Enabling The Future

A Global Network Of Passionate Volunteers Using 3D Printing To Give The World A "Helping Hand."


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e-NABLE The Future With Us!

 

cropped-newheaderperegrine.jpgThank you for visiting our website!

• The e-NABLE community of volunteers specialize in creating free 3D printed devices for children and adults who have wrists but no fingers or elbows with no wrists/hands. In order for these designs to work, the individual must have at least 30 degrees of motion in either wrist or elbow to have movement in the device. There is currently a wait list for body driven arms and more design work is needed.

• We do not want to set false expectations. These devices are colorful, fun and provide a general basic functional grasping motion, are great for children and are meant to be viewed as tools used for specific tasks.

• Our volunteer-designed, volunteer fabricated devices are not full blown medical prosthetics which for example, do not have the ability to control individual finger movements and are not capable of bearing the weight of a child. (They can not provide the ability to use the monkey bars at school.)

• The experimental Limbitless Arm seen in the Robert Downey Jr. video is for arms that terminate above the elbow. Only a few have been made so far and there is a wait list. For more information – please contact our team at Limbitless Solutions: limbitless.solutions@gmail.com

• To become a volunteer or to request a wrist or elbow driven device from e-NABLE, or to find out how  you can help – please visit our “Get Involved Page” and fill out our intake form.

• Please understand that we are currently an all volunteer organization that is struggling to keep up with growing demand and interest. Unfortunately, we can’t respond instantaneously and we can’t meet every need. We appreciate your patience while you wait to hear back after filling out your form or sending us an email. Our volunteers will get back to you as quickly as possible!

• If you would like to help us by providing a donation as a recurring monthly $10 payment or a one time donation – please visit our Donations page.

• Find us online!
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e-NABLing Growth!

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When e-NABLE started really picking up steam in January of 2014 – we had about 300 volunteers who had joined our Google+ community and about 75 volunteers on our map who had signed up to help 3D print a hand for a child in need.

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e-NABLE has now grown into a world wide movement of nearly 5000 tinkerers, engineers, 3D print enthusiasts, occupational therapists, artists, university professors, designers, parents, families, artists, students, teachers and every day people who just want to make a difference in the lives of others who were born missing a hand or who have lost them due to natural disaster, disease or war…by creating free 3D Printed hand and arm prosthetics for those in need.

We have been growing exponentially for the past year and every day, the requests for help from all over the world are growing just as quickly!

In June of 2014, we had 190 recipients and 192 volunteers who were able to print hands for them…

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Less than a year later, as of today, April 15, 2015 – we have 1399 recipients and out of our nearly 5000 Google+ community volunteers, we have 3504 who have signed up to print parts and 55 schools who are volunteering to print!

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It is incredible to see how much we have grown!

Some of our volunteers are now working full time hours to answer emails, matching makers to recipients, helping to coordinate with schools, church groups, scouts troops and other organizations, finding ways to collaborate with clinics in underserved areas around the world, assisting with planning events and traveling around the globe to share e-NABLE’s story.

On average, our Matcher volunteers will spend between 6-8 hours working with each individual family and the volunteers that they have been assigned to. From answering the initial request messages to emailing information on measuring guides, welcome packets, safety guidelines and general information about e-NABLE. They are also personally guiding parents through the photo taking process, answering questions from parents who need guidance, searching for a volunteer and connecting them with the family, checking in to make sure progress has been made and entering all of the recipient and maker information into our system as well as making sure that devices are sent and received in a timely manner.

Our matcher team receives about 50 new requests for hands and approximately 100-150 new volunteers every week. Some weeks bring in higher numbers when larger media stories come out. We have nearly 1400 recipients in the system currently who are at various stages in the process and it grows daily.

e-NABLE is getting new requests for large numbers of hands to be delivered to areas around the world – like Haiti, Mexico, Vietnam, Gaza, Israel, and Syria. While we have the volunteers who are willing to print for them, the rules and laws in these various countries differ and are often more strict than the USA where a majority of our makers reside. In order to provide hands for these locations who have the greatest need, we need to assemble teams of volunteers that can work with each individual clinic and organization who contacts us for help.

While e-NABLE has managed to provide nearly 1000 hands to over 700 recipients in the past year and a half solely on the gifts of the heart and the generosity and love of our volunteers – we are now at a critical point where we are in need of funding to help keep  e-NABLE running smoothly and provide even more help where we can.

To help us continue to provide free devices to those in need of assistance, we have started a fundraising campaign on tee-spring where you can purchase a t-shirt and help support our efforts!

