Perturbation Device for Archwire Testing

I designed a perturbation device to facilitate studying the effect of chewing on orthodontic archwire-bracket friction. The device was designed to be installed on the Orthodontic Simulator, an actuated model of the maxilla which is used to simulate the treatment of orthodontic malocclusions.

I completed this project as an undergraduate research assistant, advised by Dr. Roger Toogood and Dr. Jason Carey, at the University of Alberta.


  • Concept Development
  • CAD
  • Prototyping
  • Testing

Design Description

The device consisted of a 3D-printed housing (2) which was securely fastened to a dowel (3), representing the tooth, using a set screw (1). An alternating current passing through the wrapped solenoid (4) caused a magnet (5) inside the housing to travel back and forth, an impact the dowel at a frequency of approximately 30 Hz. The cap at the end of the travel (6) prevented the magnet from escaping. The vents in the housing and cap reduced air damping.

An impact force of 4 N was estimated using vendor supplied magnetic force-distance curves.