Sep 25, 2017 | By Tess

Design is all around us, from the buildings we inhabit, to the clothes we wear, and even to the toothbrushes we rely on to keep our mouths healthy. Think about, how long do you find yourself standing at the toothbrush aisle deciding which one looks the best and looks like it will feel the best?

Even if you personally haven’t thought of your day-to-day toothbrush as a piece of ergonomic design, Italian manufacturing company Zare and design studio Nussbaumer Design certainly have.

Together, the two Italian companies have conceived of and created an impressive piece of functional design: a metal 3D printed toothbrush.

Dubbed “MIO” (the Italian word for “my”), the 3D printed toothbrush is the result of over a year and half of product design and prototyping. Amazingly, it is more than just an example of what metal 3D printing can accomplish, as people can actually purchase a customized metal toothbrush for themselves.

The MIO's holder and case are also made using 3D printing technologies

The project was born through a collaboration between Zare, a Boretto-based manufacturing company, and Michael Nussbaumer, the founder of his own design company. Zare has been working with additive manufacturing technologies since 2009 (when it bought its first plastic 3D printer), and has specialized in metal 3D printing.

As the company explains, it purchased its first metal 3D printer, the M2 Cusing by Concept Laser, in 2013. Now, the Italian company boasts three more M2 Cusing Multilaser units and an X Line 2000R printer, which it uses to produce a variety of different parts for its clients.

Nussbaumer, for his part, is an Italy-based designer who has been recognized with various awards and whose specialities include applied ergonomics, biomechanics in sports, and branding. Nussbaumber says the toothbrush project came to fruition after a brainstorming session with Zare co-founder Andrea Pasquali.

“I still remember when Andrea Pasquali and I met in my office the first time regarding a new project,” he says. “We reflected on a product that could highlight the extreme, formal design freedom afforded by additive manufacturing…We knew that we wanted to create a product that served a function. A product used every day, like a toothbrush.”

“Ultimately, we transformed a common object into a valuable, personalized jewel that accompanies its owner every day, but still remains timeless,” he adds.

The 3D printed MIO toothbrush comes in two different designs, both of which are available in right-handed and left-handed versions. Consumers can also choose what type of metal they want their 3D printed toothbrush made from, as Zare is producing the dental device in both stainless 316L and titanium (two commonly used materials in the dental industry).

The patented toothbrush design can be customized further, as Zare and Nussbaumer Designs offer MIO in several different finishes, including a matte, polished, galvanized, or “MioRaw” finish.

If you’re wondering what the point would be to invest in a stylish metal toothbrush, especially when you replace your brush every few months, MIO does actually come with a changeable head made from silver, which means you can keep your bristles fresh.

The 3D printed toothbrush launched officially on September 1, and interested consumers can inquire about purchasing a customized MIO toothbrush through the product’s website. If the project is a success, Zare says it will think about further expanding the MIO brand with more innovative, beautiful, and functional pieces.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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