Over the past year and a half, our website has been filling up with images of beautiful smiling children who have received e-NABLE hands and who now feel like cool little super heroes instead of the kid in class who has something different about them for other children to poke fun at.
While creating 3D printed “Helper” hands for children has been our main focus for the purpose of providing low cost devices for the little ones that are still growing and who will need a new device every few months – we are also making them for adults now and again.
We have hopes to start getting more designs aimed at providing low cost alternatives to our adult users and finding ways to provide these to the disabled and wounded Veterans around the world who are unable to get a commercially created device.
While our designs do not provide the same functions as the more expensive prosthetic choices available – they do offer the user the ability to carry items, do various tasks that are easier accomplished with two hands and have the same self confidence boosting powers as the devices we are creating for the younger children.
One of our volunteers, Aaron Brown, who recently made rounds in the news with his “Wolverine Hand” – decided that he wanted to start working on creating a design specifically for adults who enjoy the outdoors and for the many wounded soldiers out there in the world, so he set about coming up with a design that incorporates adding Picatinny rails to create a bit of a “Utility hand.”
The rails must be added custom to each build as they have to stay at the 100% scale they were designed for – but once added, a hand can now hold flashlights, utility knives for camping and fishing enthusiasts, a compass or anything else one might want to attach to their new 3D printed hand!
Aaron also discovered that adding a strip of velcro to the back of a cell phone case would allow for easier use of smart phones so that the user can firmly grip their phone device and use their other hand to dial numbers, search apps and use the GPS functions on hikes. It can be directly attached to their palm or even their forearm.
This design is not intended to be used for active duty service members – but for those that have returned from service and have suffered a loss of fingers or for those adults who may not be comfortable taking their more expensive and technologically advanced prosthetic devices out into the wilderness or situations where they could get damaged by excessive dirt or accidentally become submerged in water.
Because these e-NABLE devices are low cost and easy to produce (and replace) – this design could be a great way for those that would like to get back out into a more active outdoor lifestyle to be able to take a “helping hand” with them without worry or fear of having to replace a higher cost device if they found themselves in a situation that could damage it.
We have a whole lot of innovation and creativity happening in our group and we will be sharing more fun design ideas in the coming weeks and months! Stay tuned!