What’s What With e-NABLE 3D Printed Devices?


Over the past year, e-NABLE volunteers have come up with a variety of 3D printed hand and arm devices and have released many of the files free to download for anyone that would like to either create one for someone they know or take the files and improve upon them. This has lead to numerous prototypes and a whole lot of media coverage that is often not correct!

We would like to make sure that those that are following our story about our volunteer community – know exactly what is available and how to find the files or how long they can expect to wait to either receive a device, get printed parts or how long it may be before a design they have seen in the news, will actually be available to them.

e-NABLE is a global community of volunteers and this means that most of us have day jobs and families that we attend to and creating hands or answering emails from eager parents seeking devices for their children – is what we do in our “free time.” We love helping people and are dedicated to making sure that we can help as many people as we can, but please keep in mind that we are not a company and we do not sell these devices and we are completely run by volunteers so it may take a while before you hear back!

If you are seeking a device for your child and have filled out the intake form – please keep in mind that it may be a week or two before you hear back from our matcher team and it may be a few months before a device is produced for you as we have a long wait list of people seeking help for someone they love and we get dozens of emails a day!

Below, you will find some information on each of the designs you may have seen on the news, where you can find the files to create them, how long to expect to wait to get one and if the design is still in prototype stage and currently unavailable.

SheashearthandprofilepicWrist Driven Devices – AVAILABLE

• These require a functional wrist to power the device.

• If you would like to get on the wait list to be matched with a volunteer who can print parts for you – please fill out our intake form here.

• It may take a week or so before you hear back from the matcher team once you have submitted your form. Thank you for your patience.

• It may be a month or more before you are matched with a volunteer who can print parts for you or create a device. Our wait list is long!

• If you would like to create one of these on your own – the files and information are available here. If you have a school or a local library near you with a 3D printer that will print parts for you, there are instructions and tutorials available to you so that you can assemble it yourself and avoid having to wait to be matched with a volunteer.

• The newest design, “The Raptor,” can be created for around $30-$50 in materials.

• The “Flexy Hand” design can be found here.

• Many of our other designs can be found here.

Body Powered RIT Arm – AVAILABLE (Prototype stage)

• This is a body powered arm design that is still in the works and files are available but we are still working on the harnessing system and fine tuning the device.

• This arm requires an elbow and partial forearm stump to power the device.

• If you would like to get on the wait list for an RIT Arm design – please fill out our intake form here. Please note it may be a week or so before the matcher team is able to respond to your email.

• Because every arm stump is different – the arm designs will require recipients to work directly with a medical provider who can ensure the fit is safe and comfortable. Our volunteers can print the parts but it will be the responsibility of the parents/users to take the device to an OT or Physician to create a proper fit in the socket.

Body Powered Cyborg Beast Arm – PROTOTYPE STAGE

• This is a brand new prototype design from the team at Creighton University and is still in the very beginning stages of development.

• This design requires an elbow and partial forearm stump to power it.

• This design will not be openly available for a few months as it is brand new and still under development.

• This design will require the recipients to work closely with a medical professional to ensure proper fit and safety.

• Research and development will take place over the next few months and we will share updates as we get them!

“Limbitless” Myoelectric Arm – AVAILABLE

• This design is still in the early phases but has been released by the wonderful team at UCF and the files, parts lists and instructions can all be found here.

• This is a myo-electric arm that is driven by electronics and muscle sensors.

• This design costs approximately $350-600 to make if you have access to a 3D printer.

• For more information on the Limbitless arm – please visit their website.

Open Hand Project “Bionic Hand” – NOT AVAILABLE YET

• This design is not currently available for download but they hope to upload the design open source very soon.

• This is a robotic/bionic hand that functions using motors and sensors.

• The hope is to create it for $1000 or less.

• For more information – please see their most current media article.
We look forward to the day when all of these designs are available to anyone that wishes to create one – but until then, please know that we are working hard to reach our goal and as soon as we do – you will be the first to know!

Thank you for following our journey and being patient with us while we create, prototype, dream, develop, research and test!