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College student 3D prints his own set of clear braces

by Andra Kimpton (2020-05-03)


image.php?image=b17dario085.jpg&dl=1Amos Dudley, 24, has self-designed an aligner treatment featuring a set of 12 plastic clear braces


A clever college student has figured out how to straighten his teeth for less than $60 with 3D-printed clear braces.

Amos Dudley, 24, of New Jersey has self-designed an aligner treatment featuring a set of 12 plastic braces which have been straightening his top teeth for the last 16 weeks, according to CNN Money.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology student came up with the idea after he was unhappy the way his teeth looked, but did not want to pay up to $8,000 for name brand clear braces.

So he instead manufactured his own using a high-end 3D printer at his school. 

Dudley was able Welcome To Grinz Orthodontics. Located In Tucson Az keep costs low as he only had to pay for the materials, some sourced from eBay, used to make the models of his teeth and the retainers.

For him, the hardest part was researching the needed materials and determining how teeth move, according to CNN Money.

In order to correct misalignment issues, he worked out how far he needed to move his teeth before dividing it by the recommended maximum distance a tooth should travel for each tray design.

While he has his own self-built 3D printer at home, he decided to use a more precise one at his school which he used to scan and print models of his teeth.









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Before and after: The New Jersey Institute of Technology student came up with the idea after he was unhappy the way his teeth looked, but did not want to pay up to $8,000 for name brand clear aligner traeatments







Dudley was able to keep costs low as he only had to pay for the materials used to make the models of his teeth and the retainers and used a high-end 3D printer at his school


The digital design student then molded non-toxic plastic around them to form the set of 12 teeth aligners.

'It was very obvious which tooth [the tray] was putting pressure on,' Dudley told CNN as he recalled when he placed one of his self-designed trays onto his teeth for the first time.

'I was sort of worried about accumulated error, but that wasn't the case so that was a pretty glorious moment.' 

Dudley, who is currently wearing the last tray part of his self-designed treatment, had braces previously in high school but after not wearing his retainer as often as needed, his teeth shifted.

This led to him devising a way to simultaneously straighten his teeth while saving money, avoiding the costs of name brand options for clear braces such as Invisalign, Damon and ClearCorrect.






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Dudley used a 3D printer to scan and print models of his teeth and then molded non-toxic plastic around them to form the set of 12 teeth aligners







Dudley devised a way to simultaneously straighten his teeth while saving money, avoiding the costs of name brand options for clear braces such as Invisalign, Damon and ClearCorrect

















The alginate mold pictured left and the casting pictured right. While his life hack has led to several requests to print clear braces for others, he does not want to and also does not recommend others trying it


While his life hack has led to several requests to print clear braces for others, he does not want to and also does not recommend others to try it.

'I think there's too much liability,' he told CNN. 'I'm not interested in orthodontics. It was more of a hacker project than making a business out of this.'

On his blog, Dudley noted that he plans to fabricate more retainers so that he can use them at night and also as whitening trays.

'They're also fantastic night guards - they've been protecting my teeth from nighttime grinding, without being bulky,'he wrote.

'And, most importantly, I feel like I can freely smile again. That's what's most important.' 

In recent years, 3D printers have been used to create prosthetic limbs and even reportedly built 10 houses in just 24 hours.

Last month, medical students at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre created a 3D-printed ear with blood vessels and cartilage for the first time in a breakthrough that paves the way for machines to print body parts. 






Dudley laser scanned a model of his teeth using the NextEngine machine







On his blog , Dudley noted that he plans to fabricate more retainers so that he can use them at night and also as whitening trays. He also said they are fantastic as night guards


In 2014, graduate students at University of Central Florida used a 3D printer to make a prosthetic limb for six-year-old Alex Pring who was born without a right arm. 



The limb took seven weeks for the team to build in their free time and cost $350 - compared to the $40,000 that doctors told Alex's family a prosthetic arm would cost. 

That same year, a company in China reportedly built 10 houses using a 3D printer.

They were constructed from waste material pumped out of a nozzle so that walls were built up layer by layer.

The recipe for the quick drying cement is apparently top secret, but is made entirely from recycled materials.



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Amos Dudley | Designer

College student 3D prints his own braces - Mar. 16, 2016