Recently, the fabrication of orthodontic clear aligners by 3D printing has been made possible by the introduction of 3D printable photocuring resins. Direct Printing Orthodontic Clear Aligners (DPA) offer several advantages over conventional thermoforming aligners. DPA allows for greater precision and customizability in designing and manufacturing aligners. Skipping the intermediate steps for fabricating resin staged models and the subsequent thermoforming process can minimize the potential cumulative errors. Being able to control the geometry, DPA can change the fundamentals of clear aligner biomechanics. Additionally, DPA can be more environmentally sustainable, as it reduces the amount of waste generated from printing resin models and thermoforming clear plastic sheets. This presentation will introduce the digital workflow of the manufacturing process of DPA from a staged model file, creating aligner shell files, and adding support, to post-processing procedures.
Recognize the biomechanical advantages of DPA.
Demonstrate the digital workflow of the fabrication process of DPA.
Understand the different physical properties of photocurable clear aligner materials from the conventional thermoforming aligner materials.