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All proceeds from the sale of these shirts will go toward the Enable Community Foundation to help us continue to help children and adults from around the world who need “A Helping Hand.”If you are not interested in purchasing anything and simply want to make a one time or recurring donation or pledge a simple $10 per month – please visit our donations page and remember that anything helps! All donations, big or small, makes a difference!If you are interested in doing a fundraiser on behalf of e-NABLE – we welcome any gifts you can share!If you would like to plan an event and fundraiser and have an e-NABLE volunteer join you to share about our community and mission – please email us at enablehands@gmail.com!

Thank you for your continued support and for sharing our stories so that parents and recipients can continue to find us!

Thank you for helping us to “E-NABLE THE FUTURE!”

 

 

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e-NABLING Educational Collaborations To Change The World

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Over the past year an a half, the e-NABLE community has somehow managed to unite over 4000+ individuals and thinkers in over 30 countries who are putting aside their religious and political differences, views on gender roles and more – to work together on designs for free 3D printed assistive devices for children and adults with upper limb differences.

The global e-NABLE community has been collaborating and re-designing, supporting and encouraging one another and sharing our ideas with all of creation – with one goal in mind: Making a difference and improving the lives of the underserved populations around the world.

In the past few weeks, it has become very apparent that there are some wonderful collections of brilliant minds and “out of the box thinkers” who are forming groups within the walls of their universities, trade schools and community colleges – who are actively engaging their students with the e-NABLE project and some wonderful innovation is happening!

Imagine what we could do, if we were to find a way to connect all of these University groups and have them work together? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were able to accomplish the same kind of collaborative nature of the e-NABLE community – but within the often times, very competitive university and secondary educational world? What if instead of each individual educational facility trying to out-best their rivals….they collaborated?

Recently, a group of University of Central Florida (UCF) students were part of a hand-a-thon build that was put together by Microsoft One-Note and the Collective Project to highlight the work being done with UCF student Albert Manero and his team who have been working as e-NABLE volunteers, to create a myo-electric e-NABLE device. Part of the week long event was to include a day long “Hand-a-thon” in which 60+ wrist driven e-NABLE devices were to be assembled by UCF students to then be donated to a children’s clinic in Mexico.

ivanowenIvan Owen of University of Washington Bothell, teaches University of Central Florida’s Albert Manero and other UCF students how to assemble e-NABLE’s 3D printed hands during a week long event on the UCF campus put on by Microsoft One-Note and The Collective Project. Photos courtesy of Frankie Flood and Katie Manero.

The e-NABLE community came together to send two of their top designers and teachers, Ivan Owen  of the University of WA Bothell’s Alliance For Device Innovation (A4DI), who co-created the first 3D printed hand and who has continued to innovate and help improve the designs over the past 3 years and Frankie Flood of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, who has been churning out new designs, countless hands and task specific devices for recipients such as violin bow holders etc. to help.

FrankiefloodFrankie Flood of University of Milwaukee Wisconsin (UWM) teaches students at University of Central Florida (UCF) how to assemble 3D printed e-NABLE Raptor hand devices. Photos courtesy of  Frankie Flood and Katie Manero

The three universities came together on the UCF campus – not as separate educational institutions who were all trying to out-do each other – but as a collection of teachers and students and HUMAN BEINGS who were there for one purpose:  to make free 3D printed hands for children in an underserved country and work together as a community to make the world a little brighter for someone else. At the end of the day – 60 hands were packaged up and shipped off to find their new homes with children who have little to no access to medical attention in their country and could never dream of having a prosthetic device of their own. It was a beautiful day.

We would like to continue to create more of this type of collaboration between universities and work toward the idea that it IS possible to put aside the sports competitions, the best moonwalking mascots and the team colors to remember that underneath all of the amazing logos, the spirit day face paint and the need for individual university recognition – we  are all the same.

We are all people with ideas that have the potential to change the life of another human being.

Together – we can do so much.

Will you join us?

If you are a university, a technical college or a community college who has already formed a group on your campus that is working on improving e-NABLE devices, have started outreach projects to take the technology to other countries or who have individuals who have ideas that could help to improve the lives of others through 3D printing and innovation – please visit our forum and share a little about your group, where you are located, what you are working on and if you would be interested in a global collaborative effort to gather the most brilliant minds in our educational system – to help make the world a better place and “Give the world a helping hand.”

Please visit: Our University Forum Post and introduce your group!

If you are a middle school or high school group that has come together to support the e-NABLE movement – we want to hear from you too! You are the next generation of thinkers and innovators and you have so much power to change the world!

