e-NABLE Maker Camp Design Challenge



Welcome to the first ever e-NABLE Community “Maker Camp!”

e-NABLE is widely known for open-source 3D printed hands and arms that are being gifted to thousands of people all over the world by our wonderful volunteers…but many people forget that the first 3D printed hand that was created for the first child, Liam, actually came to life through traditional prototyping processes!


The first prototypes created by the co-designers of the original design, were actually made by using everyday items that could be found around the house. Because one designer lived in the USA and one lived in South Africa and they were trying to collaborate on the design from 10,000 miles apart, they needed to find a way to both be able to build the prototypes from where they were and with what they had available to them!

Both men had duct tape, leather scraps, toilet paper and paper towel tubes, surgical tubing, string, zip ties, PVC piping, hose clamps, scrap metal, rivets, fabrics and even bits and pieces of Erector sets available to them and so in order to be able to reproduce the design improvements where they were, they had to rely on those available materials to work on their design process.


We invite you and CHALLENGE YOU to participate in our first “e-NABLE Maker Camp” where we will be asking you to make functional prototypes for upper limb devices, by only using items that you can find around your home or local community.

You may not use 3D printing for any part of your design!

Anatomy and physiology students at Everett High School in Washington State, under the guidance of their teacher, Danielle DeLuca, created a fun project that helped to push the students along in the design process in ways that only traditional prototyping processes can seem to do!

Below, you will see a few examples of their finished working prototypes, most of which were shoulder harness driven and each team designed for a specific task that was assigned by their teacher.

The students were given an assortment of materials to work with like wooden dowels, sponges, Popsicle sticks, foam stickers, hair ties, straws, cardboard rolls, string, paper, rubber bands, soda bottles, foam board, springs from ballpoint pens, plastic cups, tape, and a few other options.

Each team was required to design specifically for the task assigned, which ranged from being able to pick up a paper dollar, a coin, a water bottle, a toothbrush and a variety of other activities that just so happen to also be some of the functions that e-NABLE recipients would love to see come to life in the 3D printable e-NABLE Devices!


Now we are challenging YOU to spend some time, rummaging through your recycle bins, digging in the craft drawer at Grandma’s house, asking your local businesses for left over or unused items, finding a new use for your old worn out jeans and t shirts,  giving new life to some of your old toys, finding ways to re-use typically discarded items and of course, eating a lot of Popsicles and come up with a functional prototype design that could potentially be turned into a real device for someone in need!

While this “Maker Camp” challenge is mostly intended to inspire you to recycle and reuse items around your home and create something fun and potentially useful out of it, it is also intended to get you to start thinking about how your ideas for these non 3D printed designs could possibly help people who do not have access to this technology in war torn areas and in emergency situations during natural disasters.

If you choose to take our challenge and complete a design, you will earn your digital “e-NABLE Maker Camp – Innovator Award” badge and will be able to show your friends and family, as well as future employers and colleges, how you spent your break, helping to change the world!

Click on the badge below, to go to the “e-NABLE Maker Camp” project page and find out what you need to do, suggestions for materials, how to submit your designs and which tasks you can pick from to design for!


Have fun and remember to share how your project is going as you go along! We look forward to seeing the internet light up with your “handy” work!

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