Align Technology’s use of 3D printing

I recently came across this 2017 article by TJ McCue: 3D Printing Moves Align Technology Toward $1.3 Billion In Sales It contains information useful to understanding Align Technology’s business model.  Here’s what I found.

Treatment Efficiency

8 million aligners a year for 540,000 cases is 14.8 aligners per case. They also report a cumulative 327 million aligners to 4.5 million patients or 72.7 aligners per case. Not sure what to do about that, but I expect they used to make a lot more per case then they do now.

Average Sales Price

At the time, Align estimated a US market of 10 million orthodontic cases a year, with 60% or 6 million cases where aligner treatment is indicated. They claimed 9% of those for 540,000 cases.

Figuring $1.283 billion in sales of Invisalign for 540,000 cases is an ASP of $2,167.  I don’t think this number has changed since then.


The author claims to have seen 50 to 60 machines.  The 3D Systems’ Figure 4 starts at $25,000. Material cost per part should be low, say $5. They must have more capacity than the 8 million part demand.  Let’s say they are at 80% of total machine usage.  Can one Figure 4 print 30 trays an hour? There must of been more machines than the author saw!

Whatever the cost structure, Align Technology has eye-popping results.

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