Dental Aligner Features
Dental Aligner Features
We're actively improving our dental aligner trimming software. Below we'll keep an updated list of features that we've added to the software. To ensure you have all the features below, navigate to https://aligner.pocketnc.com, hold the Shift button and click refresh, then close the window and reopen it. Performing that process will ensure that you have the latest version loaded.
Credits can now be purchased through Stripe on authorized accounts. You can access the Purchase Credits window through the upper right menu. Clicking a purchase button will open a Stripe Checkout page for the purchase price of the credits. Fill out your credit card details and the specified amount of credits will be added to your account. Purchasing a higher quantity of credits makes the per credit cost less. The following table shows the pricing for each tier:
|Credits||Price per credit||Total|
Multiple Aligners Workflow
We've added a workflow for uploading and processing multiple aligners in a single set all at once. You can upload a zip file with multiple STL files for a single set of aligners (a series of 20 upper aligners for a single patient, for example). There is now a Multiple Aligners tab in the window that pops up after clicking the New Aligner button (the blue plus button). Enter a unique aligner set code and select a zip file that contains the models for your aligner set. The files in the zip file will be shown with an aligner number assigned to each one (it looks for a number at the end of the file name such as patient-1.stl, patient-2.stl, etc.). If the numbers look right, click the Set Position button to position the first model in the set on the Pocket NC fixture. After positioning the model, click the Save Position button in the top left. The Multiple Aligners tab will come back with a Create and Finalize Aligners button, with the exact number of credits that will be charged. After clicking the Create and Finalize button, the zip file will be uploaded to our servers and processed. While processing, you can begin placing the trim line on the first aligner. After finishing the trim line, you can click the Copy Points To All Unfinished Aligners In Set to copy the current points to the other aligners in the set. When processing is complete, you will be able to download zip files of all processed models and g code. Watch the video below to see the whole process start to finish to create 12 aligners with trim lines in under 2.5 minutes!
Draw Mode is a new way to place points while in the Edit Path step. Rather than clicking a location for every point, the user can click and drag on the model to draw a continuous path. After releasing the mouse button, a series of points will be added to approximate that path. This can be a good way to place several points using the same approach angles (since changing the approach angles can slow down the trim path, this can help minimize how many are performed). Pressing the Escape key prior to releasing the mouse will clear the path, canceling the addition of new points. This is a little more advanced than the Single Point mode that everyone has been working with so far, but we believe it will help efficiently create tool paths for some workflows. Watch the video below to see draw mode in action.
No Active Aligner Warning
Our aligner software allows you to try out the whole workflow without needing to sign up or pay for anything upfront. When no aligner is active (you'll see the No Active Aligner label in the top left), no data is saved, nor are any of the outputs available for download (the modified model and the G code). This can be confusing for someone who has credits, but simply forgot to allocate one, so we've added a more prominent warning along the top of the window when you're using the software in demonstration mode.
Digital Read Out (DRO)
The digital read out (DRO) is a panel on the right side that displays the current position of the rotary axes on the Pocket NC. The A axis is probably the most important one to watch while placing points in order to avoid collisions. Keeping the A axis around 45 degrees is a good place to shoot for while cutting the inner gum line. Specific models may need to stray from 45 degrees, but going shallower than 45 degrees along the inner gum line increases the chance of collisions between the teeth and the spindle.
Autocomplete Quick Lookup
The Quick Lookup text box has been revamped to show all aligners that match what has been typed so far. A drop down menu displays all the matching codes, which can be navigated with the arrow keys or the mouse. Pressing enter will select the currently highlighted item (by default the first one in the list). The list is sorted by the last access, so the most recently accessed aligner codes are shown first.
There is now a way to sign into the dental aligner software. Contact us to create an account for you, associated with an email address. Credits can be purchased, which allow you to create an aligner trimming program in our software. See the video below for a brief example. We'll be working to improve the workflow by including easier ways to look up recently accessed aligners and autocomplete type lookups, but for now you must remember the aligner codes you create and type them in exactly in the Quick Lookup text box to load them.
When you create an aligner using the workflow in the video, you are asked for an Aligner Set Code and an Aligner Number. The Set Code and Number are joined on a dash (-) to create a unique code for a specific aligner. That unique code can be used to lookup the aligner after it is created. We broke these two fields apart so that an individual aligner is associated with a set of aligners, such as the upper teeth for a specific patient's treatment. Since different models in a single set can share much of the same data such as placement on the fixture and in some cases the same trim path, we plan to include faster ways to work with a whole set. Look out for improvements in this area in near future!
Checkboxes in the Position Model step
There are now two checkboxes in the Position Model step:
RFID Label Bridge
Cylinders Around Threads
The threads that are shown in the aligner software will be subtracted from your model during processing to ensure the 3D printed model can be mounted. In some cases, though, the threads don't align well with the model or the model is hollowed out, so extra material is needed for the threads to work.
These are some examples that show the Cylinders that were added around the threads:
Rotate the model
We recommend importing axis aligned models, but our software can import any model that has a large flat surface to position on the fixture. We calculate the largest surface on the model and orient that surface down on the fixture. When the model is axis aligned it may require a couple 90 degree rotations and a simple translation to properly aligner the model to our fixture. In cases where the model is not axis aligned, arbitrary rotations are necessary to orient the front of the teeth toward the spindle on the Pocket NC. We added an option to perform these arbitrary rotations in the Position Model step. See the video below.