e-NABLE 3D Printed Prosthetics • Why We Do What We Do


Over the last few months, we have been filling our Facebook, twitter and blog feeds with pictures and stories of smiling children who have discovered their inner “Super Hero” – simply by strapping a $50 3D printed plastic hand to their arm and wiggling colorful “fingers’ that now sit where the digits they were never born with – would have been.

Many of you do not know just how many people we hear from daily…How many volunteers we have who have signed up to donate not only their time and talents needed to create these devices, but their resources for the plastic and materials needed to create these hands. No e-NABLE volunteer ever asks for reimbursement. Every single hand that has been printed, assembled and delivered to a recipient – is paid for by the individual who has committed to creating this for the person they were matched with.

It is a labor of love. It is 12-16 hours of print time. It is $25-$50 in materials. It is time spent emailing back and forth for measurements. It’s hours spent scraping away support materials, running to the hardware store, cutting and tying cords and sewing velcro and hot gluing your fingertips instead of the padding…it’s a lot of work – but the rewards are priceless.

We create because we can. Because it is fun. Because it feels good to make someone else feel amazing. Because if we keep giving and inspiring others to do the same…maybe, just maybe, this world will feel a little better and brighter and not so scary anymore.

Over the past 6 days, we have gotten more inquiries for hands than we have in months.

This past week – we had 70 intake forms completed from people requesting a device and 34 still waiting to complete the intake form. The ages range from toddlers to 78 years old.

But you want to know what is truly amazing?

We also got 104 new intake forms completed…from people who want to volunteer to make a hand for someone in need.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Every single day, we get emails telling us of broken hearted children who get bullied at school every time they step foot in their classroom. We get stories about parents who live in 3rd world countries who have lost their hands in industrial accidents or war – who just want to be able to provide food and shelter again for their children. We get images of tiny little hands with tiny little nubs where fingers never grew…and tear filled pleas from parents who can’t take watching their child being ridiculed and shunned every day – simply because they do not look like their peers.

While these e-NABLE hands have some function to help grab and hold things and while they sometimes (more often than not) turn the “different kid” into the “cool kid” at school – what these simple 3D printed prosthetic hands do…is bring people from all walks of life, all religions, all colors and races, all political beliefs, all economic needs and all talents and skills together – to put aside their differences….and work together – to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Thank you for helping us make a difference one hand, one story, one smile at a time.

If you would like to help create these hands for those in need – please fill out our intake form here – and our matcher team will help get you started on being listed as a volunteer and start matching you people who need devices. We can’t do this without you.