FAQs (General)

What is the E-Nable Group?
Please visit our “About Us” Page.

E-NABLE is a growing group of over 8000 members who have come together from all over the World to help create and design 3D Printed assistive hand devices for those in need.

We are engineers, artists, makers, students, parents, occupational therapists, prosthetists, garage tinkerers, designers, teachers, creatives, philanthropists, writers and many others – who are devoting our “Free time” to the creation of open source designs for mechanical hand assistive devices that can be downloaded and 3D printed for less than $50 in materials.

Our designs are open source – so that anyone, anywhere – can download and create these hands for people who may need them and so that others can take these designs and improve upon them and once again share with the World in a “Pay it Forward” type of way.

Where can I find the files to create these hands?
Since E-Nable is about developing new designs, as much as it is distributing current ones, we do not have a singular “E-Nable hand” design.

We currently have a variety of designs.

You can find the most current files on our “Designs” page.

You can also find video tutorials for a few of our designs.

If you find that you are having trouble with sizing or need some assistance in creating a different variation for a hand that may not fit in our current designs – please do not hesitate to ask for help in our forums or Google+ community!

How much will one of these hands cost?

Our volunteers print and assemble these devices at no cost to the end users. Each design is different and dependent on which materials you choose to use. On average – the costs run anywhere from about $20USD to about $50 in materials costs to produce one of our hand devices and between $50-$150 to create one of our arm designs.

Some designs use formed leather, some use medical orthoplastic and some use mostly 3d printed parts padded with medical grade padding.

Where can I find a 3d printer or someone to print parts for me?


Please visit our “Need a Hand” page!

Is it medically tested and approved?

Our current designs have been approved for testing through Creighton University. We recommend careful observation while using these devices that involve your family physician’s input and guidance.

If any redness or discomfort occurs, please stop using the device you have created, until you can consult a licensed medical professional who can make an informed decision whether the device is appropriate for you and possibly help you improve the fit of your device with medical orthoplastic or padding.

This need for observation is why we discourage the use of these devices with exceptionally young children (<4) Young children do not always express when they are uncomfortable, so the possibility of injury is higher.

Please do not use these devices without consulting a physician prior to use and consult with them as to the best fit and use for you or the person you have created it for.

Can I make my own hand?

Absolutely. That is what E-Nable is all about! All you need is access to a 3d printer and a few hand tools. For help in locating a printer near you please visit our 3D printing options page!

Please make sure you communicate with a licensed medical professional before you begin and consult with them as you begin to use the device.

How old should one be to use these devices?

We do not recommend the creation of these devices for anyone under the age of 4 years old due to small parts which may result in choking hazards.

What is a Robohand and do you make them?

Robohand is the name that was given to the original design that was created by Ivan Owen and Richard Van As in 2012 that was shared as an open source design so that others could use the files to create their own devices.


The E-nable group is not officially affiliated with the Robohand Project that continues with Richard and his team – We build off of the original files and the re-designs of those files by others.

E-Nable is focused on improving the design, creating solutions for problems with the current designs and enabling people to create them on their own with guidance from the group and we seek to come up with designs that cut costs as much as possible so that more people will have access to these devices.


Will this device work for me?

These hands work best for people who still have a palm and at least a 30 degree motion in your wrist or a functional elbow. The device relies on wrist movement to work to provide the appropriate movement to cause the fingers to close and open.

Please visit the “Which design” page for more information!

Where can I find a certified prosthetist to assist me?

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics offers a search facility that allows you to locate certified prosthetists by ZIP code proximity. Please visit http://www.abcop.org/Pages/ABC-Directory.aspx.


Feel free to ask Questions!

72 thoughts on “FAQs (General)

  1. Hi — I have just learned about an 8-year-old girl in an orphanage in Cameroon who is missing both of her hands due to an accident when she was very small. I’m not sure whether this device would work for her because I’m not sure she has enough of her hands remaining. I also don’t know how she would get to an occupational therapist to have gauntlets made etc.

    Does anyone have experience making hands for someone who is not around locally to try them on?

    Can I get any more specific information to help figure out whether there is enough of her arm left to use this device? She has her wrists, with some range of motion. The x-rays (which I have not seen myself) indicate digits or partial digits on both hands inside the skin

    Thanks. This is a very exciting project — I hope it can work for this girl.

