College Student 3D Prints Own Braces
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) digital design student Amos Dudley turned the orthodontic world on its head earlier this year when he 3D printed his own set of clear, customized orthodontic aligners – or what are commonly known as clear braces.
According to CNN Money, companies such as Invisalign, Damon, or ClearCorrect charge up to $8000. Dudley was able to manufacture his own braces, using his school’s 3D printer, for less than $60. A previous braces-wearer whose teeth began shifting after he stopped wearing his retainer, Dudley had stared researching brand name aligners, only to identify “tell-tale 3D-printed layer striations in some of the up-close images. He’d seen those same striations in his own unviersity creations,” Science Alert wrote.
Dudley began the process by taking a mould of his teeth using alginate powder, and filling it with liquid PermaStone to set it. He scanned the cast, and used software to digitally model the progression of his teeth towards “his ultimate goal” – straight teeth.
Although he’s been asked by several other people to print braces for them, he doesn’t want to. “I think there’s too much liability,” he told CNN Money. “I’m not interested in orthodontics. It was more of a hacker project than making a business out of this.”