3D Printer manufacturer Stratasys is working with leading U.S. and Spanish orthodontics research labs, Dynaflex and Ortoplus, to advance the large-scale production of clear aligner molds with the Stratasys J700 Dental 3D Printer.
The market for clear aligner molds is experiencing annual growth of about 17.5 percent, and is set to reach $3 billion by 2020.
3D printing more accessible aligner molds
Clear aligner molds are an alternative to traditional dental braces, offering easier maintenance and an almost invisible appearance, but generally at a greater cost.
Intra-oral scans have allowed dentists to produce 3D models of patients’ teeth quickly and easily, but the issue of access to affordable, fast, high-quality 3D printers suitable for orthodontics has limited wider adoption of clear aligner molds.
For DynaFlex CEO, Darren Buddenmeyer, faster dental 3D printing is necessary to meet demand, “We’ve been in the clear aligner market for quite a while, but have only been able to produce in small quantities. We soon realized our team needed a faster printer, one that could produce on-demand and didn’t require high levels of expertise to operate.”
The J700 is optimized for the large scale production of clear aligner molds. It supports Stratasys’ GrabCAD Print software, streamlining workflows by allowing users to print directly from a high-res model, access tray and slice previews and make precise adjustments to models before printing.
Maintaining quality and improving speed with the J700
Ortoplus’ R&D Director, Ana Fernandez, said “We’re very excited about the Stratasys J700, because it has the potential to take our clear aligner business to the next level. It is clear that Stratasys is one of the most optimized solutions for out-of-the-box clear aligner production. It easy to build patient models of extremely high quality, and start production right from day one”
Speaking in a case-study video for Stratasys, Buddenmeyer said The J700 “maintains our quality levels, but at the same time has increased speeds by 1.8 times. The build tray size will handle about 55 arches, nested. We can print those in about three hours which is much faster than we were printing with Stratasys Objet500 series printers.”
DynaFlex plans to purchase two additional J700s.
Candid Co. a U.S. orthodontics company has received $15 million in series A funding. The company produces home modelling kits allowing customers to make molds of their teeth at home, which are then used to 3D print clear braces.
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Featured image shows orthodontic molds produced by the Stratasys J700. Photo via Stratasys.