Dental implants may have a simple appearance, but they require complex manufacturing technology that has propelled the prosthetic industry to very high standards. And WorkNC Dental from Vero Software
automates two vital parts of the production process for a leading company in the field.
DESS (Dental Smart Solutions) was founded in Barcelona in 1947 and specialises in the manufacture of implants and prosthetic solutions for customers in 30 countries. The design of its product line is based on its own CAD / CAM libraries, available on the market as 3Shape, Exocad and Dental Wings.
During the process of prototyping and prosthesis milling, DESS relies on Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence solutions. WorkNC Dental software automates both the machining process and the positioning of parts on the disk or premilled blank, along with the placement of support connectors. These benefits not only apply to the milling of soft materials, but also to the milling of metals and ceramics.
WorkNC Dental is a CAM software developed by Vero Software, and enables DESS to produce customised prototypes and prosthetics. Through this tool, they generate machining strategies of the implant abutment before creating the final product, and those strategies are stored in the CAD/CAM library, for use with future projects. An example of this is a new screw model for angled prostheses – where the milling process had been previously carried out with another project using WorkNC Dental.
"High precision is indispensable in our daily routine. The market and the real needs of the product require very tight tolerances and high repeatability," says Ramón Terrats, Head of DESS’s Technical Department.
WorkNC Dental incorporates an Implant Manager function, which allows a Brep – exact surface definition – to be connected automatically to STL prostheses of all dental CAD systems.
DESS uses Roland and Robodrill CNC machine tools for, developing prototypes and testing products and to mill customized prostheses, as well as the final machining process.
Recently, the company interconnected all its machines and software through an Ethernet network. Ramón Terrats say the milling process of customised prosthesis is very simple, thanks to the Vero Software technology.
“First, we receive an e-mail with the CAD prosthesis designed with the DESS CAD library. Then, the DESS technician includes this STL CAD file in the WorkNC environment. And thanks to the Implant Manager application WorkNC recognises the Implant connection and position in the prosthesis, and places it in the right way in the blank.
“It automatically applies a previous configurated CAM strategy to the customised geometry...then WorkNC Dental generates the CAM program and sends it to the milling machine.”
He says WorkNC Dental’s high level of automation and specialisation optimises production time with high quality results.
DESS uses a Hexagon coordinate measuring machine
(CMM) in its reverse engineering process: "It is key in the process of obtaining design information and quality control of complex shapes and the interior of the parts we produce."
The company has been using Hexagon CMM's since 2004 and WorkNC Dental software since 2012. “The collaboration with Hexagon is an essential part of our work process,” says Ramón Terrats. “Since Hexagon is considered a benchmark reference in industrial quality control, and is known for its highest standards, it gives us full confidence in the results of the measurements taken. So overall, we can say that we had a very speedy return on investment.”
DESS works for many dental laboratories, milling centres and dentists. The company says the development process of each prototype is essential when it comes to reproducing the specific framework for individual clients. WorkNC Dental means DESS can replicate the problems and challenges they face daily.
Ramón Terrats concludes by saying that they have direct contact with Vero Software support technicians whenever they need it.