ClearCorrect LLC manufactures clear dental aligners, and they say using 3D printers to build each and every one of their fittings has helped them realize a 30% increase in the company’s capacity to produce those custom-made orthodontic aligners. The company recently purchased a batch of Objet Eden500V 3D printers to add to their already sizable fleet of Stratasys 3D printers.
ClearCorrect says their manufacturing process begins with a digitized scan of each patient’s mouth which is then used to create highly accurate, 3D printed models. The models are then thermoformed from a specially formulated plastic to create their custom, clear aligners.
The aligners work by applying slight pressure to any of a patient’s teeth which required cosmetic relocation, and every two to three weeks, a patient is provided a new set of aligners to slowly complete the realignment process one step at a time.
ClearCorrect says 3D printing is a key component of the manufacturing process as they can speedily print 3D models at every step of a patient’s treatment. Using the Stratasys 3D printers, ClearCorrect says they’ve significantly shortened their lead times and find it much simpler to accommodate rush orders.
Jarrett Pumphrey, the CEO of ClearCorrect, says his company began by using just a few 3D printers, but he says they’ve now transitioned the process to full production and 100% of their models are now 3D printed.
ClearCorrect’s product received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration back in 2009 and it’s been used to treat nearly 50,000 patients. Some 11,500 dental providers take advantage of the company’s products, and it was recently ranked No. 17 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies.
ClearCorrect combines its headquarters and manufacturing space in a 60,000-square-foot facility in northwest Houston. The aligners are created using a 3D technology that first generates incremental-step replicas of the patient’s teeth. That 3D modeling is executed in a separate lab in Pakistan and is then sent back to the United States for production.
“We’re growing fast and adding more Stratasys 3D Printers to our digital workflow means that we can easily scale up with demand—enabling us to service more doctors with faster delivery times,” Pumphrey says. “The 3D printers alone are not the only reason for working with Stratasys. Stratasys really stands behind their 3D printers, and we are extremely happy with the dedicated support we receive from their technicians and customer support team.”
Avi Cohen, the Director of Global Dental at Stratasys, says helping the ClearCorrect team take their business to new levels was very satisfying,
“The versatility of the Objet Eden500V 3D Printers gives ClearCorrect the ability to efficiently manufacture high quality aligners on a mass scale, expand in existing markets, and enter new markets,” Cohen says. “The decision to expand their 3D printing operation demonstrates how Stratasys has earned ClearCorrect’s trust through reliable performance and customer support.”
Do you know of any other companies that rely as heavily on 3D design and printing as ClearCorrect? Let us know in the ClearCorrect 3D Printed Product forum thread on 3DPB.com.