Saving restorations

Saving restorations

The last step in the wizard is the "merging and saving", which will:

  • Combine (merge) all the individual elements you designed (copings, connectors, etc) into one or more mesh(s) suitable for milling or laser melting. For each physical element you plan to produce, one mesh will be created
  • Saving those meshs in STL format
  • Writing additional information (preparation margin, insertion axes, and much more) into the .constructionInfo file, which will be read by supported CAM applications

The saved files (.STL+.constructionInfo) will be located inside the respective project dir (the directory that opens when you use the „Open in explorer“ button in DentalDB.

Merging and saving will start as soon as the dialog opens. The progress indicator [1] will show current progress. To abort the process, click „Cancel merging“ [3]. Once the merging and saving has finished, the resulting output files will displayed in the box [6].

You can use drag & drop operations here: e.g. you can drag and drop files directly from this dialog [6] into a directory of your choice, onto your CAM software, in an email composition window, or on an FTP server.

Understanding the difference between output for milling and selective laser melting (SLM)

If your constructions are to be produced using selective laser melting (SLM, often incorrectly referred to as „laser sintering“), the output data must be a „watertight“ mesh with certain specific characteristics:

  • No holes or open edges; completely interconnected mesh
  • No inner surfaces or self-intersections

The figure above shows a sectional view of the junction between connector and pontic, with SLM optimization (left) and without SLM optimization (right).

For milling, it is not mandatory that these special requirements are met. The post-processing for SLM involves time-consuming calculations, which is why the SLM optimizations (controlled by checkbox [5]) are only performed by default when a laser-melted material is selected in the DentalDB module.

  • If checkbox [5] is unchecked, resulting bridges can not be produced using selective laser melting
  • If checkbox [5] is checked, the resulting output is still suitable for milling
Even if not using laser melting for production, it is helpful to enable the optimization for laser melting, if you plan to perform additional freeforming on the finished construction. To switch on SLM optimization once you already have saved output files for milling, click „Remove existing merged parts“ [4], then „Restart Merging“ [2].

Click „Finish“ to close the wizard. You're done now, you may close the CAD window and proceed to the next job. Alternatively, you can still perform additional modifications to the construction by closing the wizard and using the context menu. See section "Changing a finished reconstruction" for details.