Mar 15, 2016 | By Tess

The Enable Community Foundation, a non-profit extension of e-NABLE, the global community of makers dedicated to designing and 3D printing innovative hand prosthetics for kids, has recently announced the launch of their most recent maker design challenge. The challenge, for all you makers out there, is to create a “3D Printed Sport Specific Terminal Device Design” which will be able to fit into an industry standard transradial prosthetic socket.

The Enable Community Foundation, which was founded in 2014 to advance and support the efforts of the e-NABLE digital community, has launched the 3D printing challenge to inspire makers everywhere to get involved and to create an innovative prosthetic hand that could potentially help a disabled child to partake in a physical sport.

As we all know, exercise is an incredibly important part of a child’s life, as it allows them to develop not only physically, but socially and mentally as well. For children with a missing limb, sports may be a bit more difficult, but as we’ve seen time and time again, it is not an obstacle that can’t be overcome. That is exactly why the Enable Community Foundation is calling out to the maker community to develop sport specific terminal devices that can be used as a “component attachment for conventional prosthetic sockets,” to make physical activity that much easier for children with a missing hand or arm.

To get your creative juices flowing, check out this example of a modified 3D printed prosthetic that allowed an 8-year-old boy to ride his BMX bike. Created by Peter Brinkely of e-NABLE, the 3D printed prosthetic features a socket-ball design rather than the standard four fingers and a thumb. This allows the device to firmly grip onto a handlebar, even during crazy tricks.

 

If you happen to have an inspiring idea for a sport specific 3D printed terminal device, you can submit it to the Enable Community Foundation to enter their challenge. To qualify, makers must submit an open source design along with a video that explains how the 3D printed terminal device works and its specific sport function. To be considered, the 3D printed prosthetic proposal must be submitted by April 30, 2016. Once all the submissions have been judged by a panel of 3D printing and prosthesis experts, the winners will be announced (the organizers  have said sometime in May). Though the challenge itself is rewarding, the organizers are also offering cash prizes to the top three winners: $750 for first place, $500 for second, and $250 for third.

As the organization explains in the challenge’s press release, “By focusing on terminal devices and ornamental fairings, the Enable Community Foundation and the e-NABLE community can provide devices useful to [Orthotic and Prosthetic] practitioners in the developed world that complement their work without impinging on the clinical areas in which community members are not qualified.”

If you are thinking of creating a design for a 3D printed sport specific terminal device, be sure to keep in mind that it must be compatible with standard prosthetic sockets, meaning that it must be able to attach at the wrist with a standard 1/2-20 or hex bolt (in metric a M12 fine thread). Additionally, the device must be easy to make and use, innovative and fun, and above all, safe for its user.

Here at 3Ders, we will continue to follow the inspiring work done by e-NABLE and their Community Foundation. Founded in 2013 by John Schull, the organization has consistently demonstrated the amazing things that are possible when digital innovators and makers from all over the world volunteer their time and skills to help those in need. Needless to say, we can’t wait to see what comes of their recently announced challenge in the coming months!

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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