SmileDirectClub co-founders Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman met, according to Venture Beat, “as teens at summer camp when they both had metal braces. They later decided innovations in technology and telehealth could democratize access to safe, affordable, and convenient orthodontic care.”
Fenkell and Katzman started SmileDirectClub “in 2014 using a digital network of state-licensed dentists and orthodontists who prescribe teeth straightening treatment plans and manage all aspects of clinical care — from diagnosis to the completion of treatment — using the company’s proprietary teledentistry platform. To date, they have served half a million customers in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, with plans to expand to Australia and the United Kingdom in 2019.”
Now, “HP and SmileDirectClub hope to disrupt the $12 billion orthodontics business by making 3D printed teeth molds.” The two companies announced their partnership at the Rapid 2019 3D printing conference.
Apparently, SmileDirectClub “will use 49 HP Jet Fusion 3D printing systems around the clock to make more than 50,000 unique mouth molds per day. This means it has the capacity to make as many as 20 million individualized 3D printed mouth molds in the next 12 months.”
As Fenkell explains: “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. 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 allowing us to pass on savings to the consumers seeking treatment using our teledentistry platform.”
HP’s President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Christoph Schell concludes: “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. 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.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Venture Beat, HP, and SmileDirectClub