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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Enabling The Future • Comic Series!

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(Please click the images for larger views)

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The e-NABLE community has a plethora of incredibly talented volunteers of all ages who have signed up to help – and there are many who do not have 3D printers to print hands – but they have other ways in which they can bring joy to others around the world!

We are pleased to announce the addition of our very own e-NABLE Comic Strip about a child named Alex and a Maker named Erik who has created a 3D printed hand for this child!

This incredible artwork comes from a very talented young artist from France who goes by the Pen name “DAM” or “The Yellow Magician” and you can find her facebook page HERE.

She writes: ”

“I’m actually in secondary school, and I’m preparing for the baccalauréat (this year, and next year). And then, I will try to go on to an art school, because I want draw cartoons and animated films !!!

I also want publish books, or comics (or maybe cartoons !!) around my own (crazy ?) fantasy universe !!!

I like making the e-nable comic, and really, really like drawing Alex, and Erik !!! I hope everyone will be as happy to read this comic as I am to draw it !”

Please check back weekly (Or better yet – sign up for our email notifications when ever we add something new! There is a sign up in the sidebar!) for our updated Strips to see where this adventure takes Alex and Maker Erik!

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VA Innovation Challenge to e-NABLE THE FUTURE

 

For the past year and a half, the e-NABLE community has been working very hard to create free and low cost 3D printed upper limb devices and tools that are aimed mostly at helping children and adults who were born missing portions of their hands and arms – to aid them in every day tasks that could be a little easier with two hands, like riding their bicycles with better balance or giving them the option to eat a sandwich with one hand and drink from a cup with the other.

These amazing, differently-abled individuals that have gotten new 3D printed “Helper Hands” from our e-NABLE volunteers, have grown up learning how to navigate this world with whatever limb difference they were born with and often times come up with creative ways to tackle tasks that many two handed folks take for granted. They use their new devices for task specific purposes, much like you would use a hammer to drive a nail into the wall and then when you are finished with your task, you put the hammer away and go about your day.

But what about those, that were born with fully formed limbs that one day wake up to find that their limbs are missing or have become less functional or non responsive at all?

Imagine suddenly losing your ability to use everyday objects like a fork, your toothbrush, your phone and computer or not being able to perform basic tasks like opening water bottles, signing your own name, pouring milk on your cereal in the morning, buttoning your pants, tying your shoes or holding your child’s hand while you walk across the busy street?

Imagine not being able to continue a beloved hobby, such as painting, woodworking, tinkering with old cars, playing music or photographing your children and grandchildren at play.

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These are some of the challenges faced every day by many of our Veterans – all over the world -who have lost limbs due to war and injury, sustained irreparable nerve damage and who struggle daily with various afflictions that limit their ability to control their bodies to live comfortably and this is why the Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting the first VA Innovation Creation Series for Prosthetics and Assistive Technologies, powered by the VA Center for Innovation

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This is why e-NABLE is proud to be a part of this series – where our own community members can help to expand our gifts from simply creating new hand and arm devices to be able to help in the development of other tools that can improve many more lives with new open source creations that will help Veterans from all countries who have sacrificed so much already and for non-Veterans as well. Many of these potential designs can significantly improve the lives of accident and stroke victims and others who have been diagnosed with tremor causing diseases or who have to limit their mobility for medical reasons.

This initiative aims to bring together individuals from a variety of different backgrounds to accelerate the development of personalized technologies to better care for our Veterans. Engineers, designers, and problem solvers – join us in tackling this challenge!

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On the program website, we have posted a list of challenge areas facing Veterans. To enhance our ability to generate solutions, we are utilizing the innovation platforms Innocentive and GrabCad. These sites will help harness the expertise, skills, and passion of the public to address the following challenges:

  • Developing novel upper and lower extremity devices for the end of daily use prostheses.
  • Creating a medication pillbox able to hold medications that need to be taken up to 8 times a day and remind users when to take each dose.
  • Creating a device that can dampen tremors when someone is performing fine motor tasks.
  • Designing a device to remotely change the speed and grip strength of a prosthetic device for our veterans with upper extremity injuries.

