Enabling The Future

A Global Network Of Passionate Volunteers Using 3D Printing To Give The World A "Helping Hand."


This website is dedicated to following the growth of the e-NABLE community and the “3d Mechanical Hand – Maker Movement” that was inspired by two strangers (a prop maker from the USA and a carpenter from South Africa) that came together from 10,000 miles apart – to create a prosthetic hand device for a small child in South Africa …and then gave the plans away – for free…so that those in need of the device could make them for themselves or have someone make it for them.

What originally started out as a couple of guys who created something to help one child in need…has grown into a world wide movement of tinkerers, engineers, 3D print enthusiasts, occupational therapists, university professors, designers, parents, families, artists, students, teachers and people who just want to make a difference.

They are coming together to create, innovate, re-design and give a “Helping hand” to those that need it – whether it is helping to print parts for them,  creating a completed device for them or simply helping to guide them as they build one themselves.

There are people around the Globe – 3d printing fingers and hands for children they will never meet, classes of high school students who are making hands for people in their local communities, hundreds of Scout troops working together to assemble hands for children in underserved areas around the globe,  a group of people that are risking their lives to get these devices onto people in 3rd World countries and new stories every day of parents working with their children to make a hand together.

The seed was planted and the Tree is branching out, growing and becoming more beautiful than ever imagined!

Come watch it grow with us!

“Now all the fingers of this tree (darling) have hands, and all the hands have people; and more each particular person is (my love) alive than every world can understand…” – E.E. Cummings

47 thoughts on “ABOUT US

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  6. I sure am proud of your accomplishments.
    May God continue to bless you.
    May St Joseph help you
    john marchlik
    Aston, Pa

  7. This is beautiful!
    What wonderful people getting involved in this most worthy endeavour.

  8. I would donate a 1000.00 to research to stop hot car deaths. any ideas for a comprehensive alarm system to detect and protect children from hot car death.

  9. What you have done for this child is miraculous and wonderful! I am the grandmother of a 15 month old granddaughter who was born with PFFD (Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency) and I am desperate to help her lead a normal life. She is currently trying to walk with her second prosthesis and a gait walker, but her prosthesis will not stay on very well and prohibits her from many activities. Does the possibility exist that 3D printers may help people with leg deformities in your opinion? I have been researching her condition for months and I am in the process of contacting Shriner’s Orthopeadic for assistance as well. I am seeking any information from as many sources as possible and would so appreciate any help you could provide. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for any help, etc.!

  10. I am a mother of a daughter who has a mild form of cerebral palsy. She cannot use her right hand as well since it is weaker and the fingers don’t open as easily for her. Is it possible to use the gauntlet with cords attached to a glove to open her fingers and give them more function as her wrist moves normally?

  11. Hi this is amazing, I am a 53 yr old man and I ride bikes. I have always wanted something like this to help me with clutching my bike. If this is strong to do that I would love to have one. I was burn at the age of 6 months and lost fingers on both hands. The left hand is the worst. So if I am leaving this message in the right, it would be a blessing for someone to contact me about how I can, or if I qualify for one. My number is 850 661 1450, and my name is Amos Carroll. Thanks in advance.

  12. I am the mother of a 9 year old little girl, adopted from China in 2007. She was born with missing radius bones. On her left hand she has five fingers, but only her pinky works correctly. On her right hand she has one large mono-digit. Is there anything your group could do for Emily??

  13. Wanted to let you know that I find this project absolutely amazing and wonderful in so many ways!! I was wondering if any of your designs use conductive finger pads on the fingertips? That way they could be used on tablets and smartphones. Maybe it’s something you or your partners can explore. Again.. I think this is a great achievement that you’ve created and I’m saving up my money to buy a printer to, one day, be part of this all!! Keep it up!!

    • Thank you Tony!

      Most of our recipients are young children and they are more interested in riding their bikes and playing ball with all 10 fingers and many of them are more skilled with the tablets and smart phones without the e-NABLE hands on and don’t seem to be too interested in finger pads on the actual devices. But this is a great idea for the older users! Thank you!

      Feel free to join us in the Google+ group!

  14. This organization is amazing! This is the most useful site I’ve come across in my research for 3D printed hands for my 4 y/o son, who currently believes that his hand will grow to be “normal” when he gets older.

    I’m looking for some assistance in this matter on how to get started on printing one for him.

    I’m a resident in Iceland and I haven’t heard of many people/organizations here that could help me except Össur, which of course costs a fortune.

    Best regards,

    • Hello Hallgrimur!

      We would love to help get a hand up there in Iceland! I think you would definitely be our first!

      Please email us at letsgetstarted@enablingthefuture.org and it should bounce you to our intake form and get you started on getting in touch with our matcher and seeing about finding a maker that is closer to you to help print and assemble for your son. :)

      Feel free also to email me at info@enablingthefuture.org (My name is Jen)

  15. We were using the beta hand measuring tool and the file it sent us isn’t being read by our MakerBot 3D printer. Has anyone else had this problem? Or is it just us?


  16. Hello. Wow!!!! I am a co-founder of “May We Help” in Cincinnati Ohio. We do 3-D printing of gadgets to help people with various disabilities, a lot of them for musical reasons. We will be contacting you for your help in developing some things on the hand and possibly the foot. We do everything for free as you do. Once again, wow!!!! Check out our web site maywehelp.com We do lots of things that do not involve 3-D printing but what you have is wonderful. God bless.

  17. I am so proud of the University of Central Florida for making Alex his Dream come true. May him bless all the students and the team that make this happen. Blessings.

  18. Do you have anyone in Indianapolis, IN that will produce a hand for a 5 year old boy.

  19. Hi , I’m looking into buying a 3D printer here in the UK , and am very interested in joining your network of helpers , I have over 25 years experience in manufacturing , engineering in various forms etc , my budget for a printer will be in the region of £800 – £1,500 ….in your experience could you recommend any reliable and accurate printers in this price range , your input would be very helpful.

    Kind Regards


  20. Hello!
    My name is Alana and I’m an eighth grader in California. I recently found out about E-Nable through an article in the news, and was so interested that I’ve decided to make my science presentation about it. For this presentation, I’m required to do a demonstration, and I’d really love to have an example of a 3d printed prosthetic to demonstrate how it supports those in need. Yet, I am unsure as to how to make this work. My presentation is on the 27th. If you have any ideas, you can contact me whenever it works for you. I tried email but I have not received a response back in almost a month.. Thank you for any assistance you can provide me!

  21. I think you have done great things with the prosthetic arm and limbs but sadly a friend’s cousin has severe DMD and needs help walking or has to but very expensive leg supports. I know this would take lots of work but I think you would get funding from the national muscular distraphy association if you impart on it

    • Unfortunately – our home based printers do not print in strong enough materials to be able to hold the weight of a person. :(

  22. I think its very good and nice to help biuld hands my class has a 3d printer and were making hands for kids.

  23. How can I get aqua leg for low cost . I’m disabled with no leg and they are so expensive

    • Hello Amela – unfortunately, we do not make legs at this time. Someday we hope to in the future but currently we only have designs for hands and arms.

  24. Hi..I’m writing from India. My son has 2 fingers(thumb & small finger) adjoining each other in his right hand. Would it be possible to customize a gloved hand for better use of his hand?

  25. How do I contact you guys. I met some people at the RVA makers fair.

  26. What a fantastic service you are providing for others! You people are wonderful.

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