Braces were a rite of passage for many of us who had crooked teeth in childhood, but they also cost our parents a lot of money. This is a story of a college student whose parents did get him braces, but who had crooked teeth again because he didn’t do any upkeep when he got them off. So he made his own braces instead.
According to BuzzFeed, Amos Dudley, who is a student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, started researching clear braces (think Invisalign) to fix his re-crooked smile, then realized that he could make these with a 3D printer. Luckily, this was a machine that he had access to at his college. So as part of his portfolio project, he researched and printed 12 sets of aligners for himself. What would have normally cost him $8000 cost him $60 to make.
Now Dudley doesn’t have to feel guilty for wasting his parents’ money, or feel self conscious about his smile. He can also feel a sense of accomplishment that comes from having solved a major problem yourself:
“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,” he said.
Self actualization through DIY braces. Let that be an inspiration to us all.