First e-NABLE Hand In China!


Last week, e-NABLE got our first official volunteer in China and not a few days later – our first recipient!

After reading a story about e-NABLE on wechat (The Chinese version of Facebook) a mother of a young 3 year old boy in China, contacted her sister in Canada and asked her to translate our website information for her. The Aunt emailed our Matcher to inquire about getting a “Helper hand” for her nephew. She wanted to know if we could find a volunteer who was willing to create and ship a hand overseas to her nephew…but instead of having to wait weeks and possibly months to find a volunteer to print that would also be able to pay for the shipping costs to China…the case was matched to our first Chinese Volunteer!

Because we now have a volunteer in China, it took merely 7 days from the time she contacted us for help to get them matched with our volunteer in their area, have it printed, fully assembled and delivered to the family.

The way in which we are able to assist people from thousands of miles away, simply by sending emails and files via the internet – is incredible! The amazing work that can be accomplished to help improve people’s lives because of 3D printing and hundreds of volunteers who are willing to use their machines to create positive change in the world – is beyond beautiful.

Take this very story for example:

• A story is written about an e-NABLE hand device and shared online.
• An individual with a 3D printer reads it, gets excited about helping and signs up to volunteer to print a device.
• A relative of a child in need sees another article online.
• The relative emails e-NABLE to ask if we can help make a hand for her nephew.
• The Matcher locates the volunteer on our virtual map.
• The Matcher contacts the Volunteer to ask if he is interested in creating the hand for a child near him.
• The Volunteer agrees to print and assemble the device for the child – at no cost to the child’s family.
• The Matcher notifies the recipient that they have been matched with a volunteer.
• The Matcher acquires the needed measurements and photographs to create the STL file for the child’s hand device.
• The Matcher sends the information to the Volunteer
• The Volunteer 3D prints the hand and assembles it.
• The Matcher sends the Volunteer the shipping information.
• The Volunteer ships the hand or meets with the family to deliver the hand.
• The Recipient now has a hand that was created because his Aunt and Uncle in an entirely different country, saw an article online about an organization that could help create a hand for their nephew and was able to share information in a matter of minutes that would allow the volunteer to start printing and produce a completed device in mere days.

It is pretty incredible.

And look! The little one is already mastering carrying around apples and putting them in his cart for transport!


Our Matcher, Melina, received this email this morning:

“Hi Melina!
My nephew got his new hand yesterday in China, it is amazing!

All his family were so happy when they saw my nephew wear his new hand and he can pick up an apple all
by himself! I attached his picture for you. You can tell how surprised he is when he wears it!

Again,  thank you and all of your team that helped my nephew’s family. Your volunteer in China who’s name is Erwin
Zhang is very helpful. He helps my sister translate all the (e-NABLE) documents into Chinese and gave them a
professional explanation. When my sister got the Chinese email from your volunteer, she told me that she
felt so comfortable because she could read it by herself!

Your  organization is really helpful and effective for people who are in need of help!”

We can’t wait to see what this little one can do with his new hand and we hope that it inspires more makers in China to join and start printing as well!

We are very excited about every news article we find about e-NABLE hands being put onto children and adults but we are even more excited when we run across an article in a language for a country where we have little to no volunteers yet – because it means they are finally hearing about what we are doing and eventually we will be able to fill up their region with little pins on our e-NABLE map too.

More pins on our map = More people we can help.

We get a lot of inquiries from all over the world and much of our volunteer base is in the United States – which means that  for a Volunteer offering to help a child in far off lands…they will have very hefty shipping costs for them to get it to the recipient who is eagerly awaiting their turn to feel like a super hero. In many countries, the recipient also has to pay import taxes to get the device once it has arrived in their country. It also means that if something breaks on the hand… they have to wait weeks to get replacement parts.

Our global community hopes that more and more individuals, maker groups, schools, libraries, families, communities, medical professionals, outreach programs and more – will start using 3D printers to help give their neighbors a “helping hand.”

If you have a 3D printer and would like to help – please email us at

We CAN make a difference – one smile, one hand at a time.

Will you join us?

Will you share our stories on your facebook pages, twitter feeds, google+ accounts and more? The farther we can spread our voice – the more people we can help! Thank you!


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