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How Many Axis Does a 3D Scanner Need?

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The use of dental scanner technology is gaining in popularity, primarily due to the benefits of materials and time savings, along with the aesthetics and accuracy achieved for restorations.

There are quite a few manufacturers of dental scanner systems available on the market today, with models varying in the type of fabrication material used, scanning device features, restorative indications, number of milling axis, and speed and size.

The specifics of the scanner purchased will be dependent on the dental clinic needs. Learning more about the important features and components is an essential way to find the right scanner for the job.

The Current State of Confusion

Many end users have the misconception that those companies marketing dental scanners utilize different rules. For example, the way in which a scanner is described makes an impact regarding how it works and what it is capable of.

The description of the following scanner can be described as a two, four or five axis scanner, if the projector is counted in the configuration:

  • two mechanical axis (the turning table and "swing" arm)
  • two optical axis (fixed camera)
  • small video projector

This presents a problem to anyone attempting to purchase a scanner, especially those who are unsure if the five is better than the two axis option, even though the same scanner is described in each scenario.

Counting all components of the scanner as an axis is not accurate and leads to confusion.

Due to the description indiscretions, it is becoming more difficult for those in need of a dental scanner to determine exactly what they want to purchase. The fact of the matter is that counting all components of the scanner as an axis is not accurate and can lead to professionals not getting the desired clarity from their images and scanning.

What Is Relevant When Determining Scanner Axis?

Only the mechanical axis, the portion of the scanner moved by the motors, is relevant because it moves the element that needs to be scanned in front of the camera. Not only does it move the item, but it can achieve a wide array of angles. Figuring out the true specs of a dental scanner can be somewhat tricky, but the process is simplified by asking the right questions.

The mechanical axis, the portion of the scanner moved by the motors, is relevant and should be the center of your attention.

In addition to posing the question, "how many axis does the scanner have," it is also imperative to ask, "how many mechanical axis does the scanner have," since this is the element that adjusts the scanned item to produce the desired results.

Achieve Superior Quality With a 3-Axis Arm Scanner


When searching for the right dental scanner, a person can avoid all the hype and confusion by searching for the 3-axis arm scanner. This new type of dental scanner allows the device to hold scan objects in virtually any orientation.

Explore our Dental Scanners

This makes it possible to scan even extremely complex objects. Also, the extra third axis provides the scanner with an almost unlimited range of visibility, which helps to ensure precision and accuracy from each scan that is completed.

A 3-axis arm provides the scanner with an almost unlimited range of visibility, which helps to ensure precision and accuracy 

Selecting a dental scanner for clinic use doesn't have to be difficult and confusing. Fully understanding that the descriptions of the various products may be a bit misleading will help those interested in this purchase get to the bottom of what a scanner offers.

By asking about the mechanical axis on the scanner, a person can easily determine if the device they are considering will be able to achieve the desired results. While two axis scanners are still widely available, those featuring three mechanical axis are able to achieve better clarity and help with capturing more complex images.

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All of this is important for dental clinics wanting to provide superior services for clients.


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