    • Hello Elizabeth!

      If she still has wrists and some range of motion – these devices should work for her.

      If you can pop on over to the Google+ group and request to join and then share your story there – the designers and folks that are custom making these for people, can help determine if she would be able to get one of these and can also find someone willing to ship a hand or parts or who may live near there that could help.

      The Google+ page is here:

      Make sure you introduce yourself and share this story and you will have all sorts of folks in there that can help you!

  2. I did not find right place to write this but I think that I at last write it somewhere so someone can maybe find this idea and some day use it for good. So I start thinking that these days there is lot of RC things what are really cheap. Also different kind pressure pads are quite cheap. So if someone have too much time or just want do good job there is idea: Open project where goal is make some kind servo mapping from toes to fingers. In first step it can be just bend resistor feed for servos. Next step is put pressure sensor to “toe socks” toes and another sensors to plastic fingers. With micro controller you can match these inputs so that finger position comes from toe position with that bend resistor and pressure is matched to pressure sensor. So When you touch with toes to surface it “reset” fingers so that they barely touch to another surface. When you press your toes it will put same pressure to servos. When you bend your toes to up it will straighten fingers relatively form last pressure reset point.
    So you need is arduino, pressure sensors, bend sensors, some servos and this kind hand what you all ready maden. You can get 5 functional fingers even without working wrist. If someone some day make this pleas drop me with mail to tapio dot haapala at f-solutions dot fi. I like to see video of it.

  3. My daughter is not having left hand below elbow by birth. Can you please provide your contact details as staying in India, so that I can acquire 3d printing hand for my daughter.

  4. My grandson was born without his right arm due to both parents having the same recessive gene (very rare). Owen is almost 4 months old; he has 3 non-moving fingers connected to the shoulder. A doctor has told his parents a prosthetic may not be for him since the fingers do not move. The doctor also said he may be able to lengthen the arm so Owen can hold things under his arm. I just read the story of the boy who received an arm from Albert Manero and his team and noticed that the boy had a longer arm than does Owen. But I wonder if anyone is working, or will work, on an arm that would work for Owen. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions.

    • Hello Linda!

      The arm you saw on tv is but a prototype at the moment – but the e-NABLE community is barely a year old and in that year we have gone from about 70 members to over 1300 members and growing daily – with all sorts of wonderful folks who are contributing to making new designs. We started with one wrist driven design and now we have 5 functional wrist driven designs – and 1 elbow driven design in the making and now a myo electric design in the works and if we can accomplish that much in just 1 year – you can bet that by the time your little Owen is old enough to try a device – we will have come up with something!

      If we can get this far in 1 year – imagine what another year will have us doing as more and more minds come together to give a “Helping hand” to those in need! 🙂 Keep watching! It may not be soon – but it will happen eventually! Right now we are sort of “Working our way up the arm!” – now we need to perfect the wrist driven and the elbow actuated devices and get that myo arm working better and then we can all focus on something for those who have no arm at all! 🙂

      Thank you for your words of support and encouragement!

  5. I have got an idea of designing a low cost myoelectric prosthetic arm…..please guide me for my project…. what is the initial step for my project

  6. Hello, We found this site from a forward sent to me by a friend in Florida. Wonderful things are happening here, bravo to all who are involved, Almost two years ago, I relocated to the Republic of the Philippine Islands. We have had many occasions to be in and around the Philippine Orthopedic hospital in Manilla. May I say the work they do, supported by the Philippine lotto, is PHENOMENAL !!! They literally glue people back together. I have also sadly witnessed many people and a great many children missing limbs. This is likely due to the large number of people having accidents on motorcycles and tricycles, a very common form of transportation here. I am wondering if any person in this network may know of research in 3D printing to build prosthetic legs? These would by necessity be load bearing and would probably need metal joints and reinforcing parts. I think prosthetic legs are possibly the next step that needs investigating? I am in the Malolos, Bulacan area of Luzon. We spoke to several local university students (IT and engineering majors), there is interest expressed by them in helping. We also have close contact with a local industrial engineer who would like to help. Since I am semi-retied (contract engineer), I have some time to coordinate the interested parties and get things rolling. Thank you in advance for any advise and responses.

    • Hello! We have not done any legs yet as we are still trying to perfect the hands and arms! But feel free to join the Google+ group and check around – we have a whole lot of folks in there who are like minded and would probably be happy to help!

