Smile DirectClub will have the largest US deployment of HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers as it creates a factory for mouth molds.
HP said Smile DirectClub will deploy 49 HP Jet Fusion 3D printing systems running 24x7 and producing 50,000 mouth molds a day. Through the collaboration, Smile DirectClub will have capacity to manufacturer almost 20 million individual 3D printed mouth molds over the next year.
The amount of the contract wasn't disclosed.
For HP, Smile DirectClub represents a big reference customer that is gaining traction with its approach to dentistry and orthodontics. Smile DirectClub provides remote clear aligners to straighten teeth remotely.
Given Smile DirectClub's business of having to produce custom mouth molds, 3D printing is an attractive technology. Simply put, the company has to create custom parts at scale. 3D Systems as well as Stratasys have pushed into the dental and healthcare markets.
Smile DirectClub, founded in 2014, has a digital network of dentists and orthodontists that prescribe teeth straightening plans. Smile DirectClub works with these professionals to utilize teledentistry and manage treatment. The company has served more 500,000 customers mostly in the US with plans to expand to Australia and UK. Smile DirectClub's approach takes aim at a market that's costly for patients and suffers a shortage of orthodontists.
For a single payment of $1,850 or a payment plan for $2,170, Smile DirectClub takes a 3D image of your teeth either via a physical location or a mold taken via a kit. The patient case is reviewed by a licensed dentist or orthodontist and then Smile DirectClub sends you a preview of your smile and delivers aligners. Retainers can be purchased for $99.
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According to HP, Smile DirectClub was already a 3D printing customer but has decided to double its investment. Specifically, Smile DirectClub has a fleet of 49 HP Jet Fusion 4210 3D printers.
The two companies also launched a joint recycling program that takes excess 3D material and processed mouth molds and recycles them into pellets for injection molding.