Apr 13, 2011

Open, automated dental and hearing aid prostheses machining at Medtec France

Sescoi will be previewing its WorkNC Hearing software for the automatic CNC machining of hearing aid prostheses, and showing the latest developments in its WorkNC Dental CADCAM, including the new Implantology and Automation modules, at Medtec France, Besançon, on booth 613.

Following the success of its WorkNC Dental CADCAM software, which enables dental professionals to manufacture highly accurate dental prostheses without the need for expertise in CNC machining, Sescoi has developed WorkNC Hearing to offer the same advantages to medical professionals for the automatic manufacture of hearing aid prostheses, earmolds and shells.

WorkNC Hearing uses WorkNC’s open, expert toolpath generation technology. Starting from a 3D scan of the prosthesis model, the imported CAD data is manipulated ready for machining. Automatic nesting of multiple prostheses maximizes material utilization and allows the user to position the part to avoid undercut conditions and to add support pins ready for manufacture. Machining wizards automatically select the tools to suit the material being cut and apply the 4-axis toolpath with just one mouse click. The WorkNC Hearing CADCAM software is fully open, allowing the user to choose the most cost effective material and tools to suit their application, while the intelligence within the software makes it easy to use, making prosthesis manufacture a completely automated process.

Sescoi’s open WorkNC Dental Implantology module imports scanned implant data or xml files of the implant location, along with the geometry of the abutment itself. Libraries of connectors, and the ability to create custom connectors make it easy to finalize the prosthesis geometry. Automated 5-axis machining can match any make of machine tool, and feature recognition perfectly aligns the orientation of holes for the supporting implants. The software supports a wide range of dental materials including titanium, chrome-cobalt, zirconia, lithium disilicate, E-max and PMMA. Machining wizards automatically select tools and apply toolpaths tailored to each material to generate optimized 5-axis cutterpaths, which will machine undercut conditions, drill the hexagonal abutments, and machine special geometry with matching tooling. This allows dental technicians to produce complex bridges and abutments without the need for CNC machining experience.

WorkNC Dental Automation gives dental laboratories a productivity boost by managing the flow and allocation of work through the machine tools. Bi-directional communication with the machine tool controller allows the software to allocate work to each machine according to available resources. The software manages job loading/unloading on pallets and bar feeds, reports error conditions on the machine, and starts and stops machining programs. By eliminating the manual management of each machine tool, the software removes the chance of human error and gives technicians more time to focus on core skills, increasing overall productivity.

All of Sescoi’s software has been designed to be both automated and open. The company collaborates with a wide range of scanner, CAD and machine tool manufacturers, giving medical professionals the opportunity to tailor a complete system to suit their needs and budget, while maintaining the flexibility to develop innovative new solutions for their customers.