Your intraoral scanner can record great detail about the area it sees, but it doesn't save any depth data or close-off the edges of your scan. We need to use another program to clean up the model and prepare it for printing.
There are a few free and premium tools available to repair and add a base to your intraoral scans for printing. Our current favorite free option is a program called MeshMixer. You can find a full guide to using MeshMixer on their website here. In this guide we will go over a basic workflow to repair a typical scan.
Building a Full Model
This is how most scans will look when imported to RayWare: jagged along the edges and no depth in the 3d rendering of the scan. It is important to understand that proper STL models have to be "watertight" - meaning that all surfaces of the model connect to another surface with no undefined holes/edges. When you see an area with a striped pink or black pattern, that's meshmixer telling you that you're looking at the backside of a model as opposed to a surface of it - you should never see this shading on models that are ready to print.
In RayWare you can easily spot models like this because the area that is shaded in MeshmMixer is see-through (see below).
There are several similar workflows you can use to repair these models. Here I am going to explain the simplest method that works on the most popular scanners we see on the market (Trios, Itero, Carestream, Cerec, etc., all will work with this method). There are great resources on Youtube and Facebook to see workflows others have developed.
If this is your first time using Meshmixer we will want to hide the print-bed so you can get full spherical rotation around the model. Press CTRL+SHIFT+P to hide the print bed from the workspace. Right Click+Drag to rotate the camera around the object, hold the Middle Mouse Button+Drag to pan and recenter the camera.
Now we want to go to Edit > Plane Cut - this brings up a flat plane to use as a cutting tool against your model. You can use the modifiers in the center to drag it to a different position or draw a line with your cursor. The fatter blue arrow reverses the cutting direction. Press accept to make the change. Cut away anything that is not necessary for the functionality of this model.
Next, click the Select button from the tab on the left. Toggle the tool at the top from Brush to Lasso and use your cursor to circle any areas you would like to select. Press Delete/Backspace to trim the selected areas.
After trimming all the excess parts of the model we press CTRL+A to select the entire model. It will turn orange when selected and a new tab will pop up. Press B to bring up the Smooth Boundary Tool and accept the default settings. Then press D to bring up the extrusion tab.
In this extrustion tab we want to set offset to 11mm (use positive number for uppers and -11mm for lowers). We also must change the Direction to Y Axis and the EndType to Flat. Depending on your scanner's settings, you might run into a glitch at this step. The most common is pictured below, with a black shaded pattern becoming the entire model. If this happens you must click Cancel and go to the option Edit(Within the Select Tool) > Flip Normals. Once you flip normals the model will look inverted until you go back through the previous extrusion step, after which it will look like the model above
Next, go back to the main Edit tool and select Plane Cut again. Trim off the bottom of the model to the height you actually would like this part to be. If you are planning on printing vertically, make another plane cut behind or through the distal of the back molars.
The final step is to use MeshMixer's built-in repair tool to be sure there are no remaining defects in the file. Go to Analysis>Inspector and press Auto Repair All. Then you can export the file in the binary .STL format and open it in RayWare!