June 30, 2014

Just about a month ago, little Keegan received his first e-NABLE hand from the E-Nabling the Future community, a network of passionate volunteers using 3D printing to give the world a "Helping Hand".

Keegan is a 6 year old boy born with a thumb but no fingers on his left hand. His Mother Nancy Bair heard about the e-NABLE group, and shared Keegen's story and photo with e-NABLE's community. Keegan's first hand, made by Ivan Owen, is a prototype version of the Talon Design that would work for children who have functional thumbs and do not need a full 5 fingered design. Earlier this month, e-NABLE team has come up with a new version for children, and two students at local Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon, Molly Hiatt and Naomi Collins, have teamed up with the family to use their new school 3D printer to make a prosthetic hand for Keegen using the new design.

The new hand allows Keegan to do activities that require a two-handed grip. He can now catch a ball with his new 3D printed hand, holding a fishing pole, and being able to reel it, or riding his bike with his new fingers to grip the handlebars. Keegan is now the cool kid at school, said Keegan's mother, Nancy Bair.

Few days ago, Nancy made another request to the e-NABLE asking if someone could design a hand that would allow her son to hold his cards easier.

She wrote:

"Hello all! I was wondering if anyone has come up with a design so that the kids could hold cards. Keegen always has a difficult time playing Uno, Go Fish and moer because he can't see all of his cards at once. He keeps them in a pile and has to look through it every turn or all turned up on the table behind a book or whatever we have handy. It would be really cool and functional. What do you think? Thank you so much!"

The current e-NABLE designs work well with holding tools, ball and other big objects, but not was designed for other activities like holding a hand of cards. Within a few hours she got a response - Bob Roth, one of the e-NABLE designer wrote:

"I would be glad to design something. I just finished two hands. And I want to move into more of a supporting role and this is the type of projects that I want to help with."

Roth explained to Nancy:"You could get him one of those circular card holders two and a half inches in diameter.  you can fasten it to his socket and he could hold his cards in his hand. I've seen them in stores.  you could fasten it with a Velcro strap."

A very smart idea! Following his instruction, Nancy took the finger off an old Cyborg beast hand that was printed incorrectly and attached the card holder with hot glue and Velcro. And thus, now Keegen has got a new hand specifically for holding cards.

Images credit: Nancy Bair

The e-NABLE community has now more than 1000 members, and have created numerous innovative devices that are easier and more practical to use.

"Sometimes we need to be reminded that it's not always about making new fingers for people who do not have them – but it is important to make useful tools that will allow people to participate in a certain activity and then go about the rest of the day without a tool strapped to their arm." said the Enabing the Future.


Source: Enabling the Future

Posted in 3D Printers

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Megan wrote at 7/18/2014 2:34:41 PM:

This is amazing :)

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