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    Best flexible, open-solution for 1st Mill/CAM software setup

    Discussion in 'Dental-CAM' started by ddsTech, Aug 29, 2016.

    1. ddsTech

      ddsTech Member Full Member

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      I'm a one-person lab looking to buy a mill/CAM software package to go with my fully-open Medit scanner. There are a lot of great options for 5-axis dry mills at this point. After a ton of research on this forum (thanks everyone), I don't think I can go too wrong with a mill choice, assuming the reseller provides good support. For now I'm only milling wax, Zi, and PMMA.

      My big question has to do with CAM software packages bundled with these mills. I want a full-featured, open, flexible CAM software where I can have some control over milling parameters, tool selection, material choice and whatever else will be required by new future materials. My impression is that many of the currently-offered mill/CAM packages use hobbled versions of the major CAM software.

      Questions:
      1. Is it a bad idea to NOT use the bundled CAM software due to tech support issues, etc?
      2. How difficult is it to integrate a 3rd party CAM with a mill? I'm tech-capable
      3. Am I wrong about bundled CAM's being hobbled?

      It would also be great to be able to reuse the CAM software for a different mill in the future. Why buy CAM software several times over the years if it could be reused?


      Thanks
       
    2. zero_zero
      Drunk

      zero_zero Well-Known Member Full Member

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      Is not a bad idea, if it works and good support is available then go for it. There are lots of good turn-key packages out there what would cover 99.9% of the daily work without a hiccup.

      It depends on the hardware and how far are you willing to go porting a CAM suite to it. Some CAM is easy to integrate (comes with a post editor and plenty of documentation/support) others are PITA to work with...similarly some developers are willing to work with you, some would defer you to a reseller for support. It boils down to cost...with enough $$$ you could get your own post and macros for dental workflow... If you're tech-capable you could tinker with your own setup... I was able to use RhinoCAM and DeskProto on my DWX50 with acceptable results. Having said that, there's lots of customization needed for both to integrate dental workflow...did not pursue any further.

      Yes, it is watered down for most of the time or broken up to different complexity (price) levels... Also, it is simplified for ease of use...lots of users would get confused if presented with a complex interface and would hog down support big time...
       
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    3. ddsTech

      ddsTech Member Full Member

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      Right. It seems like a good time to buy, with more capable mills and better software.

      Sifting through all of the great information on this site and reading about some people's desire for additional CAM features, it's hard to know what's adequate and what's just icing on the cake. It's just nice to not be tied/restricted when it comes to features, especially when there are options.


      Great points. I'll try to find out if there are other price/feature levels available for the packages I'm interested in. Thanks very much for your input, zero-zero.
       
    4. CoolHandLuke
      Fiendish

      CoolHandLuke Well-Known Member Full Member

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      many labs would say they want a simple CAM solution because they want to hire Dental people rather than CNC operators - owing the CAD part to people with Dental knowledge rather than CNC knowledge.

      but this is backwards.

      you should want a professional CNC person and train them in dental.

      this way you get proper design as well as proper manufacturing.

      because a dental guy is going to try to make all sorts of wierd things like wild undercuts, zero spacer, and understand little about the limitations of how much undercut you can compensate for, and how much spacer approaches the limitations of fit.

      in this respect so many labs want to buy turn key solutions and then piss and moan when "its not accurate enough"

      its freaking single-digit micron level accurate and you have to add 100um of spacer just to get it to seat youre doing it wrong.

      ive personally witnessed complete systems worth 90k USD get absolutely sh1t-on because they (operators) dont have a clue what they are doing.

      so i'll say it and i can't really help myself at this point.

      get a versasmill and get the training. if you are willing to do the necessary leg work Axsys will sell you developer tools to help you create toolpaths but wont sit there and hold your hand every step of the way. thats your job.

      thats why you want someone who knows CNC. not dental. teach dental if you must, but get a cnc operator. at least take the course at night at a local college.
       
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    5. ddsTech

      ddsTech Member Full Member

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      That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I like the tech aspect and am very willing to learn how to do it right, but don't want to make the mistake of buying a CAM package that is locked down and can't be used to it's full extent once I learn the ropes.

      I'll be sending you a private note in a few minutes in regards to this comment.
       
    6. ddsTech

      ddsTech Member Full Member

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      In general, what additional features does an "advanced" CAM software package have that a "basic" package doesn't?
       
    7. zero_zero
      Drunk

      zero_zero Well-Known Member Full Member

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      It varies from title to title IMO...since you're starting new, pick a bundle (you'll get a CAM free or at a discounted price) and learn the basics...you'll know your next step when is time to upgrade ;)
       
    8. alfredmorad@gmail.com

      alfredmorad@gmail.com Member Full Member

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      My name is Al Morad of Axsys Dental Solutions. After viewing your recent post, I thought it might be a good opportunity for you to learn about us, our Versamill 5X200 and 5XS Precision Dental Machining Centers.

      The Knowledge gained from our employees experiences, CNC repair technician, nearly 40 years of CAD/CAM/CNC manufacturing experience in the industrial sector enables us to compare solutions such as the one you are proposing from an in-depth technological and price/performance perspective. It also enables us to provide a level of support that no other distributor of Digital Dental Manufacturing systems is able to provide.

      Specifically, have worked with many CAM solutions. As a result, I we intimate knowledge of CAM software's internal structure as well as their strengths and weaknesses in just about any application you could imagine. I encourage you to contact me to discuss this solution and its effectiveness in your application prior to making and purchase decisions.