We believe in the power of open innovation to help us address those tough problems, specifically through incentive prizes and collaboration with innovators from across the country. We are calling all solvers, innovators, tinkerers, outside-of-the-box thinkers, and creative minds to participate in this challenge.

Many of our challenges seek input from the rapidly growing “maker community.” The maker movement has shown the enormous potential of 3D printing and we want to extend this to help Veterans. The ability to personalize devices is incredible; people with all levels of technical ability can design 3D objects to meet the unique aspects or needs of a patient, such as their body type or daily tasks.

Veterans are just one of the many communities that will benefit from the contributions of this challenge. At the end of the series, we are open sourcing the designs for public use so that anyone can tailor and implement the designs within their own communities, anywhere in the world. We hope to not only utilize 21st century technology to improve access to new prosthetic and assistive technologies, but also to inspire the Innovation Nation to further advance these devices.

After our launch at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, the Challenge will head to the National Maker Faire in Washington, D.C. on June 12 and 13. At that time, designers, engineers, and all solvers can contribute initial design solutions to and the aforementioned challenges.

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The VA Innovation Creation Series will culminate in a two-day “make-a–thon” event at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, VA on July 28 and 29, where the online designs will be built and tested to showcase how they meet the needs of Veterans.

Accompanying us on this journey across the US is a “pop-up box,” called the Ipsos Girls Lounge, which will be set up at several locations to teach participants how to use prototyping equipment for developing innovative technologies. Tune into the website below for “pop-up box” dates and locations. We especially want to inspire young girls and women to learn 21st century maker skills, such as 3D printing, to develop new approaches for our differently-abled Veterans and the public at large.

Meet some of the incredible Veterans that inspired this challenge by checking out this video.

The time is now to make a difference!

Join us in developing these prosthetics and assistive technologies.

Visit the website to learn more about the VA Innovation Creation Series.
Let’s “e-NABLE The Future” together and see what this community can really do together to make a difference!

 

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Interview With Peregrine • e-NABLING The Future

 

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Interview with Peregrine Hawthorn
By Adam Kitz

This week I got a chance to interview one of our top beta testers, Peregrine Hawthorn, who has been with e-NABLE for almost two and a half years and has collaborated on many of the designs. Most notable is his work with the Talon hand that he originally designed with his father, Peter Blinkley.

Peregrine was born without fingers on his left hand and the Talon was designed around his needs and for the purpose of his daily use. It does require a little bit more wrist movement than other e-NABLE designs, but the Talon is also more durable than the others. This is due largely in part to Peregrine’s daily testing and his work towards making a hand that can keep up with him. I wanted to find out who he is, what the process has been like developing hands with his father, and what he has planned for the future.

Adam: To start, tell me a little about yourself. Are you going to school? Where do you work?

Peregrine: Right now, I’m working at Prop Gallery Events. It’s a small company that does event setup and decor for things like weddings and casino events. It’s a good balance of artistic and manual labor, so I keep active, and can have a bit of fun while I do it.

I’m not going to school right now, but I’m planning on moving out to Rochester to go to Monroe Community College. I’m planning on going through that into the Biomedical Engineering program at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology).

Adam: That sounds like a pretty solid job, there is something nice about a good manual labor job. One of my questions was “do you consider yourself an artist or an engineer?”, but it sounds like you consider yourself both.

Peregrine: I’d consider myself a creator. The difference between art and engineering really comes down to a choice between function and beauty, and if you take a look at my Talon, you’ll see that that’s not a choice I like to make. Especially for something you wear and use every day, if you have one without the other, it’s bound to fail.

Adam: What was the extent of your involvement with the Talon?

