Scan to Model: Convert Digital Scans Into Printable Dental Models in PreForm

Formlabs Dental is pleased to announce our first software tool developed specifically for dental and orthodontic customers. With the new Scan to Model feature, you can now convert intraoral 3D scan files into solid, printable models directly in PreForm. 

This powerful, simple tool enables any Formlabs Dental customer with a 3D intraoral scanner to turn their digital impressions into physical models for free. Whether you’re new to digital dentistry or already a digital pro, save time and effort bringing digital model production to your practice.

From Digital Scans To Dental Models In a Few Clicks

Model production is an easy way to get started with 3D printing, especially for dental practices that already own an intraoral scanner. However, you can’t go right from a 3D dental scan to a 3D printed model. In reality, you need to make the scan solid and watertight before it can be printed. You can use powerful dental software applications (that are used for appliance design, tooth movement, and more) for this, but they can cost as much as $5,000. A practice that’s interested only in simple models can opt for a free non-dental specific Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tool, but that takes time to master.

With Scan to Model, Formlabs Dental now provides an easy entry point for in-house digital dentistry for simple applications requiring no CAD. Using the Scan to Model tool in PreForm, you can simply import intraoral scans, trim away extraneous features, and turn them into solid, printable files in just a few clicks.

Watch the video to see how to use the new Scan to Model feature in PreForm.

The Scan to Model feature was created by Formlabs’ in-house software developers with input from leading experts in the fields of general dentistry, orthodontics, prosthodontics, and other specialties.

"Scan to Model is more advanced than an open-source mesh editor and faster than going through a comprehensive dental design program. My staff and I started using it immediately with no issues. It's a great entry point for doctors who are interested in digital."

James E. Paschal, DMD, MS

Scan to Model Applications From Diagnostic to Aligner Models

With Scan to Model, now you can go right from a 3D dental scan to a 3D printed model for a range of applications. 

Diagnostic Models
Thermoformed & Orthodontic Appliances
Fit Check Models
dental diagnostics model - 3d printed
Dental Thermoformed & Orthodontic Appliances
Dental Fit Check Models - 3D printing

Manufacture diagnostic models for visualizing patient anatomy and case planning, and boost case acceptance with presentation models for patient education. Create thermoformed and orthodontic appliances such as sports guards, retainers, grind guards by thermoforming over 3D printed models. Or use fit check models to validate the fit of an appliance or restoration without having to test on the patient or pay for a model from a lab.

Formlabs offers multiple material options which have all been validated to produce accurate dental models. Use Draft Resin for fast printing, Model Resin for stone-colored models, or White Resin for bright white models. With Draft Resin and the Scan to Model, you can go from 3D scanning a patient to a finished model in under an hour, opening up chairside and same-day delivery.

Scan to Model Workflow

dental scan

1. Scan

Collect patient anatomy digitally using a 3D intraoral scanner. Upper and lower scans are saved as separate STL files. 

dental design cad software

2. Import

Import the model into PreForm. You can import the files together or separately.

orient part for 3d printing

3. Orient

Use the manipulator to rotate the scan and orient the occlusal surface up or away from the build platform.

dental model trim - software

4. Trim

Move the slider to trim extraneous data or shorten the model if necessary.

dental design cad software

5. Create Base

Move the slider to add additional height from the trimming plane to the base of the model. 

3d print dental model - scan to model

6. Print

The model can be printed either horizontal for the fastest printing or near vertical to pack many models into a single print.

For the detailed workflow for creating diagnostic models using Formlabs 3D printers, view our application guide.

Try Scan to Model Now

If you have a Form 3B, Form 3BL, or Form 2, download the latest PreForm update and get started now. 

Don't have a 3D printer or intraoral scanner yet? Getting started in digital dentistry couldn’t be easier with Formlabs Dental. Watch our webinar with 3Shape to learn about the benefits of going digital and discover 3 quick and easy steps to digitize your core treatments in no time with minimum investment.