By scanning the upper jaw with video technology and digitally capturing all curves and shapes of mouth and teeth, a perfectly fitted mouthguard can be printed on the spot using fused filament technology. The additive manufacturing (AM) process uses a continuous filament of DSM’s Arnitel®, a bio-based material that meets all strength, flexibility and health requirements. The new AM technique, combined with the 3D filament material characteristics, completely automates and digitizes the process of producing customized mouthguards and prints them instantly.
In the coming months, the first 3D printed mouthguards will be thoroughly tested by athletes of Dutch field hockey clubs. The partners’ scientists and developers will use the data captured to further finetune and scale-up the AM process, combining the extensive materials, technology, marketing and scientific knowledge of DSM, 3Dmouthguard, Carestream Dental and NHL Stenden Hogeschool.
Hugo Ferreira da Silva, Vice-President at DSM Additive Manufacturing comments: “We are pleased that our materials and AM/3D knowledge can help to transform the mouthguard market by making the production of high quality mouth protectors fast and easy, helping prevent oral injuries. Providing the right material and the right platform for specific applications is key to accelerating the adoption of 3D printing into real manufacturing. Collaboration in the industry will allow more applications to benefit from the great advantages of additive manufacturing, at an affordable cost.”
Arno Hermans, CEO of 3Dmouthguard said: “We believe that in a few years from now, 3D printed mouthguard machines will be a must have in every sports facility around the world. For us the technology is also a start of a whole field of new applications. It enables us to learn, develop and explore new products like shinguards, helmets, and elbow protection, and it can benefit markets beyond sports such as healthcare.”