Thermoforming Clear Aligners and Retainers With 3D Printed Models

Produce Clear Aligners and Retainers at Scale, Powered by Formlabs


The clear aligner and retainer market is now a mature and rapidly growing field in orthodontics. With the most recent technological advancements in CAD software and 3D printing, now any lab or practice can add this valuable service with little initial investment and produce aligners and retainers in-house.

The Workflow for Making Clear Aligners and Retainers


1. Scan
Collect patient anatomy digitally using an intraoral scanner, or scan a physical model or impression using a desktop scanner.


2. Design
Import the scan data into CAD software, where tooth movements are planned or brackets are virtually removed.

3. Print
The now created 3D models are brought into the PreForm software and sent easily to the Formlabs printer.

4. Prepare
Wash, dry, and post-cure the printed parts using Form Wash and Form Cure.

5. Thermoform
Thermoform the clear aligners or retainers over the 3D printed models.

6. Polish and Finish
Smooth rough edges, remove burrs, and polish the aligner to shine before the final quality control.

3D Printing Models for Thermoformed Appliances With the Form 2


Fast and Cost Effective Production

3D printing dental models must be efficient, fast, and reliable. With the Form 2, print large builds overnight and smaller, faster builds during the day to reduce labor needs and maximize output. As production needs evolve, scale up without spending tens of thousands of dollars for each additional unit.

Print Capacity and SpeedForm 2
6 to 7 Clear Aligner Models3 h 28 min
Maximum Number of Arches per BuildUp to 20
Arches Printed in an 8-Hour Working Day and Overnight Build34
Request a Sample 3D Print


Low Cost, Fast Return on Investment

Before bringing new technology into your dental practice or laboratory it's important to do your financial due diligence. Printing orthodontic models on the Form 2 is affordable and requires less labor than other 3D printers.

CostForm 2
Horseshoe Arch$3
Thermoforming Plastic$3—$6
Clear Aligner Treatment With 10 Steps$60—$90
Calculate Your Cost and Time Savings

What Our Customers Say About Working With the Form 2


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“The Form 2 is very reliable; we call it a workhorse. We know when we go home at night that when we come in in the morning, everything will be printed. There's not going to be a failure; everything will be there. Because of that, we can build our business around them” – Sean Thompson, Adv.Prosth/Adv.Orth./DIP.PS.(dist) M.P.T. M.M.U./L.O.T.A., founder and director at Ashford Orthodontics

Webinar: How to Create Clear Aligners In Your Practice with 3D Printing


Rick Ferguson DMD, DABOI/ID, DICOI, an educator in implant dentistry of 20 years, and Formlabs dental product manager Sam Wainwright walk through the full production workflow including the software, tools, and proper materials needed to create dental aligners in your own office.

Watch the recording to learn:

  • Dr. Ferguson’s workflows, tips, and advice on creating clear aligners
  • Overview of digital impression systems and CAD software on the market today
  • Return on investment calculations for 3D printing and thermoforming clear aligner
Watch the Webinar Now

One Printer, Many Dental Indications

The Form 2 enables cost-effective, mass-customized digital production of a wide range of dental products.

Explore How 3D Printing is Impacting Dental


Control Your Digital Future With Formlabs Dental 3D Printers

The Form 3 Complete Package includes everything you need to bring high precision 3D printing into your dental lab or dental office.

See the Form 3Request a Free Sample Part Contact Sales