When Amos Dudley noticed his teeth were looking more crooked than usual, he wanted to do something about it. The only problem? Braces are way too expensive for a student living on a budget.
Dudley also admits he felt guilty about not maintaining his teeth after getting braces as a kid, telling BuzzFeed,
I felt bad about my teeth -- in part because they were crooked, but also because they were a reminder that I had neglected them. I felt like I had wasted the money my parents spent on my braces.
Luckily, Dudley, a 23-year-old digital design student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, had access to a 3D printer. After doing a lot of research, he discovered he could print his own braces for a fraction of the cost most orthodontists charge.
He was also intrigued by the prospect of doing it himself as a design experiment, saying,
When I realized that I could do something that was a little bit culturally disruptive, while demonstrating my skills as a designer and a maker, and fixing something that was making me self-conscious for virtually free, I felt it was more than worth the risk.
Ultimately, Dudley's DIY braces cost him less than $60, a far cry from the $8,000 similar braces typically cost. And after wearing them for 16 weeks, the results are impressive.
While 3D-printed orthodontia is not for everyone, it's nice to see enterprising young students taking advantage of their schools' resources. Dave Franco's dildo-printing character from "Neighbors" would definitely approve.
You can read about Dudley's entire process on his blog here.
For something else homemade but a little less sci-fi, check out this video on how to make cookies like a legit baker.