Automated tooth polishing thanks to intelligent machinery

The goal: automated polishing processes. (Photo: EVE Ernst Vetter GmbH)

IFW | In the past, the polishing of dental products has been a manual machining process. The aim of researchers at IFW is to develop and implement an automated polishing process on a machine tool, thus creating an adaptive system which improves with every polishing process.

For an automated tool path planning and implementation, the workpiece's surface topology has to be identified prior to the machining process. This is the basis for the first machining steps which are defined by a planning algorithm embedded in the institute's own simulation software IFW CutS. In this way, it becomes possible to predict the machining result and select the optimal machining strategy depending on the respective processing status. 

After the first polishing step, the workpiece surface is measured again, and the automatedly polished surface is compared to the simulation result. This feedback allows the system to adapt the process parameters and to improve the machining process constantly. 

By and by, the adaptive system is capable of machining more and more complex workpieces, thus meeting highest surface requirements. The vision of the future: automated machining of unknown geometries.

by Hai Nam Nguyen

Image gallery for this article

  • The goal: automated polishing processes. (Photo: EVE Ernst Vetter GmbH)
  • Conventional manual polishing of dental products. (Photo: EVE Ernst Vetter GmbH)
  • Simulation of the polishing process with the software IFW CutS. (Photo: IFW)
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