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31 Aug 2010 | eLABORATE

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Driving the open scanner revolution

Stoneglass has launched new software it developed in Australia into the US market. The software gives owners of 3Shape CAD/CAM scanners an "open" gateway to any milling facility.

"The general trend in CAD/CAM dentistry at present is moving away from proprietary closed systems to more open architectures," said Georges Sara, CEO and Managing Director of Stoneglass. "What this is intended to mean is that a dental technician can invest in a scanner without being locked into a single manufacturer for milling.

"The SDS Link software we have developed is designed to facilitate this process which will give technicians the maximum return on their investment in scanning technology. It will offer many more product and material choices available through existing scanners and will also serve to moderate pricing through increased competition for milling work.

"The price of scanners should also stablilise and reflect the cost of manufacture of the scanner itself, rather than heavily discounted pricing based on limiting choice of materials and milling facilities. This is very similar to what has happened in the mobile phone market where handsets are now sold outright and customers can choose a carrier of their choice. Equally, 'plans' including less expensive scanners and lock-ins will still no doubt be available as they are in the mobile phone market."

Mr Sara said that the "The Open Scanner Revolution" was being driven by technicians with the idea that one scanner should be able to simply, efficiently and seamlessly link to multiple libraries and manufacturers.

"Listen, think, act and deliver is one of our mottos at Stoneglass," Mr Sara said. "By developing software that creates a 'seamless link' from any open 3Shape scanner to any manufacturer, anywhere and anytime, SDS Link gives the dentist and technician added freedom and the power of choice."

Stoneglass's US licensee, Whip Mix Corporation, also recognized the need and the advantages of such software for 3Shape scanners in North America.

"Whip Mix was so impressed with the simplicity, functionality and productivity of SDS Link they immediately licensed it and as of 1 July, began installing it in labs nationwide. Initial feedback, including phrases like 'slick' and 'works flawlessly' is very encouraging for the software's success.

"Mr Sara said that SDS Link is now fully operational in the US and Canada and has also been installed on every Stoneglass 3Shape scanner in Australia.

"Gone are the days of ZIP files, downloading to memory sticks, attaching bulky files to emails or worse yet, Express Post," Mr Sara said. "Also gone is the need to navigate around multiple sites to access multiple manufacturer libraries. One easy system, one format, one methodology does it all for our users - that is the SDS Link advantage."

SDS Link is very user friendly and does much of the work for the operator. Choices are presented in easy to use formats; the system is predictive and has in-built ordering controls to reduce the margin for ordering error. The software installs in minutes with the SDS installation wizard and like most modern software, automatically checks and downloads updates.

"SDS Link is currently compatible with all 3Shape scanners regardless of your current manufacturing preference," Mr Sara said. "Additionally, we would welcome the opportunity to work with other CAD/CAM scanner manufacturers to allow more systems to utilize the power of SDS Link and allow them to join the Open Scanner Revolution. So even if you don't use Stoneglass or 3Shape, you can still enjoy the advantages of SDS Link for a nominal annual license fee."

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