Development of a 3D sensor for the digital intraoral scanning of dental preparations (in vivo), for the manufacturing of structure-optimized dentures

The traditional manufacturing of artificial denture is time consuming and error-prone. In the project DIGIMPRINT we cooperate with an industrial and a university partner. Together we modify the CAD/CAM process to optimize manufacturing of artificial denture.

One important aim of DIGIMPRINT is the realization of an intra-oral scanner. It records the data directly from inside the mouth of the patient. There will be needed no uncomfortable moulding and no dental cast. The challenge in the development of the scanner is the small size and the high scan velocity.

Activities of the ZWBF for DIGIMPRINT

At ZWBF we work on a special and unique feature which is integrated into the scanner system. It is a finite element based tool to test the design of the restoration. The focus lies on the long and short term mechanical aspects. In ‘virtual tests’ the restoration is exposed to near realistic loads which occur during mastication. A structure mechanical analysis is made and subsequently used to optimize the design of prepared tooth stump and the restoration itself.

An adequate post processor for ceramic material determines the long term failure and lifetime prediction of the restoration. After the virtual design optimization under fracture mechanical aspects the restoration can be manufactured with CAM-systems.


This modified and completely digitalized CAD/CAM-technology offers an effective tool to the dentist. It helps to quickly design a lifetime optimized artificial denture. The patient profits by an effective treatment and a more reliable restoration.