Align Technology

Align Technology is a California based orthodontic company. Their product, InvisAlign, is a special set of custom-made transparent plastic braces used to align teeth. 3D models of the patient’s teeth are sent to Align where computer operators under the supervision of orthodontists, align each patient’s teeth virtually on the computer using a software product designed and developed by Align Technologies called Treat. The aligned model of the patient’s teeth is then sent for the manufacture of the braces, which are then given to the patient. The advantage of InvisAlign over conventional braces is that it is more aesthetically pleasing than conventional braces and can be put on and taken off at will.

A few notable projects that the team worked on during their stay at Align, that began in 1999, include:
  • 3D Graphics Programming Training: Went through an extensive 6 month long 3D graphics programming training covering advanced aspects of the domain such as rendering systems, NURBS, computational geometry etc.
  • Orthodontics Training: Attended a 6 month long training on basic orthodontics principals, techniques and terminologies.
  • TourGuide: A system used for Orthodontics 3D Treatment QA in the Invisalign process. (Visual C++)
  • ClinCheck: A 3D visualization system used by orthodontists to view/modify/evaluate their patients’ dental case treatment plans online. Clincheck is one of the two major Align products. (VC++, ActiveX, JSP, OpenGL)
  • InterJawCollision: A library used to generate teeth model occlusion data which is then used by ClinCheck. (VC++)
  • AttachForm: An application that automated the task of pdf form creation and data population to save a significant percentage of the total treatment time by Align per case. (VC++, PdfLib)
  • AutoAttachment: A framework that automatically detected and created attachment objects using the patient jaw model and orthodontics constraints. The attachments have to be planted physically by the orthodontists on their patients’ teeth. (VC++)
  • Reproximator: A plugin for the Align proprietary 3D software that computed reproximation statistics. (VC++)
  • SetupOverlap: A system that computed inter-tooth relationship values (required by the orthodontist) and presented them by creating a pdf file on-the-fly. (VC++, PdfLib)
  • Binky: A system used to automatically process cases treated by Align technology for their web site and ClinCheck. Binky interfaced with the server file systems, the JDEdwards implementation for Align along with other small subcomponents to automate the conversion tasks. It replaced the previous job-scheduling system with a 200% increase in performance. The system divided computation intensive 3D processing tasks among multiple computers and integrated the results on the server (VC++, ASP, SQL Server, Perl, Shell Scripts)
  • PHANTOM haptic system: PHANTOMTM was a state-of-the-art force-feedback device at the time of this project. We integrated the device in the existing 3D software so that the users were able to “feel” the 3D models. (Phantom SDK, VC++, OpenGL)
  • DocLocator: A web based application that helped users to locate orthodontists in their vicinity using a MapQuest service, by computing longitudes and latitudes from the user’s address. (MapQuest, ASP, SQL Server)
  • CaseTracker: An ERP system that was a critical part of the Align operations. The system tracked each user’s activity and the flow of dental cases through different processes on the production floor. The data generated from the CaseTracker was used to compute various management and performance reports and was used for datamining to optimize operations. (SQL Server, Visual Basic 6, VB.NET)
  • FTP Synchronization: A client-server based application that was used to optimally synchronize folders between the US and Pakistan offices for automatic data submission to the US servers. (Java / EJBs)
  • HIPAA, FDA, ISO 9001 requirements: The team was actively involved in the ISO certification and FDA/HIPAA compliance for Align.
  • Call Center System: Developed an intranet system for the Align product support call center. (ASP, SQL Server)
  • Biometric Attendance System: This system was used by 600+ Align employees to track attendance and generate performance reports. It used the BioLogon SDK and fingerprint readers by Compaq. (VC++, ASP, SQL Server, BioLogon SDK)