Smile Direct Club disrupting $12 billion orthodontics industry with affordable, personalized, and sustainable 3D production; nearly 20 million 3D printed mouth molds in next year
HP and SmileDirectClub collaboration transforms smiles for millions of customers, making SmileDirectClub
the largest Multi Jet Fusion 3D manufacturer in the U.S.
SmileDirectClub to deploy 49 HP Jet Fusion 3D printing systems running 24x7, producing more than 50,000 unique mouth molds a day
Capability to produce nearly 20 million individual 3D printed mouth molds in next 12 months
Joint recycling program reduces waste and promotes a more circular economy
At Rapid 2019, North America’s largest 3D printing conference, HP Inc. and SmileDirectClub, the pioneer of teledentistry 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 Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions, making it the largest producer of Multi Jet Fusion 3D printed parts in the country.
“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 teledentistry platform.”
Disrupting the 120-Year-Old Orthodontics Industry
SmileDirectClub co-founders Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman first met as teens with metal braces at summer camp, later deciding that innovations in technology and telehealth could democratize access to safe, affordable, and convenient orthodontic care. Founded in 2014, SmileDirectClub is the market leader of the doctor-directed clear aligner industry, utilizing its digital network of state licensed dentists and orthodontists who prescribe teeth straightening treatment plans and manage all aspects of clinical care from diagnosis through the completion of treatment using its proprietary teledentistry platform. SmileDirectClub is growing rapidly, having already served more than half a million customers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, with plans to expand to Australia and the UK in 2019.
An estimated 80% of Americans could benefit from orthodontic care, yet only 1% receive it each year, with cost being the biggest prohibitive issue. In the U.S., 60% of counties do not have access to an orthodontist. By leveraging the benefits of teledentistry coupled with HP’s 3D printing technology, SmileDirectClub is bridging these gaps, offering people a chance to build confidence through a straighter, brighter smile at a cost that is up to 60% less than traditional options.
HP 3D Printing Accelerates SmileDirectClub’s Manufacturing Growth
HP 3D printing technology is powering SmileDirectClub’s disruptive business model and rapid growth. SmileDirectClub and its manufacturing partners rely on HP Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions to produce all of 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 3D printing solutions to now include a fleet of 49 HP Jet Fusion 4210 3D printers and anticipates printing nearly 20 million mouth molds over the next 12 months alone.
“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.”
New Joint Recycling Program Enables a More Sustainable Future
3D printing is not only driving the next industrial revolution, but can also help provide a sustainable one. Furthering that effort, today HP and SmileDirectClub also announced a new recycling program, in which excess 3D material and already processed plastic mouth molds are recycled by HP and turned into pellets for traditional injection molding, leading to more sustainable production.
The overall sustainability benefits of 3D printing are vast, and include helping to reduce the amount of materials used, shortening and simplifying traditional supply chains, better matching of supply and demand, as well as improving 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.