AM in the time of COVID-19AM Industry

Smile Direct Club delivers 35,000th 3D printed face shields to healthcare community

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SmileDirectClub, the industry pioneer and first direct-to-consumer telehealth platform for teeth straightening, today announced it has delivered its 35,000th face shield to support healthcare professionals and essential workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to seek opportunities to help. Following its late March announcement that it would dedicate some of its 3D printing facilities equipped with 60+ HP printers to manufacture thousands of medical-grade face shields and other PPE, SmileDirectClub has continued its commitment to help the health care industry, including dentists and orthodontists.

SmileDirectClub has undertaken numerous initiatives over the last month, including opening the company’s teledentistry platform to all licensed dentists and orthodontists for free so that they can consult with patients remotely while most practices are closed, except for emergency procedures. To that end, SmileDirectClub has donated hundreds of face shields to the dental community for use in any in-office emergency procedures.
Continued manufacturing of and selling at cost more than 35,000 face shields to organizations such as St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho, Dr. Pepper/Keurig in Texas, Sick Kids Foundation in Toronto, University of California San Francisco, Brookdale Senior Living and TN Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), both in Tennessee where SmileDirectClub is headquartered.

The company joined HP to work toward a 3D printed and validated reusable respirator mask with a replaceable filter as an alternative to the disposable N95 mask, and donated medical supplies including latex gloves and masks to more than 120 U.S. locations of retail partners CVS and Walgreens, following the mandated closure of SmileDirectClub SmileShops.

“We are fortunate to be able to help those in need at this time in many different ways, and I thank our team members and partners who took action quickly to coordinate efforts, and keep our manufacturing operational so that we can bring much needed supplies to the medical community and others,” said Dan Baker, Head of Global Supply Chain at SmileDirectClub. “We will continue to do everything we can to help alleviate the strain of these unexpected circumstances however possible.”

Further, while SmileDirectClub has made thousands of face shields for healthcare workers, the company is actively seeking organizations that have been deemed essential and have workers interacting with the public such as pharmacists, grocers and convenience stores. The company has received inquiries and provided face shields to local police departments and town municipalities.

“We urge organizations with essential workers who may be at risk for exposure to coronavirus to reach out to see if we can be of assistance,” continued Baker. “Our goal is to use our manufacturing facility to help those in need in any way that we can.”

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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