Dental aligner cutting

Metal stent cut by laser

Clear orthodontic aligners are a popular alternative to fixed metal braces to correct crooked teeth. A series of custom-moulded plastic aligners move the teeth, with typical wear times of up to two weeks per aligner. As average treatment times are just over a year, each patient requires at least 30 aligners to achieve the desired results.

When clear aligner technology was in its infancy, they were made mainly by hand. Now lasers can cut aligners they significantly reduce manufacturing time and cost and improve consistency.

Clear aligners are made from a range of transparent thermoplastic polymers, including medical grade polyurethane, PET and polypropylene. All these materials absorb strongly at the CO2 laser wavelength, making our CO2 lasers ideal for cutting the aligners. A smooth, high-quality cut is essential in this application, reducing the amount of hand finishing required; any
imperfections would cause discomfort for the patient.

The SR 08s is recommended for this application, delivering up to 80W average power at 10.6µm and 9.3µm wavelengths.

Laser cutting a metal stent for the medical industry.

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SR 15i

SR 08s

80W sealed CO2 laser source

Applications laboratories

Could a laser be used to improve your manufacturing process? We can help you to find out by testing samples of your material or product in one of our applications labs. Our applications lab facilities are open to both new and existing customers and OEMs. Our laboratories are well equipped to carry out a range of processes including cutting, marking, engraving, drilling, scribing, ablation and more. We offer rapid sample turnaround times, detailed application reports, and complimentary advice from our experienced applications engineers. Whatever your process, we can help you to determine the best laser for your application.