Thermoforming Tips

by ZenduraDental Team August 09, 2012

Why a pressure forming machine is always recommended by us?


Zendura being a tough and rigid polymer material requires a higher applied pressure to accomplish excellent definition of gum line and gingival texture, as well as ideal fit to the teeth after thermoforming.
A pressure forming machine can apply as high as 90psi (6 Bar) pressure to form the appliance, while a conventional vacuum forming machine can at best apply 14.7psi (1 Bar) -- a factor of 6 to 1 increase in applied pressure, therefore, although workable on Zendura material, is not as effective as a pressure former to achieve the optimal outcome. 
Whether you use a vacuum machine or a pressure machine, we offer the below picture for you as a check-point on a well-thermoformed appliance versus a poorly-thermoformed appliance.
However, more sophisticated vacuum forming systems such as Erkoform-3d™ can work as effective on Zendura material as a pressure former. We have reviewed several Zendura fabricated appliances made from this machine and identified equally ideal texture and fit, as compared to those made by pressure formers.
If you are considering purchasing a new machine, we would suggest you go by a pressure former as your first priority. If you already have a vacuum former or Erkoform-3d™, you are still able to use the material with good results. Feel free to contact us if you need additional support on calibrating the ideal thermoforming conditions for Zendura on your own machine. 

Why our suggested setting doesn’t always work perfectly on all machines?


We have received occasional inquiries from customers who didn’t get expected results from Zendura material using the suggested settings (particularly the heating time) we provide for commonly-used machines. There are several possible reasons for that: 
1.   You might forget to preheat the heating element before thermoforming the material, therefore causing the heating time less than necessary to form the material with good adaptation to the mold.
2. Each machine might vary slightly from one another that some (newer ones) have a stronger heating element while others (older ones) have a weaker heating element. Sometimes, when a machine has been used for years, some parts of it might wear out and it simply won't work as efficient and sharp as it was before. 
However, most of the time, the machine is still usable. You just need to re-calibrate the settings so you can still get the same ideal results from the thermoformed appliances.
Simply adjust the heating time by -5 to +5 seconds based on the suggested time for overheating or underheating issues. Sometimes the range could be up to +10 seconds and even more depending on the unique condition of your machine.
3. You are using a heating pressure less than 3 Bar, therefore not enough of pressure is applied over the material to deliver the best adaptation to the mold (teeth). Always remember to use a pressure equal or higher than 3 Bar to form the material.

    ZenduraDental Team
    ZenduraDental Team