Global engineering company Renishaw offers QuantAM Dental software, which automates additive manufacturing (AM) build preparation for hundreds of dental frameworks in a single operation. The software, which was launched in March 2017, can cut preparation time from two hours or more with existing build preparation software to around 30 minutes. The 75% reduction allows dental production facilities to produce patient-specific frameworks with a reduced workload for staff, enabling cost reductions.
Dental production facilities typically receive hundreds of custom design files daily from multiple customers. Previously, the industry lacked a single suite of software that could handle all the operations required to prepare files for production. Instead, manufacturers were forced to use multiple software applications to prepare for a build.
“QuantAM Dental consolidates the number of software packages required to produce batches of frameworks, helping to reduce licensing overheads, decrease training requirements and reduce build preparation times daily,” explained Ed Littlewood, Marketing Manager at Renishaw’s Medical and Dental Products Division.
QuantAM Dental automatically imports hundreds of dental frameworks, repairs the .stl files if necessary and automates the orientation so that framework cavities face upwards, avoiding supports on the fitting surfaces. It also automatically adds an identification tag to each framework to allow reconciliation to designs and finally, generates supports.
The software then groups framework types according to manufacturing requirements. For example, frameworks that require heat treatment, such as bridges, are grouped separately from those that do not. Frameworks not requiring heat treatment can quickly and easily be identified before that step in the process is completed.
Finally, QuantAM Dental reviews the files and gives a list of potential errors for any sub-optimal frameworks. The systems operator can then slice the build files ready to transfer them to the AM system.