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ClearCorrect: 3D Printing Leads to Healthier, Prettier Smiles


Tens of thousands of American would love to do something to improve their smiles or better align their teeth, but have no interest in traditional braces. ClearCorrect LLC gives those patients a new option through the use of 3D printing.

Based in central Texas with about 130 employees, ClearCorrect LLC is one of the leading producers of clear aligners that provide gradual correction of dental alignment. The company’s technicians use 3D printers to produce aligners that are custom-fitted for each dental patient.

The aligners apply pressure to the teeth that need to be moved. Every four to six weeks, the patient begins wearing a new aligner to continue the realignment process until completion. Because they are clear, the aligners are not visible. ClearCorrect has worked with more than 13,000 doctors and dentists to date.

Until 2006, ClearCorrect’s process of creating the aligners was manual and time-consuming. Using 3D printing has enhanced the accuracy, scalability, and the speed with which the dental devices can be produced. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of printing an object layer by layer, using sand or another specially chosen material.

The dental lab has an expansive group of Objet 3D printers, which are manufactured by Stratasys. The lab then prints the aligners based on imaging received from dental offices. This is one of the creative ways that 3D printing is already changing manufacturing.