Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Align Technology Acquires exocad, Dental CAD/CAM Software Vendor in €376 Million Deal

ST Medical Devices

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Align Technology acquires Global Dental CAD/CAM software firm, exocad. Known for their dental CAD/CAM solutions, exocad will strengthen Align’s presence among dentists, labs, and partners around the globe.

The two companies have signed a cash deal for the purchase of the privately held company for around 376 million Euro, giving Align new access to the dental software market, integrated workflows, dental practice customers, and a wide array of new partners—plus connections to resellers in 150 countries. Many new features will complement the Align digital platform offering new tools for workflows critical to diagnostics, orthodontics, and more.

Invisalign and its iTero digital dental scanner solutions will be further reinforced, along with restorative dentistry, implantology, guided surgery, and “smile design (Aligns terminology for both the design element of its Invisalign process and its benefit to customers).” The two companies expect the acquisition to ‘pave the way for new, seamless cross-discipline dentistry in the lab and at chairside.’ This integration sees Align able to offer more products to existing clients and offer a more integrated solution to its installed base of customers.

exocad will continue operations, as usual, managing their large ecosystem of existing partners and software solutions. In a recent press release sent to 3DPrint.com, the two companies state that exocad co-founders Tillmann Steinbrecher and Maik Gerth and their current team will stay after the acquisition is final, reporting to John Morici, Align Technology, senior vice president and CFO.

“Dentistry today is evolving digitally, with technology advances and consumer awareness driving new opportunities in ortho-restorative and comprehensive treatment. Align is in a unique position to lead the digital transformation of dentistry by reimagining comprehensive treatment planning and by reinventing the way orthodontists and GPs practice with our digital platform for transforming smiles,” said Joe Hogan, Align Technology president and CEO.

“exocad allows us to broaden and deepen Align’s digital platform by addressing restorative needs in our end-to-end digital platform that facilitate ortho-restorative and comprehensive dentistry and accelerates adoption of Invisalign treatment among the more than 300 million potential patients worldwide.”

Align and exocad have been collaborating since 2017, so both companies see this as ‘a natural next step’ after their work together integrating Align’s iTero intraoral scanners and exocad Chairside CAD software. They then moved on to creating a new workflow that allows dentists to perform milling in-house for restoration practices. In 2020, Align and exocad were still going strong, announcing their exocad Connector.

“I am excited by the enormous growth opportunity for exocad and its customers that comes with being a part of Align Technology,” said Tillmann Steinbrecher, CEO and co-founder of exocad. “Together, we will further strengthen exocad’s position as a key technology provider for the dental CAD/CAM industry and drive continuous innovation with the open and integrated approach that is the foundation of our company.”

The financial transaction for the acquisition is expected to occur during the second quarter of 2020.

“The acquisition of exocad adds a talented and passionate team as well as a highly innovative, industry-leading product suite to our portfolio, providing an excellent complement to our current workflow solutions,” said John Morici, Align Technology, senior vice president and CFO.

“We will continue to invest in and build on exocad’s leadership in the dental CAD/CAM market and look to them to make significant contributions to Align’s overall strategy.”

Align has been an astute company from inception capturing immense value by taking a clunky invasive and (for teens) embarrassing high-cost process of braces and replacing it by a series of discrete molds. Through pioneering direct marketing of this treatment to consumers while courting the dental community the company has pursued and maintained worldwide growth. Align’s treatment uses 3D printed molds and the firm prints hundreds of thousands of these a day, each one verified in CAD software by an employee. One can assume that the company has a lot of experience and understanding of dental CAD by now. Coupled with the firm’s 3D scanners it seems that Align is not only vertically integrating and expanding its portfolio here but also moving towards a complete digital dentistry offering for chairside dentistry.

The dental industry continues to expand via 3D design and 3D printing today, with new technology, studies regarding dental prosthetics, improved dental implants, and much more. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Align Technology]

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