Hacker Straightens Own Teeth

So you say your wonky smile has you feeling a bit self-conscious? And that your parents didn’t sock away a king’s ransom for orthodontia? Well, if you have access to some fairly common fab-lab tools, and you have the guts to experiment on yourself, why not try hacking your smile with DIY braces?

First of all: just – don’t. Really. But if you’re curious about how [Amos Dudley] open-sourced his face, this is one to sink your teeth into. A little research showed [Amos] how conventional “invisible” braces work: a 3D model is made of your mouth, each tooth is isolated in the model, and a route from the current position to the desired position is plotted. Clear plastic trays that exert forces on the teeth are then 3D printed, and after a few months of nudging teeth around, you’ve got a new smile. [Amos] replicated this hideously expensive process by creating a cast of his teeth, laser scanning it, manipulating the teeth in 3D modeling software, and 3D printing a series of intermediate choppers. The prints were used to vacuum mold clear plastic trays, and with a little Dremel action they were ready to wear. After 16 weeks of night and day wear, the results are pretty amazing – a nicely aligned smile, and whiter teeth to boot, since the braces make great whitening trays.

Considering how badly this could have turned out, we’ve got to hand it to [Amos] for having the guts to try this. And maybe he’s onto something – after all, we’ve advocated for preemptive 3D scanning of our bodies recently, and what [Amos] did with this hack is a step beyond that.

[LupusMechanicus], thanks for the tip!

Devil horns adorn the hood of my truck

When you’re hunting zombies you’ve got to give them something to fear. [Shannon Larratt] is getting ready for that eventuality by adding devil horns as his hood ornament. It looks awesome from afar, but when you see the close-up images you realize how lifelike this is. That’s because it’s not a sculpture. [Shannon] cast the ornament in a mold made from his own hand.

The process started with some dental alginate which he slobbered all over his hand as he held the devil horns pose. After the mold had hardened he cast the ornament using fast-curing black plastic resin.

With the ornament now in hand he needed a way to secure it to the hood of his vehicle. He picked up a threaded U-bolt. A hole and a slot were carved in the base of the ornament to receive the U-bold and a straight bolt for a trio of anchor points. More of the black resin fills the holes, securing the bolts and making it a snap to mount the ornament by drilling through the hood.

We also find it awesome that during this process [Shannon] took the time to cast his daughter’s fist for use as a door knob at home.