CREATE T.I.M.E. – e-NABLE Design Challenge!

challenge examplesembed

Introducing the e-NABLE Community Design Challenges: CREATE T.I.M.E. (Think. Imagine. Make. e-NABLE.)

The first 3D printed hand created for a child who was born missing fingers, came from the collaboration between two men who lived 10,000 miles apart from each other and who worked together despite the distance, to create a device that would help one little boy.

From this first act of kindness, a global community of thousands of people, from all walks of life and all ages, have come together to challenge themselves and each other to create new designs, improve current designs and share their creations with the world!

With more and more schools, youth groups, scout troops, robotics and engineering clubs participating in assembling the basic e-NABLE hand designs as STEM (Science. Technology. Engineering. Math) based learning projects – now seems like a great time to start offering design challenges that individuals of all ages can participate in that will not only encourage young minds to think outside of the box, but will hopefully generate some wonderful new, fun and useful creations that recipients can use as tools in their daily lives!

Introducing our new monthly series of “CREATE T.I.M.E.” (Think. Imagine. Make. e-NABLE.) Challenges!

Over the next year, I plan to offer monthly challenges that will help expand the number of current devices available, improve older designs and encourage kids and adults to think outside of the box! Not all challenges will be based on hands or upper limb devices!

Sometimes I get interesting requests in my email inbox requesting help designing assistive devices for animals of all types or individuals who have other needs that could benefit from a community of creatively minded makers willing to donate their time to collaborate and come up with solutions for those in need.

Once in a while the challenge may just be something artistic and fun or perhaps a request for resources to be created that will help the global community with spreading the e-NABLE project more easily into the world!

All of these challenges are open to anyone who wishes to participate!

Younger participants and classroom collaborators will potentially gain:

• Experience using 3D design software.
• Experience working with others through collaboration and idea sharing.
• Volunteer hours to put toward college applications and scouting requirements.
• Increased problem solving skills.
• Experience solving real world problems.

My hope is that you will participate simply for the sake of knowing that you are using your ideas and imaginations to change the world for the better for someone else who needs your help to find ways to make their lives a little easier – but some of these challenges will also have prizes associated with them now and again! If you are a company that is interested in sponsoring a design challenge, please email me at!

Each Challenge will have specific rules and instructions so please make sure to follow the directions carefully in order to participate and to make sure your design contribution is included! We want everyone to see your wonderful creations and we want them to be easily found by those who might benefit from your creativity!

Check back once a month for our new challenges!
You can enter as many designs as you wish and as many of the contests that interest you!

Please check out our first challenge – creating attachments for the Python Utility Hand!



• Create useful task specific tools and fun designs that can be easily attached to the Python hand via a system of rails that will allow the end users to simply switch out their tools as needed!

While the current e-NABLE 3D printed hand designs are wonderful for some tasks, there are many activities that these hands will not work for due to their simple grasping motion and the need to bend the wrist to force the fingers to close around an object.

Maker and e-NABLE volunteer, Aaron Brown of Axislab 3D, designed the Python Utility Hand with the hope that others would be inspired to create attachments for recipients who are seeking more of a tool type hand instead of five fingered versions!

Many of our younger recipients have asked for task specific devices that they can simply switch out as needed and have given some suggestions for attachments they would be most excited about to connect to the Python hand.

Some of the requests range from simple devices that can hold a fingernail polish paint brush to something that can assist a child who wants to get a better grip on a video game controller or who simply wants to open a jar of pickles with ease!

Please visit the challenge page to see more requests from some of our e-NABLEd children who have found that the basic 3D printed hands are unable to help with certain tasks and are interested in having some fun and useful tool hands created for them!

Challenge dates: January 27th, 2016 to April 15th, 2016

Winners Announced: May 16th, 2016

Who can enter: Individual designers of all ages or groups/collaborations.

Prizes: Yes

How to enter:

This is the first of many challenges we hope to host on and are excited to see what your creative minds can come up with!

Please remember that we have a wonderful Maker community of volunteers who are more than happy to help mentor and guide new designers and you are welcome to ask questions in our Forums or in the Google+ Community! Feel free to sign up to be an official volunteer as well!!

Don’t have a printer of your own? Here are some places you might be able to find one to work on your design prototypes!

Ready Set? Think. Imagine. Make. e-NABLE!