Aligner treatment planning software company ArchForm has announced its own aligner production offering powered by 3D printing to rival industry leaders like Invisalign.
Though its planning software has enabled many orthodontists to prepare treatment plans for patients while overseeing the printing phase themselves, ArchForm is now using Digital Light Processing (DLP) platforms in-house to allow doctors to outsource the production.
It means the company, which was founded by Andrew Martz, the 28-year-old son of an orthodontist, offers a more comprehensive range of services. Doctors can now 3D print aligners in their office with their own machine supported by ArchForm’s software; outsource aligner production entirely to remove the need to operate equipment themselves; or combine the two. This combination of the two options would see doctors begin treatment in-office, before handing over to ArchForm to manufacture the rest of the aligners in the patient’s treatment plan.
Harnessing DLP systems like the Formlabs 3L and Sprintray Pro machines, and using a multi-layer, smooth and clear plastic material by Zendura, ArchForm is able to print up to 20 models every two hours. It will begin production of the aligners once it has received the patient’s digital scan data, with robotics used to trim away excess material before parts are thermoformed and polished. Through this process, ArchForm will ship aligners to the orthodontist within 10-14 days, but promises a significant reduction in cost when compared with other aligner brands.
“I envision the future of aligners looking dramatically different very soon,” commented Martz. “This cost-disruptive model will democratise aligners starting at the doctor level. By giving doctors more control to 3D print their own aligners, it makes aligner therapy more affordable and accessible for everyone.”
The aligner production offering will begin with a select range of customers, with orthodontists able to join a waiting list.