Sep 15, 2014 | By Alec

The inspiring 3D printing collective e-NABLE has revealed a new, very cool looking prosthetic that, like so many of their creations, highlight the endless possibilities that creativity and 3D printing hold. This particular prosthetic was developed by Debbie Leung, an electrical engineer who has been experimenting with 3D printing technology for the past year.

Her original 'Light Show Hand' is based on the typical Upper Limb Prosthetics that e-NABLE have made freely available for Thingiverse. However, this particular construction features a few modifications. Firstly, the actual exterior now features two little add-on designs (one displaying the Iron Man Arc Light and the other featuring the e-NABLE heart hand shake logo), which emphasizes that prosthetics don't just need to be functional, but can also look the way you want them to.

Secondly, and even more impressive, the hand is capable of giving a light show, which emits bright red, yellow, green, magenta, cyan and white lights running in a repeated sequence. It can even be operated with an easy switch. But this is where the prosthetic's coolness factor grows exponentially: the other side of the hand prosthetic features a color sensor. If you hold red, green or blue objects against the side of the palm, the hand will automatically register their colors and turn on corresponding lights.

All these very cool modifications need are a few extras. The extra designs, while adding to the look, also provide space for the battery and components for the color sensor. A few electronics, lights, batteries and wires can also be easily added to the hand to enable the light show. Debby used two Ardruino programs to run the light sequences in two directions.

While these awesome additions are just for fun, they nonetheless show off the endlessness of the options that can be added to these prosthetics. After all, if you can add light shows and light sensors, what kind of electronics can't you add? This way, the 'Light Show Hand' really fits in with the intentions and creations that e-NABLE have made over the past year.

e-Nable is a community working hard for a very noble cause. They bring children and adults with missing limbs into contact with 3D printing enthusiasts throughout the world. Their creativity and talents are used to develop low-cost, very functional and original prosthetics for strangers in need. As the team behind e-NABLE explains:

While we continue to strive to make low cost and functional devices to share with the world, we are also discovering the power of our imaginations as we find ourselves remembering that these devices can be anything we want them to be. We do not have to be limited to the idea that they must look like "real" hands…they can become whatever it is that makes us feel beautiful and special.

And this they have proven time and again. What about their cool superhero prosthetic? Or their prosthetics with six fingers or with a mechanism to hold cards? With these awesome designs, the volunteers of e-NABLE are helping the needy on an individual level. Having started out as a small community, their numbers have grown to over 1700 3D printing enthusiasts who want to do their part, and Debbie is just one of them.

Debbie also explained how she became a part of this wonderful team:

3D printing connected me to this community through the online printing website, I've been part of the e-NABLE community for three months. I have been experimenting with 3D printing for a year.


I am an electrical engineer working in the Semiconductor Industry. I am always interested in science, technology and innovations so I still keep myself updated with the latest news in those areas, even after I graduated from college and I read about 3D printing. I thought it was one of the most innovative, promising and accessible technologies that I could get my hands on to learn about. Then I attended a conference called "Inside 3D Printing" and bought a 3D printer, learnt 3D modeling and got more familiar with 3D printing through designing and making things. I have become a maker ever since I got my 3D printer.


And since then, working on projects that are meaningful and beneficial has been very fulfilling. 'So I found my new path. I want to help make hands for children and I want to develop assistive and wearable technology with electronics and sensors in the near future. […] As I develop them, I want to share my works and discoveries with e-NABLE. I am very grateful that I finally found people who share my vision in this community.'

Check out a video of Debbie's very cool prosthetic here:


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Rob wrote at 11/1/2014 6:29:22 PM:

Brilliant girl! Is she taken??

3dprintingpartner wrote at 9/29/2014 10:44:49 AM:

This is just an amazing blessed volunteer work! two thumbs up

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