We're always seeking new ways to create or capture 3D models and now we'd like to tell you about an unusual form of 3D scanner: the Intra Oral Scanner. The iOC Scanner, made by Cadent (now part of Align), is a 3D scanner that you place in your mouth to produce highly detailed scans of your dental array. Yes, it's used by dentists to dramatically simplify their workflow.
Previously dentists would take a plastic impression of your teeth and then a technician would manually create products from it. Now the entire process can be done digitally, directly from your mouth to your braces, crowns, etc.
How does it work? According to Cadent:
The iOC scanner … uses parallel confocal imaging to digitally capture the surface and contours of the tooth and gingival structures. The iOC captures 100,000 points of laser light in perfect focus at 300 focal depths of the tooth structure.
In practice, the dental tech merely places the scanner above the tooth and a complete 3D model is captured almost instantly.
We're wondering if this scanner could be used to capture detailed scans of other items? Perhaps, but likely the software is highly focused on teeth and not coins, jewelry, buttons or other small scannable items.
Regardless, our advice is this: don't bite the scanner!