Feb.25, 2014

19-year-old Peregrine Hawthorn from Seattle was born without fingers on his left hand. But in 2013 he learned how to 3D print and build an affordable mechanical set of his own. Today he is working with e-NABLE, an online community of 3D printing hobbyists to create and improve affordable custom prosthetics for those in need.

Created by Jon Schull, a researcher at Rochester Institute of Technology, e-NABLE pairs children and adults with missing or deformed fingers, hands or forearms with makers who produce customized 3D printed prostheses that can improve their lives.

"A typical prosthetic hand from a company will run you more than $10,000, but materials for a 3D printed hand can cost less than $50," said Schull. "All you need is someone with access to a 3D printer that is willing to donate their time."

In 2011, Richard Van As and Ivan Owen teamed up to design and build prosthetic hands for growing children using low-cost 3D printing. Schull noticed that although many engineers around the world were creating these one-off prosthetics for local people, there was no mechanism for developing and distributing their efforts.

Schull then created e-NABLE, originally as an interactive online map for connecting 3D printing hobbyists who would volunteer to help people with special needs. Today, e-NABLE has more than 300 members from all over the world offering help to others, Paul McCarthy which has created a functioning prosthetic hand for his son Leon.

Through the E-NABLE platform members guide new makers in the building process and will prints parts for those that need them. Members also post open source design files for hands and others offer suggestions to improve their devices.

For example this Talon 2.2 below is one of the newest versions of the 3D printed prosthetic hand built by Peregrine Hawthorn and his father. It features plastic fingers controlled by flexing the wrist, which pulls on cable "tendons" to close around a desired object.

"Every week we see makers pairing up and working with people who ask for help," said Schull. "Sometimes members create small parts or whole devices for people, while others are simply guiding individuals as they build one themselves."

On March 1, Schull will travel to the Science Online Conference in Raleigh, N.C., to discuss Creating Collaborations across the Wide World with the Web, with Nick Parker, a high school student from Silicon Valley and a builder in the e-NABLE group.

"I see e-NABLE as a crowd-sourced pay-it-forward network for design, customization and fabrication of all sorts of assistive technologies," said Schull. "This is a scalable model that could go way beyond 3D printed prosthetic hands."


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Carmen Loipez wrote at 10/26/2015 9:34:59 PM:

_Hola, necesito información de donde puedo acudir para conseguir un prostetic par a mi niña, ella tiene 12 años y no tiene su mano izquierda, ya envie la aplicación que me prporcionaron via correo pero no he recibido mas información, ya envie medidad fotos y los datos que me solicitaban, los datos los envie el 7 de julio, por favor me podrían enviar alguna información mi correo es yunuet2003@hotmail.com. Gracias

Youvanna Portocarrero wrote at 9/3/2015 12:33:02 AM:

Hola, mi nombre es Youvanna Portocarrero, soy boliviana y tengo una hija de 10 años llamada Camila que no tiene la manito izquierda desde el codo y me interesa mucho saber como puedo acceder a informarme mejor sobre este maravilloso 3D que ayuda a muchos niños y quisiera darle uno a mi hija y sé que sera el mejor de los regalos que ella pueda tener en toda su vida. Quisiera por favor comunicarme con ustedes para que me den información y la manera de poder ayudar al tesoro más grande que tengo en mi vida. mi correo electronico es youvannapt@hotmail.com y/o a youvanna.portocarrero@antalisbolivia.com Es muy importante para mi saber de ustedes, quedo muy agradecida

Micaela Ramirez wrote at 8/28/2015 6:02:52 PM:

i am from Argentina, Tandil Buenos Aires province .le story here in tandil a boy of eight years was struck by a train and lost his left arm is a neighbor and lives alone with the pope and give school support I would like to give me a little more information on how you can access this this opportunity to give the child to regain his hand the truth that I am very excited to see him. God bless you! I leave the emai sergioantonmella@hotmail.com grace !! it's beautiful what they do

Jasmine V wrote at 6/13/2015 1:25:57 PM:

I was born with no fingers on my hand just nobs as I call them where can I buy one as it would come in handy for the future.

Saha wrote at 2/18/2015 12:36:32 PM:

3D prosthetics! no more reason left to feel less of one self...thats very thoughtful. Hats off...

DJ wrote at 4/25/2014 4:21:09 AM:

thats so cool this guy is sooooooooooo cool i love this

barbra wrote at 4/10/2014 8:55:29 PM:

hola, esto es muy bueno. :)

summit wrote at 4/10/2014 8:54:36 PM:


ki hyub song wrote at 3/26/2014 5:28:00 AM:

wow! wonderful!!!

Bogdan wrote at 2/26/2014 2:32:20 AM:

This is a great idea and one of the best reasons for having a 3d printer!

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