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.

 Draw Mode

10/7/2019

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

10/4/2019

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)

10/3/2019

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 

10/1/2019

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.

Virtual Credits

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:

These checkboxes control features of the final processed aligner model. They must be checked or unchecked prior to clicking Finalize Position, as the model processing begins immediately after finalizing and cannot be performed again for a single label (you could use an additional credit/RFID label to process the same model again).

RFID Label Bridge

The RFID Label Bridge is an extra piece of geometry that allows an RFID sticker to be placed on the model for easy scanning. The bridge will include the label embedded in the bridge so it is easy to associate a printed RFID label with a 3D printed model. If you don't use the RFID labels to track a 3D printed model or prefer not to have the extra geometry, leave this unchecked. Here is an example of a model with the RFID label bridge added:

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.