All Collections
About Orthosnap
How are Orthosnap's Clear Aligners Manufactured?
How are Orthosnap's Clear Aligners Manufactured?
Dr. Alex Molayem avatar
Written by Dr. Alex Molayem
Updated over a week ago

At Orthosnap we are not the first ones to introduce clear aligners to the dental industry.

Instead, we innovated on legacy systems to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of clear aligners by making the process of manufacturing them more simple and efficient.

Background on 3D printing in Clear Aligners

Our novel approach simplifies patient treatment planning and manufacturing to produce the highest-precision aligners on the market.

While CAD (computer-aided design) is a progressive concept and has many applications in dentistry and prosthodontics including crown and bridge work, it has limitations in producing clear aligners that restrict treatment to relatively simple cases.

Some of these limitations are visible to the naked eye in the form of striation lines that result from artifacts of low-resolution 3D print angled surfaces. 3D printers instead print approximations that can be seen as steps, or contour lines. The multi-step 3D/CAD process results in compounded inaccuracies that result in a less-than-perfect fit. As fit is further undermined, the retention of the aligner on the teeth degrades, compromising the ability of the aligner to move teeth treatment overall.

The Dynamic Physical Model

Simple, yet more effective. Orthosnap has uniquely addressed the challenge of compromised precision by developing a new process of modulating teeth movement on the original cast model in an efficient, repeatable, and scalable model. Thus making each sequential clear aligner a precise fit because they are made over the original high-precision cast models of the patient's teeth when using PVS impressions.

However, even when using a printed model from a digital scan, we are able to print one high-quality model accurate to 25 microns, which is at least over 5x more precise than legacy aligner brands.

The patient's dental model is articulated and mounted. Each individual tooth is sectioned as an independent segment placed on a dynamic pin. Each pin facilitates a 0.25mm incremental step, promoting movement of a selected tooth in a planned direction.

After each sequential manipulation with the model, a clear aligner is thermoformed, generating a sequence of clear trays.

By avoiding the process of printing separate models for each individual step, we are able to manufacture a better-fitting, more transparent aligner, that is more capable of completing difficult tooth movements.

Our patented process of teeth movement on physical models allows for a better understanding and control of teeth interactions over the course of a treatment plan. Issues with tooth spacing and finalizing occlusion are better understood and achieved because they are hand-articulated and planned with a 3D physical model, instead of on a computerized model.

This higher accuracy enables treatment of a broad scope of clinical cases and produces faster results.

It is an inconvenient truth that CAD/CAM and 3D printing cannot currently produce a resolution as high as impression moulding. While Orthosnap can manufacture an aligner precision as accurate as 25 microns using a digital scan (compared to 180 microns with legacy aligner brands), we are able to achieve an aligner precision of 2 microns when using PVS impressions.

This difference in fit can be seen with the naked eye and can be felt by the doctor and patient as a firmer "snap" of the aligner to the teeth.

This is important in tooth movement because, just like an improperly sized wrench will have trouble moving a tight bolt or nut, an improper fit aligner will not apply even force and limits tooth movement.

Technology at Orthosnap

The Orthosnap clear aligner system leverages the best that dentistry has to offer patients, applying both dental art and science, but never sacrificing clinical effectiveness for the sake of technology alone. At OrthoSnap, we constantly research the latest technology and incorporate it into our practice, from 3D printing of parts and research into the latest heavy polymer resins, to the latest software including AI and machine learning. We believe in embracing technology when it is capable of producing a better clinical result and will be the first ones to experiment and adopt as these technologies mature.


Related Topics and Information:

Click to learn more about Orthosnap's History and our Glossary of Technical Terms.

If you have questions or need to speak with someone at Orthosnap, please reach out to us at

Did this answer your question?