      Relative to our company and solutions, you can find out more through the links I have provided below.

      I would be happy to provide references so that you could learn first hand the quality of our solutions and our ability to support the fabrication of complex dental prostheses. One such testimonial can be found in the link to an Inside Dental Technology story on one of our customers as well as the fact that Argen Digital now has over 50 of our Versamill 5X200 machines in production in their organization.

      I sincerely believe it would be in your best interest to at least take a look through the links before you make your final machine purchase decision.

      If you would allow, I would love to talk to you about this. If you decide to do so my email address is: amorad@axsysinc.com and my cellular number is 734-260-3022 office number is 248-926-8810. Of course we can always communicate through this or any new conversation thread.

      Thank you for your time,
      Sincerely
      AL Morad

      http://dentallabnetwork.com/forums/media/albums/axsys-dental-solutions-images.17/
      http://www.axsysdental.com/LeadFollowUp2016.htm
      http://editiondigital.net/publication/?i=274128
      www.axsysdental.com


      [​IMG]
      Because it's more than just about the machine
       
    9. ddsTech

      ddsTech Member Full Member

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      Sorry I didn't see your response until late last night, Mr. Morad. Thank you for the information you provided on Axsys and the Versamills. I'll be in contact with you later today.
       
    10. alfredmorad@gmail.com

      alfredmorad@gmail.com Member Full Member

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      Great I'm here all day!
       
    11. ddsTech

      ddsTech Member Full Member

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      I thought it might be helpful to post a followup on the mill I ended up purchasing and why. As a one-man lab with limited space for extra equipment, dust and noise, and because I really wanted a capable mill that would fit my needs for many years, I decided on the Versamill 5XS from Axsys. Here are some of the reasons I chose the 5XS:


      - Heavy duty, well-constructed mill

      - Competitive pricing

      - No suction required and no zirconia dust because it’s run wet

      - Low compressed air volume required so my small compressor works fine

      - It’s Quiet

      - Built-in computer controller so I don’t have to have another computer on my bench. The CAM package (DentMILL) runs on my existing CAD laptop.

      - Includes a sturdy base cabinet so it doesn’t take bench space. The unit has about a 2'x2 1/2' footprint.

      - Cuts a smooth surface & a great margin with minimal offset

      - Easy to use CAM package - DentMILL

      - Great, experienced people to work with at Axsys


      For now I’m cutting wax and PMMA, but will be adding zirconia and other materials next year. So far everything is working extremely well and I’m very happy with the system and Axsys.
       
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    12. brayks

      brayks Active Member Sponsors Full Member

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      Fantastic, another happy camper enjoying the fruits of The Axsys Advantage. Beer
      Thanks for the post and your business dds- we think you're pretty cool too.
      Also, thank you CoolHand for the recommendation, it is most gratefully appreciated.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    13. JohnWilson

      JohnWilson Moderator Staff Member Full Member

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      Are you working in house for a dentists or are you a dentist doing lab work?
       
    14. ddsTech

      ddsTech Member Full Member

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      I practiced dentistry for about 8 years, but prosthodontics and labwork was always what interested me most. When my wife and I started having a family I decided to skip the rigid dental office hours and demands and switched to full-time labwork. I opened my own lab and have been doing that exclusively for 17 years.

      Early on, I took as many hands-on porcelain courses as I could afford. All my free time was spent sitting in with good ceramists in their labs and reading books about ceramics. Fortunately there were many lab friends and contacts who were willing to let me look over their shoulders. This forum has been a great source of valuable information over the years, too, especially when making decisions on these large equipment purchases.
       
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    15. CoolHandLuke
      Fiendish

      CoolHandLuke Well-Known Member Full Member

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      can i give you one piece of advice if you plan on wet milling your zirc?

      dont leave the units to mill overnight. once the program finishes you need to get the puck out of the holder and get the slag rinsed off ASAP. if it dries on its a world of unnecessary fitting issues.

      use only water. but this will spell trouble if u want to also do emax at some point. emax needs its cutting fluid for longevity of the tools.
       
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    16. ddsTech

      ddsTech Member Full Member

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      Thanks very much for the tips. If you have any other lessons from your experience wet milling zirconia, I'd be very interested to hear them.
       
    17. CoolHandLuke
      Fiendish

      CoolHandLuke Well-Known Member Full Member

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      just get them dry before you go dipping or painting them, and dry them again before sintering.

      you want them well adjusted to lower warm temperature before you subject them to huge high temperature. get them toasty at 300 degrees before you blast them at 1500.
       
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    18. Jake Dobbins
      Happy

      Jake Dobbins Member Full Member

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      ddsTech,

      Great questions and follow-up. Enjoyed the thread immensely. I have the same dilemma in front of me. Don't ask me why, but I want something like Exocad with no yearly subscriptions and options to update if something great comes along. Just finished an 8-year marriage with Sirona, and I still have a bad taste in my mouth! I've got some more investigation to do, but your thread interested me greatly. If you have any more follow-ups that come to mind, don't hesitate to share them. I'm all EARS!
       
    19. sndmn2

      sndmn2 Active Member Full Member

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      Thanks for your follow up. Axsys is ten minutes from me and well on my radar for a mill. Only question is " who going to put that 400lb machine in my basement for me? oops ,my mistake , wrong machine, only 200lbs on the 5xs
       
      Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
    20. Jake Dobbins
      Happy

      Jake Dobbins Member Full Member

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      Great follow-up! Explains why I choose Axsys also.
       

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