Freeforming


WarningThis page documents exocad's software releases from 2015 on. See documentation for older versions


The 'Free-Forming' window gives you access to the following features:

  • Anatomic forming: Changing the shape of the tooth anatomy, while taking advantage of the intelligent library models
  • Virtual wax knife - adding or removing material, smoothing
  • Adaptation of chewing surface to the antagonist, contacts to the adjacent teeth, and pontics to the gingiva
  • Paint & Pull
  • Attachment Editor


Anatomical Free-forming

Click & drag on the tooth to change its shape.

During free-forming, it's very useful to visualize distances to antagonists or adjacents - see section "Visualizing contacts and occlusions" for details.

Free Forming - ANATOMIC - PIC.png

Use the buttons [1]-[4] to change the area that you're editing:

  • Cusps [1] edits individual cusps. Note that this only works properly for restorations based on model teeth (anatomic crowns/copings, anatomic inlays, etc). For offset copings or waxups, the software cannot know the location of the cusp.


  • Tooth parts [3] edits the mesial, distal, buccal, or lingual side, wherever you click on. Useful e.g. for adjusting approximal contacts.


  • Entire tooth [2] edits the entire tooth.
HotkeyUseful hotkeys are available in the "Entire tooth" mode. Hold CTRL to switch to rotation, SHIFT to switch to scaling. This way, you can rotate or scale the tooth while it remains attached to the preparation margin. As always, the software will remind you of the available hotkeys if you move the mouse over the respective button [2].
  • Ridge [4] is for fine-tuning of ridges/bulges.
TipYou can also drag and drop the bottom of a pontic when in "Anatomic" forming mode.

By expanding the 'Advanced options', you can access two options allowing you to restrict the movement in certain ways. Using Movement [5], you can restrict movements to occlusal direction (up/down) only. Using Hold parts fixed [6], you can hold certain parts of the tooth fixed, either the cusp tips or the equator.

TipA useful example how you can take advantage of this option: To create deeper or flatter fissures, switch to Entire tooth [2], then check Cusp tips [6]. Now, you can simply drag and drop fissures to make them more or less pronounced, without overly changing the rest of the tooth shape.


  • PAINT & PULL [7], you can paint areas that you wish to move by brush in Paint moving parts [A] .

Then, click on Pull moving parts with mouse [B] to move, pull, deform, scale, or rotate the parts of the surface that you have painted.

FreeFormingAnat-PaintPull-01.png
  • Green Brush size [C] marks areas that can be pulled by mouse.

  • Yellow Elastic area [D] marks elastic band that is automatically painted around the green area.


  • Switch to Advanced editing to have full control over the elastic and moving parts.

    FreeFormingAnat-PaintPull-02.png


  • Green surface will always move with mouse.

  • Yellow surface will behave like an elastic material.

  • Blue surface will always stay fixed.

  • TipWhile painting areas, you can also use hotkeys CTRL or SHIFT to adjust the brush mode. Also, while moving the surface, you can use hotkeys CTRL or SHIFT to rotate or scale the moving surface parts.


    Free-Forming Adjustments – Adding or Removing Material, Smoothing

    Click the 'Free' tab to switch to the "Virtual wax knife", which allows you to add or remove material. You can toggle between Add/Remove [8] material and Smooth/Flatten [9].

    Free Forming - FREE - PIC(2).png

    Adding/Removing Material:

    To add or remove material, click on the tooth and hold Add/Remove [8]. The longer you hold it, the more material will be added.

    HotkeyHold <SHIFT> to remove material

    Smoothing

    Activate Smooth/Flatten [9], click and hold the mouse button on the parts you'd like to smooth.

    Hotkey
    • Hold SHIFT to flatten (super-smoothing)
    • Hold CTRL for a more shape-preserving smoothing
    • While in Add/Remove mode, hold CTRL+SHIFT to smooth/flatten without having to activate the Smooth/Flatten button

    Adjusting the Brush

    Using the slider Strength [10], you can adjust the speed at which material is added or removed while you hold the mouse button (or the amount of smoothing when in "Smooth/Flatten" mode). The slider Brush size [11] controls the brush size, that is the affected area around the mouse pointer.
    Type [12]: There are 3 types of brush styles to select from:

    • Round ball (default)
    • Pointed, like the point of a knife
    • Flat end of cylinder
    TipYou can also use the smoothing option to remove certain artifacts (e.g. due to bad scan data when doing digital copy milling).
    TipYou can switch to a different virtual tool using [5]. For example, the "Point of knife" tool is useful for carving fissures.

    Adding or removing attachments in free-forming ("boolean operations")

    In the "ATT." tab, you can add or remove (cut out) library parts (such as attachments or bolts), or even certain STLs loaded from file, to your restoration.


    For details, please see our on-line training video.