Aug 8, 2016 | By Tess

The stories we write about from the Enable Community Foundation and the e-NABLE volunteer maker community are some of our favorite, as they consistently showcase the good that can be achieved with 3D printing technologies as well as the sheer generosity of the global maker community. And while each individual story warms our hearts, the Enable Community Foundation’s most recent endeavour is certainly one for the books. In partnership with Autodesk and New York based 3D printing hub Voodoo Manufacturing, the ECF has successfully completed the 3D printing and assembly of 750 prosthetic hands for children in need. The amazing project also marks the world’s first global hand-drive for 3D printed assistive devices.

According to the Amputee Coalition, nearly 2 million people in the United States suffer from limb loss, and nearly 185,000 amputations occur on a yearly basis. Considering how expensive traditional prosthetics can cost to manufacture, and how long they can even take to make, this means that many people do not get the treatments or assistive devices they need to live their lives normally. This is where the Enable Community Foundation has intervened. In an effort to make prosthetics and assistive devices more accessible to children, the ECF has brought together a network of volunteer makers who help to design, test, and print 3D printed hand prosthetics.

For their most recent undertaking, the ECF enlisted the help of Voodoo Manufacturing, who helped to 3D print over 22,000 individual parts for hand prosthetics at their Brooklyn based 3D printing factory. The parts were then shipped to 28 different Autodesk offices around the world, where employees volunteered their time and experience to help assemble 750 3D printed prosthetic hands destined for children around the world with upper-limb disabilities or amputations.

The inspiring initiative was part of Autodesk’s own Global Month of Impact, through which Autodesk employees from offices around the globe have helped to realize volunteer projects in the areas of healthcare, environment, children, and education. For the ECF 3D printed hand-drive project, Autodesk employees gave a combined 6,000 hours of work to assemble the 3D printed hands, which each took about 10 hours to print.

Voodoo Manufacturing, which has a factory equipped with 130 3D printers, has worked with the e-NABLE foundation before in the manufacturing of 150 3D printed prosthetic hands. At the time of the donation, in December 2015, the 150 hands marked the largest donation received by e-NABLE. Autodesk, known for its 3D design and CAD software, has also been a long-time collaborator with the ECF and e-NABLE and has initiated its own 3D printed prosthetic projects.

If you are inspired by the ECF, Voodoo Manufacturing, and Autodesk’s collaborative effort to create 750 3D printed prosthetic hands for children, be sure to check out some other inspiring stories by the e-NABLE organization, like fourth grader Peyton Andry’s story, or Zizi’s story. If you want to get involved in the making of 3D printed assistive devices you should also check out e-NABLE’s most recent design challenge, “Within Reach” which was launched in collaboration with Pinshape and is running until September.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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mick wrote at 8/8/2016 8:01:54 PM:

Yes I happy for the people in need, Truly! But it will not change my mind on autodesk and how they have hurt the CAD industry over the years. The bad products, monopolizing software, suppressing technology and Not having a clue of there customer needs. To thank autodesk is like thanking a drug lord for building a playground for there community. If you want to be a good corporate citizen then start with your product, customers and employees.

RobinLeech wrote at 8/8/2016 6:52:24 PM:

What I always find sad about these stories is that rather than making an affordable product that saves a few million people lots of money, and taking the profit and helping those in need, they just help a few people in extreme need. If they did like the Raspberry PI and brought such prosthetics to market, they could afford to donate much more to those in need. But somehow rather than helping everyone, they leave most people to pay exorbitant costs they can't afford, and most of those in need, still in need. They could even take profits and set up a charity like the Red Cross of prosthetics. But they'd rather give a man a fish than teach him to fish.

RobinLeech wrote at 8/8/2016 6:52:10 PM:

What I always find sad about these stories is that rather than making an affordable product that saves a few million people lots of money, and taking the profit and helping those in need, they just help a few people in extreme need. If they did like the Raspberry PI and brought such prosthetics to market, they could afford to donate much more to those in need. But somehow rather than helping everyone, they leave most people to pay exorbitant costs they can't afford, and most of those in need, still in need. They could even take profits and set up a charity like the Red Cross of prosthetics. BBut they'd rather give a man a fish than teach him to fish.



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