Peregrine: Truth be told, the Talon was designed around me. I use it every day, and I have regular brainstorm sessions with Peter Binkley, my father and mechanic. We work out solutions to problems I’m having, and we (mostly he) create the new parts.

I’m getting better at the 3D modeling required, but no one can hold a candle to my father when it comes to mesh 3D modeling.

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Talon Design

Adam: I love the design of the Talon, it looks like it is meant to take a beating and is built to last. The leather gauntlet looks awesome. What makes the talon hand more durable than the others?

Peregrine: Thanks. My first problem was that I kept breaking parts, so we spent a lot of effort making it strong enough to keep up with me. It means bulkier fingers, but I don’t have to replace them every week. Some parts have to be printed in inconvenient directions so the layering works to my advantage and is less likely to split parts. The leather bracer also helps a lot. It’s very hard to print a bracer shape that can hold up to any sort of impact, so the tough but flexible leather really helps take some of the strain off the plastic.

Adam: How often were you having to replace fingers before you began making changes? How many variations of the talon have you worked on?

Peregrine: In the first five weeks, before we made any modifications to the files, I went through six fingers. That’s a little over one a week. We’ve been relatively bad at marking particular “versions” but the Talon has gone through many different iterations.

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The first one was really just a Snap-Together Robohand we downloaded off Thingiverse and hacked together. Literally, there were hacksaws involved. The only differences were an hourglass shape for a better fit, nylon monofilament cables (that became important later on) and the introduction of leather instead of orthoplastic. We modded the fingers and knuckle hinges a bit, but that’s mostly it for that iteration. I couldn’t really do much with that one.

Next we fused a lot of the parts in it to strengthen parts and simplify printing. This upgrade was pretty substantial, as the larger finger joints carried far more of my strength and I accidentally dented a soda drink can shortly after starting to use it.

 This current iteration, we’ve expanded on the nylon monofilament to do away with the elastics in favor of cables that can both pull fingers shut and push them open. The fingers are bulked up further, and the cables now have a reinforced anchor and guide to allow for better Bowden properties (Think bike breaks. The cables are flexible enough to go around corners when pulled, but stiff enough not to buckle when pushed).

I like how the thick nylon cables look, but that’s not the only reason I use them. You need something like that to avoid buckling when you push on it. That push cable lets me get rid of the elastics. Previously, we had the one set of cables to pull the fingers closed, and another, elastics, to pull them open. The problem being that when my fingers are closed, I’m working against five elastics to keep them there. It would become tiring to wear.

 

Adam: I saw the video where you used the hand to lift a 13 pound weight. Have you tried to lift anything greater since then?

Peregrine: I haven’t tried to lift more weight that direction in a while, though I think I probably could now. The last time I broke anything, I was lifting aluminum trusses that averaged around 70 lbs but that was just on the frame, not the fingers.

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For heavy things most would struggle to lift, it’s easier to rest it on the corner of the knuckle, where the weight gets distributed along my whole arm, rather than trying to make the fingers do that.

Adam: How long have you guys been working on the Talon? and when did e-Nable get involved?

Peregrine: It’s been… oh gosh. Two and a half years now? I’d need to look back at the dates to be sure, but we joined e-Nable maybe three months after we made our first hand.

Adam: How has e-Nable helped in developing the talon? and are you working on anything else with them?

Peregrine: For starters, e-Nable is a fantastic supportive community, and a real pleasure to work with. On a more practical sense, the fingers and grips I’m currently using came out of the group, and I’m really excited to start using thermoformed parts in my bracer that people are prototyping. Parts that print flat, but are heated and bent into shape. Some of these have looked like they rivaled fiber glass in durability,

I’ve also helped develop the Raptor, our current work horse hand, and I often talk to developers about the ins and outs of these devices as someone who uses them. It’s hard to test things like comfort and usability if you have all five fingers.

