Zare from Boretto, Italy, has ventured to design a new toothbrush in collaboration with Nussbaumer Design, headed by Christoph Nussbaumer. The result is very unusual – this toothbrush is made from metal. Under the brand name MIO, this 3D-printed toothbrush featuring a timeless design is produced by means of additive manufacturing.
One of the technical strengths of 3D metal printing lies in its ability to redefine the function and geometry of products. So it’s hardly surprising that a 3D toothbrush made from metal has a different effect than a common toothbrush. And this holds true even though injection-molded toothbrushes made of plastic have been design objects or years now.
When we buy a new toothbrush, today we can find ergonomic designs that combine customisation and functionality, with colors and shapes that are intended to captivate us. Zare’s 3D metal toothbrush goes one step further.
In 2013, Zare procured its first 3D metal printer – an M2 cusing from Concept Laser.
Thanks to the company’s experience with conventional machining techniques and plastic prototyping, Zare quickly realised the advantages of 3D metal printing, introducing its customers to the new possibilities.
Zare breaks the mould
Though Zare was already successful in 3D metal printing, the company never really had the idea to create a designer toothpaste made from metal.
The objective was to take a normal object of daily use and create a luxury item not yet available that could only be created using additive manufacturing based on its design.
In the end the company chose a “customisable” toothbrush made from metal. The production costs didn’t play a decisive role, the focus instead placed on a unique design, exclusivity and user friendliness, in this case ergonomics.
At Zare, a company originally from the prototyping sector, these dependencies were ground for a new approach. Why not produce 3D printed toothbrushes made from stainless steel or titanium? Both materials are standard in the dental industry and certified for oral use. Stainless steel 316L is common in dental technology.
Titanium is biocompatible and particularly attractive for those with allergies to other materials. And both materials exude the sought value and exclusivity. The logical deduction: both materials are perfect for producing the envisioned design.
Experience also promised that an M2 cusing Multilaser from Concept Laser would achieve an excellent surface quality. Particularly in the oral cavity, a very sensitive area, end products must have a perfect surface quality. This is why the toothbrushes are finished manually to ensure perfect results and maximum user comfort.
After around half a year, the team decided on two design variants, each available in both right-handed and left-handed versions as well as in two different materials (stainless steel 316L and titanium). Both design versions are patented. Each toothbrush has a serial number and can be customised. However each version can even be ordered with a matte, polished or galvanised surface finish or in original Morag for those who want an object with less alterations and as close as possible to the additive matter.
With its ergonomic design and changeable brush head made from silver, the 3D printed toothbrush is extremely durable, customisable and marks a new level of value in terms of its look and feel.
Zare’s “gut decision” has shown one thing for sure: 3D metal printing is about transforming creative design and geometry into new products and functions.