Bar module

Bar module


This documentation is prelimary and incomplete, it does not yet cover the complete functionality of the bar module.


Mouse interactions & hotkeys for bar module

You can move the control points (the small balls) by dragging them with left mouse button. You can also drag the arrows, for restricted movement in one direction.

  • Control+Click Add Control Point
  • Drag Point + Right click Remove control point
  • Shift+Drag move point and its neighbors
  • Control+Drag move point and its further neighbors
  • Control+Shift+Drag move ALL points (using insertion-plane)
  • Click on arrow Toggle automatic placement of control point. Hold Shift, Control or Both to extend toggle-range.

Chosing the profile

When the bar design screen is open, a profile selection window will show:

Select the desired profile from the "Type" drop-down box.

By default, the newly selected profile will be applied to the entire bar. By selecting the "Apply to selection" radio button, you can apply new profile choices only to the currently selected bar segment (marked by purple/yellow outlines). To select a specific segment, simply click on it. You can change profile parameters by unfolding the "Profile Parameters" expander.

To save your favorite profile parameters, click the hard disk icon. To load a saved profile, click the folder icon. You can also load STL files as bar profiles (provided that they have suitable triangulation and orientation - direction of the bar in the STL should be Z axis, top of the bar should point in direction of Y axis).

The planes

Planes helps you to position control points precisely. The planes can be shown by checking the "Show plane" checkbox in the first tab.

There are two planes:

  • The reference plane (green): This plane is typically used to define the top of the bar.
  • The auxilary plane (yellow): This plane is parallel to the reference plane, but positioned at the height of the currently selected control point. It helps you to see easily what the height difference between the currently selected control point and the reference plane is.

You can change the inclination of the planes by dragging the green ball on top of the control arrow in the center of the plane. You can move the height of the reference plane to height of a specific control point by double-clicking the control point (in other words - double-click the selected control point to reposition the green plane to exact position of the yellow plane).

Alternatively, the plane can be defined by three click points (with a possible height offset definition for each point). This feature is accessible through the drop-down menu that appears when you click the "Define" button in the "Auxilary planes" box.

Don't confuse the reference plane with the occlusal plane. Typically, you will set the reference plane parallel to the occlusal plane, but much lower.

Using the control points

Control points can be snapped to each other (to keep them parallel to the reference plane), or to the reference plane itself (when the plane is visible).

By default, each control point can be moved independently of its neighbors:


By clicking one of the Cyan arrows, which point to its neighbors, you can link the height of a control point to its neighbor:


The fact that two control points have their height linked to each other is indicated by a dark blue color of the arrow. The segment between the control points is now parallel to the auxilary plane.

By clicking one of the green arrows, you can snap the respective control point to the reference plane. Note that this is only possible if the auxilary plane visualization plane is enabled.


If the control point is snapped to the plane, it will feature a green halo.

Setting the insertion axis of the bar

By default, the insertion axis of the bar is orthogonal to the reference plane. So, if you change the plane inclination, this will also change the bar insertion axis.

If this is undesired for a particular design, uncheck the "Use plane" checkbox in the "Insertion axis" box in the first tab. Then, rotate the view so that you look at the design from your desired insertion angle, and click "Set from view". The new insertion axis will be visualized through a blue arrow.

The effect of the insertion axis on pillar shape

By default, pillars will have a cylindrical shape and follow the axis of the implant. You can change this introducing a margin on the pillar that separates the pillar in a part that follows the implant axis, and a part that follows the insertion axis (meaning that it is blocked out).

To add this control line:

Hold Ctrl+Shift and click on the pillar at the height where you want to position the orange separation line

The image below illustrates how this affects the shape of the pillar.

Left: Cylindrical shape (default).

Right: Orange control line inserted by Ctrl+Shift+Click - the part above the orange line is now blocked out following the insertion axis (shown in green in the image).

The 'Min. pillar angle' which you can set in the "Advanced" tab will only be applied above the orange line.

Extending the bar profile library

We strongly recommend that you use only the supplied bar library. Although it is possible to extend the bar library yourself, as described below, using inappropriate shapes or meshes may result in problems. In other words, there's no guarantee it will work - so please do not bother technical support regarding problems related to unofficial extension of the bar library.

In addition to the XML-based parametric shape definitions in the shipped .barProfile files under DentalCADApp\library\bar, the bar profile library may also be extended using STL files, if the meshes meet certain characteristics.

The orientation of the meshs must be as follows:

  • Occlusal direction: Y
  • Direction of the bar: Z
  • Lingual direction: X

Proceed as follows:


  • Click the 'Open Directory' icon [1]
  • Select "*.stl;*.off;*.obj;*.sdfa;*.csfda" in the file type selection drop-down [2], then click 'Open'.
  • In the message box that pops up, chose if you wish to have the profile fixed or user-changable
  • Inspect the resulting bar. If results are not satisfactory, work on the STL (e.g. use different export settings in the software that generated it, change orientation, etc) and try again
  • To save the profile in .barProfile format, click the 'Save' icon [3]
If you save the .barProfile file under DentalCADApp\library\bar, then it will automatically show up in the 'Select profile' list the next time you use the bar module!