces, or even different areas within a single part, can be machined in different directions. This allows a set of parts to be produced from a thinner block of material so reducing material costs and machining times. Five-axis machining can also be used to machine parts containing undercuts.
Another new option is the ability to generate set-up sheets. These allow the user to identify easily multiple parts manufactured in the same block of material.
Major highlights of the new release of PartMaker include a revamped and more productive user-interface, improved capabilities for programming directly on CAD models, and more realistic machine simulations for the increasingly-complex equipment now being used in the dental industry. The enhanced user interface will make PartMaker users even more productive in programming their machining equipment, while offering new users an even easier to learn system.
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