Please visit: Our Middle & High School Forum Post and introduce your group!

We would love to see Universities, technical colleges and community colleges – inviting the middle and high school groups to visit their labs and help to inspire them further! Please reach out to each other!

We would love to get more collaborative hack-a-thons, build-a-thons and events organized in the coming year!

If your university group has a Facebook or Twitter page – please “follow” us or “Like” our pages and we will do the same! We love to see photos and hear stories and share incredible innovations that are coming from the next generation of thinkers and do-ers around the world!

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Let’s “Enable The Future” together!


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Help e-NABLE “Give The World A Helping Hand.”

When the e-NABLE community first began in 2013, it consisted of about 300 people who owned 3D printers or who had design skills to share – that wanted to help improve the first open sourced design for 3d printed hands that had been released online. They simply wanted to use their machines to help to print and assemble free 3D printed prosthetic devices to anyone that reached out to them.

A year and a half later, our “matching system” now has over 1000 recipients in various stages and 3000 registered volunteers. This has grown from around 200 of each in May of last year. We have over 30 middle and high schools who are currently printing hands for recipients and groups of students and scout troops who are spending their weekends building hands for children they will never meet.

We now have volunteers printing in dozens of countries and our volunteer numbers grow every single week…but so do the heart wrenching stories that we find in our inboxes on a daily basis, pleading for help for their children or their neighbors or community members.

RosaStories of mother’s of multiple children… who have lost limbs in horrifying bus accidents or who have had their arms crushed in factories – in countries where there is no “Disability pay” and they now have no means to provide for their family. Emails that bring us to tears, reading about young children who have been deliberately mutilated by adults who use them as examples in their ugly games of war. The emails never end.

So far, the e-NABLE community has been able to sustain ourselves on the sheer love and goodness of the hearts of our volunteers who are spending countless hours answering emails, connecting families and makers, printing, assembling, traveling hundreds of miles to do custom fittings or teach others how to assemble these devices, spending their own earnings to purchase materials and paying for shipping costs to get 3D printed hands on those who are waiting patiently for their very own “Super Hero Hand.”

We want to do more than just match our Volunteers to people with a need for a 3D printed hand/arm that find their way into our inboxes and we are asking for your help to spread e-NABLE even further into the world than an online community can reach.

Our hope is that through our newly formed Enable Community Foundation – we can gather donations from those that do not have 3D printers themselves, but who continually ask how they can help in some small way.

A few of our current mission-critical volunteers have gone from donating 8-10 hours a week, to spending 8-10 hours a day helping to connect families to makers, providing community support, planning events, coordinating school needs and so much more and they simply can not continue to donate this much time without compensation so they can care for their own families, while caring for so many others. We need funding to help pay for their time so that we can continue to gift FREE 3D printed prosthetic hands for those in need.

The Enable Community Foundation’s wish is that we can also internationalize our website and resources pages so that the files and information will be readily available to people of many languages and we have hopes to provide mini-grants for projects like providing shipping costs for mailing large numbers of hands created in “Build-a-thons” – to clinics in places like Haiti, Mexico and hospitals in war zones.

We would like to put on more special events like the “Prosthetists Meets Printers” conference at John’s Hopkins Medical Center last September, where we were able to educate medical professionals about 3D printed prosthetics and teach over 25 families how to assemble devices for their own children.

If you have just $10 a month to share to help us continue to provide 10 functioning fingers to the underserved populations in need of a prosthetic device – please consider signing up for recurring monthly donations or a one time donation to the Enable Community Foundation.

If you would like to contribute and also share our message with others by purchasing an e-NABLE t-shirt, we also have those available in a variety of sizes for men, women and children. Every little bit helps us to keep providing free 3D printed prosthetics to people in need.

If you are unable to contribute financially but still want to help – sharing our stories and our website on your social media channels helps parents and recipients to find us and your simple share on Facebook or Twitter can ultimately lead to a child receiving a new hand and contribute to the growing number of Super Hero Cyborgs roaming the earth!

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For those that are interested in getting a hand or creating one for someone – please visit our “Get Involved” page.

Thank you for your support, your generosity and for helping us to “Give The World A Helping Hand.”

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead.

