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Biomimetics in Dentistry - The B4D articulator has arrived!

Our articulator began with a simple goal in mind - we wanted to mimic nature as best we could, we wanted to adjust all aspect of the articulator, and we wanted to animate the lower jaw in a realistic way.

Our articulator also required sophisticated cutting tools to deal with the occlusion, both in single point adjustments, and in large surface area adjustments.

The design work began by overlaying a thin mesh over the condylar process of a CT scan model. Both condyles were replaced by cylinders to fit snugly into the mandibular fossa. Guide planes were used to mimic the translation of the lower jaw, along the articular eminence. The virtual condyles were then animated, directly inside the model of the skull. This way we could be sure to mimic nature as best we could.

Traditional articulator concepts are included in the default settings, like condylar guidance angles, Bennett's angles & side shift. These settings can be easily adjusted by the you.

To save settings for patients with special bite requirements, save the Blender file with the patient's name to embed the settings within the file for future work.

The streamlined approach of the B4D articulator means that you can navigate around your digital work unobstructed. You can also hide & unhide the articulator whenever you like.

In order to establish a working relationship between the dental models and the virtual condyles an articulator mounting table is used. This is imported and deleted after use.

The condyles can then be used in their default settings for simple articulations, or the tutorials will show you how to align the condyles according to two photos of the patients face, one in front view and one in side view.

Ask your patient to bite on a special card. This card is then used to scale the photo into the Blender units of measurement. The card is aligned to the articulator mounting table and correlates to Blender's X,Y and Z plane.

The articulator can easily be opened for fabricating occlusal splints or making diagnostic wax-ups. Use Blender's timeline to animate the lower jaw according to the default settings, or your own settings. Animations can also be customised according to the patient's lateral and protrusive excursions.

The cutting tools are an important feature of the articulator module, with over half of the tutorials demonstrating different examples.

These can be used to do small point adjustments, or you can use the dynamic cutting tools to do larger surface adjustments.

The dynamic cutting tools use the keyframes in Blender's timeline to perform the cut. This is especially useful when designing splints or full occlusal rehabilitations.

Blender's thickness map has also been included in the menu. This will help you gauge the thickness of your work and will safeguard your appliance from becoming too thin in some areas.

The total tutorial time for the module is approximately 110 minutes. The module requires the Model Designer module to function properly and is an important component for the up & coming splint module as well as for the crown & bridge module.

We hope you enjoy the articulator.

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