Medit i500's scanning and technology - video-type scanning and triangulation

"The Medit i500 uses video-type scanning based on triangulation technology."
That sentence may contain some unfamiliar terms so let us break it down together.

The Medit i500
The Medit i500 is our intraoral scanner that was recently released. For more details on the scanner, please visit its page on the website. Otherwise, you can read our blog highlighting the scanner’s main features.

Uses video-type scanning
Today, in order to have the best scans, engineers incorporate video-type scanning technology into scanners. But what was the precedent means to scan? That would be picture-type scanning.

How are the two different from one another?
Video-type scanning is able to capture moving objects. The scanner adjusts to the speed you want and is therefore able to follow along when the object is in motion. Meanwhile, picture-type scanning takes a single picture per second. This means that the object must be held stationary in order to achieve the accuracy needed for good quality images.

To be honest, video-type scanning isn’t quite the same speed as actual video. To be considered video, it needs to take at least 24 frames per second; movies these days take around 50. When you hear video-type scanning, it most likely means that the scanner can take 10 to 20 scans per second, which is still amazing compared to the single frame by picture-type scanning. With improved scanning speed, you’ll not only enjoy more free time but better-quality scans as well.

Based on triangulation technology
While video-type and picture-type scanning may be fairly obvious, triangulation technology is much less apparent if you have not studied it. Essentially, triangulation uses a 3-camera pattern in order to capture 3D imagery. What makes triangulation useful is its ability to acquire high-speed data from materials you don’t want to be in too much contact with such as delicate or wet materials. In fact, triangulation principles have been widely used for centuries, but we are now beginning to really utilize it for industrial applications.

However, do all intraoral scanners use triangulation? The answer is no. Many other scanners actually use a different method to capture 3D images; confocal microscopy. Just like triangulation, you may not necessarily understand confocal microscopy but in essence, it projects onto a point and captures that specific projection. Anything closer or further than that focused point is not captured. Confocal microscopy is great when it comes to producing optical slices of an object at various depths with high resolution.

Now this blog isn’t meant to go into the nitty-gritty details of triangulation versus confocal microscopy but there is a point we would like to bring up.

In terms of the scanner design, confocal microscopy uses a moving part that captures the 3D imagery. Whereas scanners using triangulation actually have no moving part aside from the fan. With moving parts, there is the eventual wear and tear of the piece which would then need replacing. That specific part may be expensive or a hassle to replace. With a scanner using triangulation, there are no parts wearing down. Now you may say the fan is moving but the fan is actually fairly simple to replace and very inexpensive compared with the moving part used for confocal microscopy. Triangulation, as mentioned above, is great for capturing high-speed data. We have several blogs discussing the importance of speed for scanners; check them out here and here.

Now that we broke down the sentence, “The Medit i500 uses video-type scanning based on triangulation technology,” we hope that you are a little more informed on different types of scanning and technology for intraoral scanners and know a bit more about our Medit i500.