Thank You Liam

Two years ago today, a little boy named Liam received the very first prototype that would eventually become the 3D printed hand devices that our e-NABLE volunteers are printing and gifting to hundreds of children and adults around the world.

An American prop maker traveled over 10,000 miles to bring 4 aluminum metal fingers to South Africa, where he and a Carpenter who had cut off 4 of his own fingers, would spend the entire day working together to assemble a mechanical hand for a 5 year old child. They all put their faith into each other and were determined to make it work. At the end of an exhausting day of innovation, collaboration and experimentation – Liam grabbed an item off the table with fingers on his right hand for the first time in his life and exclaimed, “It copies me!”

The design was rough.
It was bulky.
It lacked a strong grip.
It was itchy.
It was less than pretty.


But Liam did not give up.

He practiced every day and his wrist grew stronger and stronger. The co-designers realized that he was actually using this contraption…and succeeding…and that in no time he was going to outgrow it. The prop maker reached out to a 3D printing company and they donated not only one 3D printer…but two. One for each maker on opposite sides of the world.

The Prop maker taught himself how to use the printer and how to script and turn it into 3d printable files so that the Carpenter could print the designs and have Liam test them.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 11.17.34 AM

And test them he did.

Even when it was clunky.
When it was too hot against his skin.
When it was not grippy enough.

Liam did not give up.

Because of this little boy and his strong will, determination to succeed and his family who encouraged him to keep trying – there are hundreds of children all over the world who are benefiting from these designs.


We would not be here today without him and today we want to say: “Thank you Liam” and trust that someday you will really realize just what an amazing gift you have given the world.

If you would like to leave comments for Liam below – please do!

Someday – he will really be able to realize what his refusal to “Give up” did to change the lives of many!



6 thoughts on “Thank You Liam

  1. Ghazi Alamrat Reply

    Dear colleagues; Greeting from Jordan

    I would like to thank you for your products to rehabilitat the amputees.

    I interest for your products.

    With my full regards Ghazi Alamrat, CPO Orthotics & Prosthetics Senior Specialist at KHMC . P.O.Box 3611 Irbid 21110 E.mail: Mobile 00962 772201102 Home. 00962 27105500 Jordan

  2. Pingback: Look How Far We’ve Come! | Enabling The Future

  3. Lynette P Smith Reply

    Thank YOU, Liam! I work with students who have disabilities, and I love the work you have done with the 3D printed hands. Without your never give up attitude, these may never have become so available for so many who have needs. I am going to share your video with my graduate class this week. I am a science teacher working on my special education degree, so when they asked about assistive devices and I ran across your picture and story, I was totally hooked. Thank you for being energetic and persistent – never lose those qualities.

Leave a Reply