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Don’t Try This at Home! One Maker Uses 3D Printing for DIY Orthodontics

by • March 14, 2016 • No Comments

Open wide… 3D printing innovation is steadily building way inside the dental industry, as 3D printing companies such as EnvisionTEC and Stratasys stay occupied innovating both printing devices and materials made for safe use in the human mouth. In fact, last year, SmartTech reported that, by 2020, 3D printing innovation can make-up of $3.1 billion of the huge and wide-ranging dental industry. Now, it’s one thing to advance the tools that our dentist and orthodontist use when keeping our teeth and gums in check, but what if 3D printing allowed us to do our own dentist work at a additional inexpensive
cost… at home.


Well, 3D artist Amos Dudley may have a solution, although he may already DOES NOT recommend trying the next at home. As scientifically proven for really a while now, it’s quite widely accepted that the additional you smile, the happier you can feel. Unfortunately for Dudley, he was incredibly self-conscious of his teeth, that were slightly crooked, and this led him to shine his pearly whites a bit less frequently than he should have.

In true maker fashion, instead of bringing his issue up with his local dentist, Dudley decided to take matter into his own hands. He initially made a mold of his teeth via alginate powder, Permastone, and a 3D printed impression tray, that helped him realize the specific issues of his crooked incisors. Obviously, doing your own dental work is a risky endeavor (again, Dudley recommends NOT trying this on your own), so Dudley deeply researched the pro system for clear orthodontic alignment preceding trying the self-procedure.


What he found was that, with the proper orthodontic knowledge, a 3D scanner, a mold of the teeth, CAD software, a high resolution 3D printing device, retainer material, and a vacuum forming machine – many of that Dudley may already possessed – he may take on to set his teeth straight in an inexpensive
DIY fashion. In order to complete the necessary accuracy in the print, Dudley opted to use a Stratasys Dimension 1200es printing device, but in addition felt that a SLA printing device such as the Formlabs Form2 may do the trick. After creating the mold, he laser scanned it with a NextEngine machine and turned the Permastone-based mold into an STL file.


3D printed mold utilized to turn it into retainer

After 3D printing the aligner steps and the ‘riser’, that helps control the future draping effect of bringing ahold of the vacuum forming plastic, he vacuum created the retainer. Dudley and so utilized a Dremel with a sanding drum to smooth out the edges, that protects the gums of future irritation. Together, these 3D printed pieces helped to form a perfectly sized retainer for Dudley’s teeth, proving that, with excellent caution and education, it is possible to be your own orthodontist!


“They’re much additional effortless than braces, and fit my teeth really well. I was cheerful to find, when I put the initially one on, that it just seemed to put any noticeable pressure on the teeth that I planned to move- a good results! I’ve been wearing them all day and all night for 16 weeks, just bringing them out to eat,”Dudley writes in his blog. “And, many importantly, I feel like I can freely smile again. That’s what’s many important.”


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