New York-based 3D printing bureau Voodoo Manufacturing, has launched Voodoo Clear Aligners, a new dental manufacturing and distribution service, for its first partnering direct-to-consumer brand Smilelove.
Coinciding with the launch is the expansion of its high-volume 3D printing factory in Brooklyn. This new wing of Formlabs 3D printers will enable Voodoo to manufacture and ship over 20,000 unique orthodontic clear aligners each month in the future.
“Voodoo Manufacturing has identified a market that aligns with their core strengths in scaling additive manufacturing as a service,” said Luke Winston, Chief Business Officer at Formlabs. “They’ve selected Formlabs as their hardware engine because it provides the ability to scale their fleet and turn around jobs faster.”
Accelerating dental care in the U.S.
According to the National Health and Examination Survey, 65% of Americans could benefit from orthodontic treatment, but many never receive it due to the high cost and low accessibility. Having one’s teeth straightened not only offers cosmetic benefits, but properly aligned teeth are also easier to clean. This could help in the prevention of plaque, bacteria, and cavities.
Making dentures traditionally is a very high skill, labor-intensive profession. Thus, efficiencies and affordability gained through digital workflows and 3D printing allow for better care and accessibility to treatment. Various additive manufacturing techniques such as Stereolithography (SLA), Mask Stereolithography (MSLA), and Digital Light Processing (DLP) have been explored for the production of clear aligners.
Voodoo’s Clear Aligner Service
Voodoo Clear Aligners produces and distributes 3D printed clear orthodontic aligners for direct-to-consumer (DtC) brands. Through high-resolution 3D printing, Voodoo’s molds are reportedly highly accurate with barely visible layer lines and minimal print artifacts. Moreover, full customization is enabled through Voodoo’s precision robotic trimming process.
To ensure every device is 100% traceable, Voodoo laser marks a unique alpha-numeric code on every single aligner. Step numbers and the brand’s logo can also be added upon request. On top of pursuing product perfection, Voodoo stresses on streamlined and customer-friendly service. Rather than having the company repackage the aligners, Voodoo packs aligners in its client’s custom packaging and drop-ship them directly to its patients.
Clients can also automatically submit orders and fetch real-time order data using API. Voodoo promises to fulfill orders in five days or less, compared to the industry average turnaround time of three weeks.
Scaling up with Formlabs
To meet the demands of the fast-growing teledentistry and clear aligner market in the U.S, Voodoo is expanding its factory in Brooklyn with a new wing of Formlabs 3D printers and an automated post-processing line.
Later this month, Voodoo will be starting production with Smilelove. 3Shape, FullContour, and ZenduraDental have been named as Voodoo’s premier technical, digital design and material partners respectively.
“Long delivery times for aligners have consistently been a hurdle,” said Spencer Grider, Founder of Smilelove. “But thanks to our partnership with Voodoo, we’ll be able to cut the times down from 2-5 weeks, to just 2-5 days.”
Other than delivering the product in one third the time, Smilelove’s custom-fit aligners are sold at a price tag 75% less than braces or Invisalign. Smilelove believes that its clear aligners provide a discreet, accessible and easy teeth-straightening solution for people with mild to moderate teeth misalignment issues.
For more stories on 3D printing and dentistry, subscribe to our free 3D Printing Industry newsletter, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. Visit 3D Printing Jobs for new additive manufacturing opportunities in your area.
Featured image shows Voodoo clear aligners. Image via Voodoo.