Can You 3D Print Invisalign Braces?

Learn how you can use 3D printing technology to create your own Invisalign braces with the right equipment.

Can You 3D Print Invisalign Braces?

The Invisalign process is a revolutionary way to straighten teeth without the need for traditional metal braces. Invisalign orthodontics uses a process that includes biocompatible polyurethane resin and utilizes 3D Systems' stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers. Since 1998, Invisalign products have been approved by the U. S.

Food and Drug Administration. Clear Aligner molds are 3D printed via SLA, so it is possible to create your own Invisalign braces with the right equipment. College student Amos Dudley was able to do this using his university's 3D manufacturing and printing setup, which included a Stratasys Dimension 1200es. He named his custom alignment tray Orthoprint. However, it wasn't an easy task.

Dudley had to research orthodontics, figure out how Invisalign works, and learn how the plastic used in the manufacturing process can help shape teeth. He also had to develop an animation of the 3D model that featured a series of frames showing his teeth moving in the correct positions. Invisalign aligners are made of a thermoplastic material that looks like teeth whitening trays. Because they are transparent, they are practically invisible and few will notice that you are wearing them. Digital models for aligners are created based on 3D scans performed on patients and sent back to the United States. My 3D printer can't compete with the quality I get from the Invisalign lab, and there is currently no software available to private doctors that allows them to prepare aligners to move teeth to the desired position.

With so many benefits of invisible aligners, it's no wonder people wonder if 3D printers can produce their own Invisalign alignment trays. Your dentist takes casts and scans your teeth to create a series of custom-made Invisalign aligners that can move your teeth in sequence until they are straight. Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign, pioneered 3D printing technology in the healthcare industry several decades ago when it created a process that uses 3D printing to make clear aligners. By producing 220,000 clear aligners per day, Align Technologies has revolutionized the way orthodontic treatments are done.3D printing may seem like a recent manufacturing trend, but it has been used for years in the healthcare industry for creating Invisalign braces. With advances in technology and refinement of processes, some have even set out to do what seems impossible - printing invisible braces to correct crooked teeth.

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