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e-NABLE & Marvel Universe LIVE! – “Assembling To Save The Universe”

On January 28, 2015…6 young Super Heroes joined forces with e-NABLE and the cast of Marvel Universe LIVE!, in Dallas, Texas…to help save us all from certain doom at the hands of evil Super Villains! Together with their families, staff from Feld Entertainment, 4 members of the e-NABLE team and 5 cast members from Marvel Universe LIVE! …these 6 children, Hudson, Miah, Abby, Jax, Jackson, and Kinley – built their own “Super Hero” themed hands that would soon empower them to change the lives of many.

While some children that receive 3D printed e-NABLE prosthetic devices state that they feel like Super Heroes once they don their new brightly colored set of mechanical fingers…whenever we do events like this – we are constantly reminded that they were real life Super Heroes before they ever strapped their “upgrade” to their arms.

After spending a few hours helping to assemble new hands with these children and their families, some of the cast members shared some thoughts with us on their experience working to build e-NABLE devices with them.

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Romeo, who portrays “Nick Fury” in the show – shares, “It’s amazing to be apart of history. Not only do I feel privileged to help the kids build their own one of a kind hand, but it’s an honor to see technology at its best!” and Chailee who portrays “The Black Widow” writes, “e-NABLE allowed Super Heroes to make kid’s dreams come true – and help them realize they are the real heroes.”

Chelsea, who plays the role of “Storm” in Marvel Universe LIVE! shares, “Getting to be a part of something bigger than yourself is such a humbling experience, especially when you get to work with kids…my experience was amazing.”

“It kind of made me miss being a kid.” says Antonio, who plays Iron Man” in Marvel Universe LIVE!  “To see how much joy and energy they had, brightened my day. They reminded me to always look on the bright side and enjoy the company of others.”

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While he plays one of the “The bad guys” in Marvel Universe LIVE!  – the most poignant and heart warming reflection came from Vincent, who portrays “The Green Goblin.”

Vincent writes, “From the moment we walked in to meet all of the associates who had gathered to host this life changing event, the entirety of our cast and crew had nothing but smiles from one side of their cheeks to the other. We were shown some of the hands we would be assembling that day, and each one was unique in its own way…each and every hand had a personality, just as the children who walked through the door that day. 

From the moment they stepped in, and we were able to meet with them as well as their families – we all knew we were in for a wonderful and unforgettable experience. With out hesitation we all took to tables to introduce ourselves and begin learning about each of these children.

Continue reading

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e-NABLing Haiti

e-NABLE in Haiti: A Pilot-Project In-Progress

A Report by Elinor Meeks,

with Contributions from Fellow e-NABLE in Haiti Pilot Team Members:

Caitlin McDonnell, Dante Varotsis, Mohit Chaudhary and Roland Mokuolu

Starting last summer, a group of e-NABLE volunteers came together to develop a concept for bringing e-NABLE’s know-how, devices and community-building approach to the developing world. Motivated by a grant opportunity posed by billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and inspired by e-NABLE’s patron surgeon Dr. Albert Chi to consider Haiti as their first port of call, this diverse, intrepid team (See sidebar) hit the ground running.  What follows is an account of our progress, culminating in the recent trip by two team members to Port Au Prince in December.

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A Year Of e-NABLING The Future

There really are no words to describe how much beauty has happened this year, thanks to our amazing volunteers, generous sponsors, wonderful families and the incredible individuals that all contributed to it all.

Some of our biggest accomplishments of 2014:

•We went from about 200 members of our e-NABLE family and community…to over 3200.

• Together, we created over 700 hands around the globe for those in need.

• We went from one basic design – to over 10 new designs for wrist driven hands and introduced myo-electric arms, elbow driven arms and the beginnings of exo-skeletons and even feet and legs.

• e-NABLE had it’s first “Prosthetists Meets Printers” conference with over 400 people in attendance – including prosthetists, medical professionals, families, occupational therapists, FDA representatives, surgeons and more – who all came to learn how to assemble e-NABLE devices.

Hundreds of boy and girl scouts assembled e-NABLE hands to send to children around the world in underserved countries who were born with no fingers or lost hands and arms due to disease, natural disaster or war.

• The “Hand-o-matic” software was created to help even more people have the opportunity to create hands for those in need.

• We were listed as one of the top searches for the year by Google.

• Over a dozen schools “adopted” e-NABLE recipients and incorporated the creation of free 3D printed hand design into their classrooms…not only changing the life of the child that received the hands – but the children that helped to create them.

There are many other wonderful things and awards that have taken place over this past year – but the most beautiful and amazing….is that people from all walks of life and from all around the world, are putting their differences aside to come together to make a difference…one hand, one arm, one smile at a time.

Thank you for being a part of our 2014 and we hope to continue to create even more smiles in 2015!