College student 3-D printed his own braces to save money

An innovative college student who was self-conscious about his smile has been straightening his top teeth for the past few months using 3-D printed braces.

Amos Dudley, 24, was looking for a way to skip paying $8,000 for a set of clear braces from a name brand, Fox13Now reported. Using a high-end 3-D printer at his school, New Jersey Institute of Technology, he manufactured his own braces for a total of $60.

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He scanned and printed models of his teeth and then molded non-toxic plastic around them to form a set of 12 clear braces, Fox13Now reported. He then determined how far he needed to move each tooth to correct misalignment problems, and divided it by the maximum recommended distance a tooth should travel to determine the design for each alignment tray.

“It was very obvious which tooth [the tray] was putting pressure on,” Dudley told Fox13Now. “I was sort of worried about accumulated error, but that wasn’t the case so that was a pretty glorious moment.”

In total, he has spent 16 weeks wearing his so-called “homemade braces,” and is currently wearing the final set. He said he’s already gotten requests to print braces for others, but doesn’t want to due to liability concerns.

“I’m not interested in orthodontics,” he told Fox13Now. “It was more of a hacker project than making a business out of this.”