Aug 13, 2015 | By Simon

These days, it’s difficult to bring up 3D printed prosthetic devices without also bringing up eNABLE, the organization behind the original 3D printed mechanical hand that has brought those in need of prosthetic devices in contact with designers, engineers and others who are able to create custom 3D printed prosthetic design solutions.  

Among other reasons why the eNABLE crowdsourced design platform has been so popular is because of their ability to get in contact with role models, celebrities and other influential people to help deliver themed prosthetics to young users.  To date, this has included everybody from Robert Downey Jr. and the Blue Man Group to even a group of Star Wars Stormtroopers.  

In an effort to further expand their reach to more users in need around the world, the organization is reaching out to the 3D printing community to crowdsource the largest donation of 3D printed hands yet - 1,000.  

Already, the organization has teamed up with a number of universities and companies including 3DPrinterOS, Florida State, Purdue, Duke, Mind-to-Matter and Fargo 3D to help make this a reality, but but with the goal of reaching 1,000 printed hands by mid-September, there is still a lot of work to do and they’re hoping that others in the 3D printing community might be able to contribute to the effort and help supply a hand for somebody in need.     

“We challenge the 3d printing industry as a whole to take the time to print at least one hand to help eNABLE meet their goals,” said John Dogru, CEO of 3DPrinterOS.

“Working with e-NABLE and utilizing our network of printers is a prime example of how 3d printing can affect real change and this is just the beginning.”

After originally starting with two strangers (a prop maker from the USA and a carpenter from South Africa) who wanted to create a 3D printed prosthetic hand device for a small child in Africa - which could also be downloaded for free and used elsewhere around the world - eNABLE has since turned into a global community of tinkerers, engineers, 3D print enthusiasts, occupational therapists, university professors, designers, parents, families, artists, students, teachers and others who want to help support providing children in need with low-cost prosthetic devices.  Currently, the organization includes over 5500 members and has created over 1,500 3D printed hands.  Just recently, even Google got in on the crowdsourcing effort and awarded the organization a $600,000 grant to help further develop their hands and technology.   

For those interested in helping print a prosthetic hand as a part of the global effort, 3DPrinterOS has added a stock hand file project to their library - the Raptor Reloaded - and have also included instructions for mailing the 3D printed hand once completed.  To help inspire people to get those hands in soon, the company will be giving away tshirts to the first 30 3DPrinterOS users who print and mail the hand kits to e-NABLE and will also give away a Raspberry Pi 2 to whoever can send the most hands by September 15th.    

Additionally, Fargo 3D Printing will be offering 25% off all orders on their 3domusa filaments through September 15 with the promo code ENABLE25.   

"We're looking forward to being involved with the e-NABLE project and helping to get more hands printed. We're excited to be able to offer a discount on our materials to help that happen,” added Fargo 3D Printing’s John Schneider.

Anyone - including both companies and individuals - who is interested in printing a hand for the organization by September 15th can find hand files over on Thingiverse and are encouraged to post their final results on social media with the hashtag #enablethefuture.

Once completed, the hands can be mailed to e-NABLE at the following address:


Attn: Melina Brown

216 S 8th St.

Opelika, AL 36801


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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