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This College Student Made His Own Braces — for $60!

Image Source: Amos Dudley
Image Source: Amos Dudley

Guilt. Before “helicopter parenting” and “free-range parenting,” there was the original, old-school technique — and my mother was a master at it. One of the biggest things my mother guilted me about for years? The cost of braces which, if you take her at her word and you most definitely shouldn’t, nearly sent us to the “poorhouse.”

Which is why I have ZERO intention of telling her about Amos Dudley and his $60 braces. Yup, you read that right. A 24-year-old college student has sent a chill down the spine of every orthodontist (and ticked off quite a few parents too, I’d imagine) by creating his very own invisible braces.

Dudley, a digital design major at New Jersey Institute of Technology, documented his DIY project on his blog. Self-conscious about his teeth, he decided to take matters into his own hands and create his own braces for a teensy tiny fraction of the normal cost (which can be as much as $8,000).

Image Source: Amos Dudley
Image Source: Amos Dudley

He started by making a mold of his teeth using a “cheap alginate powder, Permastone, and a 3D printed impression tray.” He took advantage of having access to his school’s expensive equipment to make printed models of his teeth and non-toxic plastic molds that made 12 sets of braces.

Image Source: Amos Dudley
Image Source: Amos Dudley

With the help of animation, he figured out what adjustments to make for each brace. Then, over the course of 16 weeks, he put the braces to the test — with pretty amazing results!

Here’s what his teeth looked like before:

Image Source: Amos Dudley
Image Source: Amos Dudley

And here’s what they look like now:

Image Source: Amos Dudley
Image Source: Amos Dudley

Now, it should be stated for the record that Dudley did not consult with an orthodontist for this project and we most certainly do not recommend anyone trying to recreate this experiment at home.

But still, it’s pretty cool.

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