Partial Framework Design

Welcome to the English online documentation for exocad PartialCAD!

You may access to this PartialCAD Help from the software by clicking the "?" icon in the lower left part of the screen, to get help on a specific tool that you're currently using.

Watch the video

Some things are easier to explain in a video. To get started with PartialCAD, we recommend to watch our video tutorial first.

Notes on Hardware/Software Requirements

The PartialCAD software has stronger hardware requirements for the graphics card than the classic exocad DentalCAD software - for optimal performance, a lot of data processing is done on the graphics card.

The software will work with NVIDIA graphics cards only. A minimum of 2GB and CUDA level 3.0 is required (see list of CUDA levels of different graphics cards). AMD/ATI and Intel graphics chips are not supported. Older or entry-level NVIDIA chips will not work either, or will result in poor performance. Please make sure you use 64 bit Windows Operating System (Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10).


To generate a case, simply complete the prescription in the DentalDB (Customer and Job Name are required), then define one or more "Partial framework" teeth on one arch. If you wish to use an antagonist scan, set up "Antagonist" in the opposing arch.

The "Partial Framework" definition can be combined with Crowns/Copings, Bridges, and other types of restoration, as shown in the left example. However, Partial Frameworks can currently only be designed in one arch at a time; to design frameworks for both upper and lower, you need to set up two distinct cases - one for the upper, and one for the lower.


Once the case is set up, scan as usual by clicking the appropriate button in DentalDB to launch the scan software. For combined cases, that include both Crown/Bridge restorations and a Partial Framework (or if you'd like to virtually set up teeth, as a guide for the partial framework design), click "Design" to start exocad's CAD application. Follow instructions to proceed with margin line detection, tooth setup, etc.

Next, launch the PartialCAD button in your database. The scanned arch should appear in a window, as shown below (upper example):


The PartialCAD software uses the exocad mouse interface (3D Connexxion 3D mice are also supported).

  • Mouse Click and Hold – Select, Draw, or Paint (depends on current tool)
  • Right Mouse Drag – Rotate the view
  • Right Mouse Click – Show Properties of the object (right click in background to save, load, help, save, etc...)
  • Left and Right Drag – Translate the view (move)
  • Scroll wheel – Zoom
  • Scroll wheel click – Re-center view

Like other exocad products, PartialCAD uses a guided, Wizard-based workflow, where clicking 'Next' in the bottom window will take you to the next logical step in the design. This workflow initializes with the Survey tool. Other tools and modes can be accessed by clicking on the "Expert" icon on the right hand side of the screen. Hover your cursor over these icons to see their name.

In the right click menu (a short right click anywhere in the CAD window background), a number of options for "saving" generate a .partialCAD "scene" file that can restore a particular state of the Partial software (scan + all free-forming changes. As ususal in exocad, all files associated with this job will be in the project folder accessible through the DentalDB.