Adam: That is one of the really cool things about e-Nable. People from all over the world are working together in an online workspace to do amazing things. I am excited to see what you do with thermoformed gauntlet and how that affects your design. Thinking back to the beginning of our interview, are you going into Biomedical Engineering to continue developing and testing hands or do you have other ambitions for your degree?

Peregrine: What I plan to do with my degree, is to further a philosophy that I’ve picked up, both from working with e-Nable, and my circle of friends.

Everyone should have the right to become whatever they feel they should be.

 This can mean a lot of things, but with this, I hope to develop things that allow people to do things they feel they should be able to do, whether that’s eating what you want without worrying about your blood-sugar, or being able to walk across the room without help, I want to empower people to do that through human upgrades.

It sounds like science fiction, but I have a machine on my desk that can make a hand, and another one that can make pizza appear at my front door. An implant that can regulate a few hormones doesn’t sound so far fetched now, does it?

It doesn’t sound too far fetched at all and one day we will open up the paper and see the headline, “Peregrine Hawthorn finds a solution for…” Until then, we will be keeping our eyes open in the e-NABLE community for the first thermoformed Talon.

 

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e-NABLING R&D – Experimenting With Elastics

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It’s R&D “Motivational Monday” again and we are excited to keep sharing some of the behind the scenes work that is going on in our research and development teams within our forums and Google+ groups!

We have a whole lot of e-NABLE volunteers that are working on getting our current designs printed and gifted to children and adults around the world, but we have just as many who are working on improving the designs for the future!

Here is another great article about some of the incredible collaboration and design work going on in the community!

e-NABLING R&D – Orthotic Rubber Band Hand
By Adam Kitz – WWU e-NABLE Intern/Volunteer

This week’s “Focus on R&D” design is brought to you by Jason Bryant, e-NABLE volunteer, researcher and teacher at Shandong University in China. His design is an amalgamation of the Raptor Reloaded hand (available on the e-Nable website) and the Falcon V1 hand designed by Dr Adam Arabian from Seattle Pacific University (available on thingiverse). The Falcon V1 was the first e-NABLE 3D printed hand prototype to use orthodontic rubber bands as opposed to the elastic cords that current devices use. Jason began work on his new design by looking at the differences between the rubber band and the elastic cord.

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Jason, on his research: “I did a little testing and found that rubber bands can stretch to about 500% of their original length, while the nice elastic cord only stretches to 150%. So obviously the elastic cord is hitting its limit. This is more of a problem on the smaller hands, which have less elastic to stretch. That might also help explain why I had an elastic cord break before any of the rubber bands broke. The rubber bands still have stretch to spare even when the fingers are fully closed, so they’re not feeling the strain.”

Jason’s study helped to shed some light on one of the main problems with the elastic cord. Specifically, in smaller hands where there is not much elastic to stretch when the hand is being closed. The traditional elastic can make it difficult to fully close the hand due to its lack of elasticity. After finding that the rubber bands had nearly 5 times the stretch of the elastic cord, Jason designed a Raptor Reloaded hand with rubber bands in mind. His new design uses dental bands like the Falcon V1 to connect the joints of a Raptor Reloaded hand.

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According to Jason: “At this point, I do have a few thoughts on the design. It seems to work pretty well. The dental elastic hand does not close as easily as the rubber band hand, but it does close easier than the elastic cord hand… One interesting thing is that the force is distributed differently. At the very beginning of the motion, the dental elastic hands require a little more force. However, that force doesn’t seem to increase much as I continue pushing the fingers closed. On the hand with elastic cord, it starts off very easy and linearly ramps up as you get closer to closing the fingers. This might be improved by experimenting with different lengths of elastic bands. The ones I got were 3/16, which I believe means they have a diameter of 3/16 of an inch. There are many other sizes, and I’m trying to get 1/4 now. If they are longer, then they won’t be stretched so much at their starting positions. That should make it easier to open the fingers for the full range of motion.”

