Overview of the Autoscan DS-EX PRO 3D Lab Scanner

The Autoscan-DS-EX Pro (https://top3dshop.com/product/shining-3d-autoscan-ds-ex-pro-3d-scanner) is an improved version of the popular DS-EX dental 3D scanner from the Chinese brand Shining 3D. In this review we are going to find out how easy to use it is and if it is worth buying in your clinic or lab.

What’s in the package

The scope of delivery of the Autoscan DS-EX PRO includes everything you need for working with any scanning protocol: a set of cables, a calibration panel, two holders for plaster models, dies for scanning prefabricated and dismountable models, stands for scanning in the articulator, a program with an individual key. The manufacturer takes care of the user and adds such little things as special technical plasticine for fixing models, hexagon, wipe for optics.

The spring mechanism of the platform for fixing plaster models makes it easy to fix them. You just have to pull back the spring and install the model without wasting time with screws and bolts that are constantly clogged with plaster and failing.

There are two stands for scanning models:

  • For static bite fixation on the side;
  • for dynamic scanning, where the bite is fixed from all sides, allowing you to transfer the position more accurately into the virtual articulator.

In case you want to match models manually, Autoscan DS-EX PRO has two additional scanning algorithms. The first is a quick bite scan. Simply connect the models, place them on the scanning stage and select Quick Bite Scan: the device will scan the models in bite without rotating the imaging unit. The second algorithm is the good old-fashioned rubber band scanning of models. For this purpose, there is a stand with protrusions for convenient rubber band fixation.

Let’s move on. Multi-die platforms are holders for scanning collapsible models, stamps. There is also a holder for scanning impressions. If you use sector models, you will definitely need another holder – All in One. With it, you can easily scan models with antagonists and stamps in just two steps. Example: In the standard protocol, you scan one jaw first, then the stamps on it, then the antagonists + stamps, and finally the bite. With the All in One protocol, you can scan all parts and stamps in one go and then the entire sector in the bite. The program will match the jaws and place the stamps in their proper places.

The Autoscan DS-EX PRO comes with several other useful attachments:

  • An adapter for scanning low models;
  • Additional support for fixing the models fixed in the popular Split-Cast articulators;
  • A metal stand for those who do not want to make a flat plinth and scan crooked models.


Main technical features

The Autoscan DS-EX PRO scans with <10 micron accuracy. The platform on which the model is mounted rotates in two axes: this allows the cameras to see the object from all sides. The imaging unit itself provides a third axis of rotation, so the viewing angles for the cameras are maximized. In addition, the additional viewing angle makes it possible to scan all complex curves and gaps even on non-disassembled models.

The compact scanner weighs only 5 kg and has enough space for any articulator thanks to its open design. The DS-EX PRO is equipped with two 1.3 megapixel cameras and a blue or white light projector of your choice. You’re probably already thinking, “1.3 megapixels? That’s it?”. The answer is that it’s a misconception that camera resolution has the most impact on scanning accuracy. Megapixels affect the density of the triangulation grid, and the scanning and rendering algorithms play a key role in its construction. In essence, the “iron” creates the conditions for a good scan, and most importantly, the software that makes the scan usable.


Many scanners initially save scans in their own formats and then convert them to .stl. Each conversion can lead to a loss of data and a decrease in quality. Autoscan DS-EX PRO software is fully integrated into Exocad, so there is nothing wrong with the data during conversion. So calibrating, scanning and storing the database directly in Exocad is another advantage of this model.

If you only need to scan or if you’re not modeling in Exocad, the built-in Autoscan software is the way to go. This is a russified program with different user interfaces:

  1. for laboratories – an analogue of Exocad’s work order form;
  2. clinics – a simplified version for scanning models or impression trays.

Let’s run through the main features of working with Dental Scan. The program selects the scanning protocol depending on the type of work you plan to do in the future. So if you are going to do a multi-step or complex job, it is important to fill out the order correctly from the beginning.

The standard scan time is almost instantaneous – 12 seconds per jaw. For most models, this is enough to get a good scan. If you see that important details have not shown up, there are two ways to fill in the blank spots:

Manually rotate the virtual model and add a scan in the selected projection.
Use the Smart Scan function and simply mark the unscanned areas with a virtual marker. The scanner will automatically figure out how to refill the scan and calculate the best camera angles.

Another interesting feature is the automatic transfer of dynamic occlusion into the Exocad virtual articulator. A lot of times, scanners simply save the occlusal alignment and transfer it to Exocad and then manually adjust the jaw positions in the virtual articulator module. The Autoscan DS-EX PRO automatically and accurately transfers the ratio to the vertical articulator.

The latest release of Shining 3D’s Dental Scan has a new feature called Free Scan. With Free Scan you can quickly scan a dentist-edited mocap or removable prosthesis for relining.


The DS-EX PRO scanner software also has additional features for those who do not model themselves. For example, the ability to mark the preparation line and insertion angle of the crown. This information can be sent directly to the milling center with comments. Another function can be used to close holes and cavities. For example, if you have a custom abutment and need a crown or a bridge that is not screw-retained.

The software is updated every 2-3 months with each new release introducing new tools and making the interface more usable and functional. Note that updates do not require a constant fee.

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