New Jersey, USA
A student from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Amos Dudley, straightened his teeth after creating a personal pair of plastic braces using a 3D printer and $60 worth of materials.
The digital design major had worn braces when he attended middle school, however, after neglecting to wear his retainer his teeth began to return to their former state.
Reluctant to pay the price tag, which would have set him back thousands of dollars, he opted to set his teeth straight himself instead, by fashioning braces of his very own design.
Mr. Dudley outlined the steps he took on his blog, explaining that although he was “broke” he had the good fortune of being able to access a high-quality 3D printer through his university, taking full advantage of the equipment at hand.
The thought occurred to the student after he came across a photo from a “name brand clear-alignment treatment” and noticed that the image appeared to have the layer striations from a 3D printer.
Although accessing the printer was a straightforward procedure, the process of creating the braces was anything but. On top of his course work, he had to research orthodontic procedures and then plan the route that his new braces would take so that his teeth would move in the correct direction.
That was the hard part, after that it was a matter of fabricating a series of models using inexpensive plastic, and then he had to do what he had failed to do the first time around- wear them consistently.
He took a mould of his teeth, using alginate powder, placed it in a yoghurt container filled with liquid Permastone, and then broke off the top, using a razorblade to file the surrounding area of the casting.
Ultimately, he claims it was worth the effort, as he is surely smiling at every chance he gets.