In addition to the dental band hand being easier to close than the traditional elastic cord hand, the dental bands are also much easier to put on because there are no knots to tie. Jayson says, “The goal of the Falcon Hand team was to make something that can be put on with one hand. It’s not easy, but I managed to do that. That means that you can give your recipient a little bag of rubber bands, and they can fix any broken bands themselves.”

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Despite these improvements from the standard Raptor Reloaded, Jason was still unhappy with the way the hand closed. The hand would close first at the fingers and at the palm last, making for an awkward and inorganic grip. In order to make the hand close more naturally, Jason began by tightening the bands by the fingertips and by adding two bars to the palm of the hand to change the angle at which the fingers are pulled. These two things together allow the hand to close in a much more natural way, making it easier to grab objects of all sizes. It also has a more organic finger shape and his Gripper Box design to aid in the adaptive grip.

You can watch the hand in action below!

Jason: “Perhaps I’m getting overly excited because I’m so impressed with the thing I made, but this feels like a significant improvement. I think this gives a small improvement both to picking up large objects and picking up small objects. Obviously that will require testing, starting with maker testing. This is still a test, not a new hand. If things go as well as I’m hoping, we’ll need to build a new hand from the ground up, not just hack off parts of the Raptor Reloaded and stick on new parts.”

If you would like to be a part of this research and development team, have a 3D printer and want to help beta test the design or have ideas on how to improve this design – please visit our Forum for the “Rubber Band Raptor Reloaded.” 

 

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Enabling R&D – Thermo-forming Trials

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Over the past few months, we have shared numerous stories about the beautiful children that are receiving 3D printed hands that are being created by our amazing volunteer e-NABLE community – but have failed to share much of the “Behind the scenes” research, development and design that goes on in our Google+ group where we now have over 5000 members and quite a few of them are donating their time, talent and creativity to help us improve these devices further.

While the news articles about smiling kids with new colorful 3D printed limbs is always a treat to read – we think it is high time we start showcasing some of our volunteers and the incredible work they are doing in their garages, their universities, their basements, their labs and their classrooms.

Volunteer, Adam Kitz, has gathered some of our recent R&D projects to showcase and will be featuring a few each week so that we can share a bit about what our volunteers are working on and showcase some of the most interesting ideas coming out of our group that will be tested and eventually released for use!

Thermomesh Testing

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Volunteer Andreas Bastian, 3D printing research scientist at Autodesk, has been experimenting with a variety of thermo-mesh (thermoformed) designs for palms and gauntlets since October of 2013. These designs allow the plastic hand caps and gauntlets to be warmed with hot water and molded around the recipients limbs to create a more custom fit.

Andreas shares: “I work with a recipient who has been testing an integrated thermomesh palm since February 18th and he’s liked it so far, though we’ve made a couple of size adjustments (made it too loose last time around). One potential challenge we encountered is that the thermoformed PLA is still more brittle than ABS and will crack under a direct blow (a baseball in this case). I’m looking into integrating a ninjaflex/sugru gripping surface on the exterior of the mesh to help with functional grasping and to mitigate direct impacts.”

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An update on April 29th shows a couple of stress fractures in the gauntlet after 2 and a half months of active use and some damage after catching a baseball.

Our volunteers in the R&D group have also been testing a new thermo-formed gauntlet designs that print out flat on the print bed, remove the need for support materials and can also be heated and formed around the recipients forearm (while wearing a protective sock to remove the chance of harm) and provide a more customized and more comfortable fit.

