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Instantly printed mouthguards for sportsmen

Сase studies

Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition, and materials, today announced a partnership with 3Dmouthguard. The companies will develop custom-made and instantly printed 3D mouthguards to protect teeth and mouth injuries in any type of sport that involves bats, balls, sticks or person-to-person contact. Together with Carestream Dental and NHL Stenden Hogeschool, the companies have developed a new technology to print custom-made mouthguards in 3D on the spot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sports-related dental injuries account for more than 600,000 emergency room visits each year in the USA alone. And an average of 26% of all dental injuries are sports-related. In over 20 sports, basketball, hockey, martial arts and boxing carry the highest risk.

Printed on the spot
By scanning the upper jaw with video technology and digitally capturing all curves and shapes of mouth and teeth, a perfectly fitted mouthguard can be printed on the spot using fused filament technology. The additive manufacturing (AM) process uses a continuous filament of DSM’s Arnitel®, a bio-based material that meets all strength, flexibility and health requirements. The new AM technique, combined with the 3D filament material characteristics, completely automates and digitizes the process of producing customized mouthguards and prints them instantly.

In the coming months, the first 3D printed mouthguards will be thoroughly tested by athletes of Dutch field hockey clubs. The partners’ scientists and developers will use the data captured to further finetune and scale-up the AM process, combining the extensive materials, technology, marketing and scientific knowledge of DSM, 3Dmouthguard, Carestream Dental and NHL Stenden Hogeschool.

Hugo Ferreira da Silva, Vice-President at DSM Additive Manufacturing comments: “We are pleased that our materials and AM/3D knowledge can help to transform the mouthguard market by making the production of high quality mouth protectors fast and easy, helping prevent oral injuries. Providing the right material and the right platform for specific applications is key to accelerating the adoption of 3D printing into real manufacturing. Collaboration in the industry will allow more applications to benefit from the great advantages of additive manufacturing, at an affordable cost.”

Arno Hermans, CEO of 3Dmouthguard said: “We believe that in a few years from now, 3D printed mouthguard machines will be a must have in every sports facility around the world. For us the technology is also a start of a whole field of new applications. It enables us to learn, develop and explore new products like shinguards, helmets, and elbow protection, and it can benefit markets beyond sports such as healthcare.”

About 3Dmouthguard
3Dmouthguard improves the way athletes enjoy their favorite sport by using cutting edge technology to produce sports apparel. Together with its partners, 3Dmouthguard automates and digitizes the complete process of producing customized mouthguards. Turning part of the production process digital allows better access, accuracy, delivery and personalisation. 3Dmouthguard combines comfort and safety and is "fit to score".

About Carestream Dental
Carestream Dental provides industry-leading dental digital product lines and services, including imaging equipment, CAD/CAM systems, software and practice management solutions, for dental and oral health professionals. With more than 100 years of industry experience, Carestream Dental technology captures two billion images annually and delivers more precise diagnoses, improved workflows and superior patient care.

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