Monday, February 20, 2006

iDent Protocols

iDent is another company that produces software for implant placement. Their scan protocols require a 512 matrix. Don’t know what that means? Neither did I, therefore I emailed Arun at Imaging Sciences International and got the scoop.

Here is Arun’s answer:

An explanation is in order on the matrix sizes.

Even though the reconstructed volume is cylindrical, each axial slice is stored as a square array or pixels (rows and columns) in the database, also defined as the “matrix size”. This is necessary since a common computer database does not provide a mechanism to store a circular array of pixels. Obviously, there are some wasted pixels when a circular image is fitted inside a square frame, those extra pixels are filled with “blanks”. To minimize the file sizes, we have chosen matrix sizes where the side of the square is the same as the diameter of the circle, enabling the tightest possible fit. This was the reason for going from 512x512 matrix to 400x400 matrix, for 0.4 voxel, covering exactly 16cm of diameter.

This caused compatibility issues with I-Dent, DenX and certain other systems, since they have “hard-coded” their import modules for the common 512 matrix, disallowing or crashing on everything else. They are all expected to support other matrices in the future, but for the time being the file sizes must be over 50% larger, filling the extra pixels with blanks, whenever exporting to these systems. Nobel system does work with 512 or anything smaller, but not larger. This eliminates everything but 0.4 voxel at this time.

You can certainly use the I-Dent protocols for Nobel, as there is no other difference besides what’s described above. However, if you would like to economize on the file sizes when using Nobel, we can add 2 additional protocols for 6cm height, name them Nobel (or stay with a generic name), and change the matrix back to 400. Please let us know.

Many thanks to Arun for his very detailed and clear explanation of matrix. For more information about iDent and the required scan protocols, their website is Under the Frequently Asked questions (FAQ) site, they state that the i-CAT cone beam unit is the only cone beam unit currently approved for iDent imaging. That is not going to last long, so take advantage of this opportunity to get the word out about your i-CAT -now!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Dolphin 3D, Version 2.3 now available

A new Dolphin 3D release is now available (Version 2.3)! Several major features have introduced, including multiple-view layouts (pictured), Window Leveling, better movie transitions and more "3D looking" volume.

Check them out! Here are the excruciating details of this cool, new version (you can also look this up under Help "About Dolphin 3D..." in the program). Enjoy! You should receive this version online automatically. Let us know if you have questions.

  1. Added a variety of layouts to the main window: “3+1,” 2x2,” Sagittal, Transverse, Coronal, etc. These layouts are extremely useful in examining and analyzing a volume, or in identifying landmarks. The Sagittal, Transverse and Coronal views are useful in locating landmarks on the same plane.
  2. Added the ability to insert saggital, transverse and coronal planes into the volumetric view for reference. This is especially useful in digitizing 3D volume.
  3. Window Leveling feature is available in most slice views (i.e., saggital, transverse or Coronal)
  4. In general, Window Leveling feature has been enhanced to show soft-tissue better.
  5. In the main view, added symmetry caliper, which can be used in the volume, sagittal and coronal views.
  6. In Orientation, added BOTTOM and LEFT views; “Planes of Section” view is also added.
  7. Orientation may now be performed with a 3D photo view (linked with the volume).
  8. In Orientation, added Symmetry Caliper function.
  9. Greatly expanded “Digitize Landmarks…” (Note: any previously saved, pre-v2.0, digitization landmarks will be lost and no longer be supported).
  10. In Digitize Landmarks, Measurements tab, you can measure end-to-end (linear) distances; you no longer requires to hold key (though still use the right-button and choose the start/end points).
  11. In Digitize Landmarks, Measurement tab, you can measure any 3D angles based on 3-points digitized
  12. In Digitize Landmarks, you can choose to use the 3D photo as the default “soft tissue,” as opposed to the volume’s soft tissue surface.
  13. Digitized landmarks can now be easily relocated (click, hold and move the point).
  14. Tooltip depicts the landmark name when hovering the mouse over a landmark.
  15. You can now link two distinct 3D photo surfaces to one 3D volume. For example, a smiling and a non-smiling 3D surface for a same patient’s CBCT volumetric scan. 3D surface scans can be acquired from any 3D camera system that supports the .OBJ and .BMP format (jointly).
  16. In the Main View, the Clipping Plane #2 has “r” and “l” buttons, which automatically cuts away either side of the volume from the defined mid-sagittal plane (defined in Orientation).
  17. In Build Radiographs, added the industry-standard "Ray-Sum" radiograph rendering method.
  18. “Copy” now copies the entire displayed layout to the Windows Clipboard, including any digitized points and measurement lines.
  19. In Make Movies, Dolphin 3D now generates in-between transition frames in varying volumetric segmentations. For example, Dolphin now smoothly transitions between a "Soft Tissue" volume object key frame to a "Hard Tissue" key frame. Also, Dolphin now supports (the gradual) altering a volume's segmentation settings (i.e., transition from a skull-looking volume to merely teeth by using gradually narrowed voxel density range results as key frames). This feature would only applies to the movie script created for a specific patient. When you've created a movie script for a patient that contains alterations of the volume's segmentations, and you load another patient's volumes, that aspect of the script will be reset to the new patient's default segmentations.
  20. Added "Depth Cuing" factor to further enhance the "3D look" of the the volume's appearance. For example, you will now notice that the parts of an object closer to you are lighter than parts that are further away from you (darker). You may adjust this setting under Options Lighting... You can turn the option off completely or choose any range in between. We recommend that you use the default settings.
  21. Reset the overall default lighting, color and surface settings. We've redesigned all the default settings of a volume's ambient lighting and surface texture settings. You may readjust to your preference under Options Lighting...
  22. In Orientation, created "Auto Alignment Tool" section; this is still work-in-progress. "Using 3-Point Plane" is probably better for Front orientation: place the end points of the triangle in the appropriate locations, preferably along the soft tissue midline of a subject (try the midpoint between the eyebrows, nasal tip and midpoint of the philtrum, respectively); then, click "Make Vertical" will allow Dolphin to place the 3 points along a straight, vertical line, effectively altering the pitch and yaw of the subject. Similarly, "Using Line" for Front, Right or Left orientations: place the line (or the end points) anywhere you desire and click "Make Vertical" or "Make Horizontal" to make Dolphin to alter the orientation of the subject so that the end points would be along a vertical line or a horizontal line, respectively.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

HP Premium inkjet paper sale at Staples, buy one get one free!

Hurry! Until Febuary 11, 2006, Staples has HP Premium paper on sale. Regular price is $24.99 for 50 sheets. Load up now! 100 sheets of HP paper for $24.99! Incredible! Don’t forget to join Staples Reward program for more savings. Earn 5% back in rewards up to $30 per quarter once you've spent $1,000 in a calendar year, which is very easy if you are printing i-CAT reports. If your purchases are larger, Staples will upgrade you to their Platinum level to get $50 per quarter! Ordering inkjet cartridges online in quantities of 3 or more gives more savings than in-store purchases and still qualifies for the rewards program. Keep your non-refillable inkjet cartridges. Shop Staples in-store and get $3 off your total bill for that one cartridge.