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Andreas shares an update from his 4/29/15 session with his beta testing recipient:

  • I’ve updated the wist hinge thickness so that the wrist pins don’t stick out on the inside of the joint.
  • I’ve updated the “Full Wrap” thermogauntlet to provide better load distribution

“My recipient liked the new full-wrap gauntlet for a number of reasons. It was easy to slip on and off, in part because there wasn’t yet a binding in place, and there was very little play in the component, unlike the stretch of the velcro in velcro-secured gauntlets. The most important thing I saw was that he no longer had the impression of the edge of the velcro strap on his forearm, the cause of which I’ve attempted to illustrate below as I think it is a pervasive flaw in most gauntlet designs currently available. Because the velcro slots must be printed exactly horizontally (at least in the traditional print configuration), the velcro does not describe the roughly conical surface of the underside of the forearm. Instead, it forms a bisecting plane with the forearm and concentrates the restraining load of the gauntlet on the rear edge of the velcro, sometimes causing irritation.”

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One of our favorite things about working with recipients – is when they use their test hands for a while and then come up with great ideas on their own based on needs that designers don’t often think of because they aren’t the end user.

Andreas recently shared this update from his Beta Tester:

“I wanted to share a discovery my recipient and test pilot Kieran made earlier this week.  He’s a big tech deck fingerboard fan and noticed that the adhesive grip strips on the fingerboards were a nice grippy foam, so he started putting them on his fingers and palm.  It’s great stuff and though the strips need a little glue to keep them secured, they do add a nice soft friction to the fingertips and palm.”

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There is a lot of work that still needs to be done with this design, but thankfully we have some fabulous beta testers that are working with our teams to give us feedback and help improve these hands so that we can find ways to create stronger and more comfortable devices.

To learn more about these designs – please visit our Forum pages for the Thermomesh Gauntlet and Palm designs!

If you are interested in contributing your skills and knowledge, design work or would like to help print and create hands for those in need – please visit our “Get involved” page and sign up to become a volunteer!

Help us to keep “Enabling the future!”

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Sending Love To Nepal • Enabling The Future

AP_nepal_earthquake_3_jt_150426_1_16x9_992(Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

Last week, our hearts sank as we heard of the devastating earthquake that has taken thousands of lives in Nepal and has no doubt created countless numbers of new upper and lower limb amputees that will come from having their limbs crushed as their homes and entire city came crashing down upon them.  The lack of immediate medical care for some of these individuals that would have savable limbs – means that they too will have to face amputations due to infections and the inability to heal properly.

In some cases – entire families will all have to face some kind of amputation and parents with missing limbs will be attempting to care for their children who are missing the same and vice versa.

While we wait for their wounds and hearts to heal and their community to begin to rebuild – the E-nable Family will continue to work together to create better designs, find ways to fundraise so that we can help clinics in Nepal to set up 3D printing stations and help teach their medical workers and prosthetists how to build these devices for their people and hold make-a-thons in the future so that we can send some hope to the children and adults who will need a “helping hand.”

We have learned a lot from the earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010. We learned that 5 years later, they are still in desperate need of functional prosthetic devices that are easy and inexpensive to make and they have thousands who are still waiting, not just for arms and hands but for legs and feet as well.

We learned that the people outside of the USA tend to prefer to have more realistic looking hands than the current designs we have to offer and we are now striving to create new designs that will be able to be shared with them and that will help them fit in more with their peers instead of standing out in the crowd.

The work we will be able to do in Haiti will prepare us for helping Nepal in the future.

Many of you have contacted us, asking us to send hands to Nepal – unfortunately until their wounds are healed completely – E-nable devices can not be fitted to these individuals due to nerve sensitivity and pain after amputations – but we can look forward to “Enabling The Future” for Nepal when they are ready for us.

We will keep giving our time to design, innovate, create and gift our devices to the world so that those that are suffering today – will have hope again…even if it just means being able to hold a bag of groceries with one hand and the hand of their child with the other as they walk through streets that used to house their homes and families.

Our thoughts are with you Nepal.

For information on how you can help the people of Nepal NOW – please visit the Interaction.org website to see which organizations are on the ground and on their way to assist in rescue and aid efforts.

They need food.
They need water.
They need medical care.
They need shelters.
They need HOPE.

Please help where you can.

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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!”