Amos Dudley is an undergraduate studying at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In middle school, he used to wear braces in order to straighten out his teeth. Like most people who wear braces, he was told to use a retainer as soon as the braces came off. However, Amos didn’t do what he was told. As a result, his teeth started to fall out of perfect alignment.
Amos wasn’t exactly ready to get a new set of braces, but he found himself in a predicament. He had no money and his teeth needed realignment. He did, however, have access to a 3D printer. Amos had been studying with a major in digital-design and this is what led to his epiphany. He was going to make himself a set of plastic braces.
Of course, this is no easy task. Amos needed to spend a lot of time researching the full orthodontic procedure as it is necessary to do it in steps. Thus, he was making several different molds and in each of them his teeth were progressively getting straighter. According to him, it was an essential part of the process that he label the different molds.
He first went and made himself a mold of his teeth using alginate powder. Once that set, he filled the mold with liquid Permastone. Using a razor, he cut down all the excess to create a smooth surface. He then laser scanned it in order to create a perfect 3D image of what he wanted to create.
At that point, he began the printing process. Once he had completed the 3D piece, he brought it to a machine that would allow him to vacuform a piece of plastic around each mold. Once this was done, he cleaned up the vacuform so that it would not irritate his gums, and walla.
He had become his own orthodontist. Luckily for him, he was successful, but others must be wary as this is a dangerous procedure.
Here is his before and after: