|HP's Multi Jet Fusion technology will be used by SmileDirectClub to print nearly 20 million mouth molds over the next
Today at 3D-printing event Rapid 2019, HP Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) and SmileDirectClub (Nashville, TN), a pioneer in tele-dentistry and market leader in doctor-directed, remote clear aligner therapy, announced an expanded collaboration to revolutionize the way that millions of people can achieve a straighter smile. SmileDirectClub is powering its digital differentiation and rapid manufacturing expansion of clear aligners with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D-printing solutions, making it the largest producer of MJF 3D-printed parts in the country.
HP’s 3D-printing technology is powering SmileDirectClub’s disruptive business model and rapid growth. SmileDirectClub and its manufacturing partners rely on MJF to print all the mouth molds for each patient’s aligners and retainers, creating an average of more than 50,000 personalized mouth molds each day.
To keep up with increased consumer demand, SmileDirectClub has more than doubled its investment in HP's 3D-printing technology, which now includes a fleet of 49 MJF 4210 3D printers. SmileDirectClub anticipates printing nearly 20 million mouth molds over the next 12 months, said HP.
“SmileDirectClub and HP are reinventing the future of orthodontics, pushing the boundaries of customized 3D mass production and democratizing access to affordable, high-quality teeth straightening for millions of people,” said Christoph Schell, President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing at HP Inc. “Through this collaboration, HP is helping SmileDirectClub accelerate its growth, enabling a new era of personalized consumer experiences only made possible by industrial 3D printing and digital manufacturing.”
3D printing is not only driving the next industrial revolution, but can also help provide a sustainable one. Furthering that effort, HP and SmileDirectClub have also announced a new recycling program, in which excess 3D-printing material and already processed plastic mouth molds are recycled by HP and turned into pellets for traditional injection molding.
The overall sustainability benefits of 3D printing include a reduction in materials usage; shortened, simplified supply chains; better matching of supply and demand; and service options that can prolong the life of products. 3D-printed parts can also reduce the weight of vehicles and aircraft to improve fuel efficiency, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption.
Founded in 2014 by Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman in partnership with Camelot Venture Group, SmileDirectClub’s premise is that everyone deserves a smile they love, said the company. A digital network of duly licensed dentists and orthodontists approve and oversee their patients’ smile plans from start to finish, and all at a cost that is up to 60% less than traditional options.
SmileDirectClub is digitally transforming the traditional orthodontics industry, “making it more personal, affordable and convenient for millions of consumers to achieve a smile they’ll love,” said Alex Fenkell, co-founder, SmileDirectClub. “HP’s breakthrough 3D-printing and data intelligence platform makes this level of disruption possible for us, pushing productivity, quality and manufacturing predictability to unprecedented levels, all with economics that allow us to pass on savings to the consumers seeking treatment using our tele-dentistry platform.”