  7. Hello guys,

    I’m preparing a presentation about The Raptor Hand, and I would like to know how many people is using this device (approximately).

    Thank you.

    • Hi Daniel!

      That is a hard question to answer – as they are being created all over the world and we dont always know about them!
      We estimate that between the kids from our conference, the hands that have been made since and the hands being made in remote areas like Haiti and Syria – we can guess there are about 100-150 of them out there in the world so far. 🙂

  8. Hello.
    I am 20 weeks pregnant with twin.
    last week ultrasound doctor told me that one of my baby has limb reduction and not developed. As per the photo I see missing palm and fingers of right arm. This baby’ s left hand is ok.
    other baby is ok and no defects noted.

    I am very worried and wether the this baby’s rest of right arm ok, is it able to moves, will it be developed just without front part or is entire right arm will stay as undeveloped.

    Is anyone has has same experience with me. Pls help me.

  9. Hi- I’m an occupational therapist with interest in hand rehabilitation and prosthetic. I’m very interested in your project to learn the technology and look for ways to expand its use. I sent a request to join the community. Please approve me to chat more!

    Fernando Vera, MS, OT

  10. Hi, we’d like to make a donation in lieu of the money we normally spend on Christmas Cards. Your web site seems only to allow responses from US. How can donors send money from UK, or elsewhere?

  11. To: Enabling the Future.
    After 3 days of searching pages for advanced engineers, programmers, and being hijacked by something called WordPress I found this page for beginners to learn about your work. Wonderful, Thank you.

  12. I’m going to be buying a 3D printer and I want to be a part of this – what are the minimum specs I should be looking at? Minimum build area, preferred materials, and so on? Are there any particular printers you’d recommend?

  13. Are you planning on becoming a registered non-profit? It would make it easier for you to obtain donations.

  14. Hi, my husband happened to see the video with Alex, Albert, and Robert Downey Jr., last night and shared it with me. My 7th grade Language Arts students finished their papers on “What is a Hero?” today and I thought it was a fitting video to show them to wrap it up. What I did not expect was for an entire class to want to know how to get involved. So, I am researching for them on the first night of Spring Break, and I would love any information, recommendations, hook ups with other schools, etc., to be able to have my students join in. I did request to join the Google + community, and I plan on looking there as well. I’m also happy to spread the word on Facebook and other media. Thank you for blessing these folks with your tech knowledge as well allowing the rest of us to join in on the journey.

    • Thank you!! We would love to have you join us!

      Google+ group is a great start as well as filling out the intake form (You can find it on the “Get Involved” page) and we now have a fun new forum just for education/educators too!

      Feel free to ask around – there are a lot of schools getting involved!

  15. How long on average do the prosthetics last? How often would one have to be replaced?
    This sounds like an amazing organisation!

    • Hello! Well – funny thing is – the kids outgrow them before they out-use them and thus the reason why they were created in the first place! If something breaks – it can be re-printed in a matter of hours for less than a few dollars in plastic. 🙂

  16. Hello, great work, I work in Laugh Association which is a NGO located in Lebanon Middle East, we work with children who have physical disabilities. We would like to buy a 3D printer to fabricate prosthesis to children. how much does it cost with the shipment?


    • Hello!

      We do not sell 3D printers or devices but you can find information on which 3D printers have been rated the best in 2014 as well as the files needed to print these hands for others on our website in the Resources section of the website!

  17. I was so happy when I saw your story on WGBH/Boston. My brother-in-law in Honduras was attacked by a gang and had both arms hacked off by machetes. Needless to say his life has changed for the worst. He cannot work, and his everyday needs must be done by his mother and brothers. There are very poor and we do what we can to help. But, if we could only have help for him it would be an answered prayer. Do you work in Honduras at all? Is there anyone we can write to for information?

    • Hello Donna – what a horrible tragedy. 🙁

      Our current designs require at least an elbow or a functional wrist so if your brother in law has one or both of those – then our designs can help. Otherwise we do not currently have anything available. 🙁

      If he does – please fill out the form here:

  18. Hi there! I read an article at brazilian news website (www.g1.com.br) about a young girl (Faith Lennox) that helped by E-NABLE project with an coloured hand done by 3d printer and it’s fantastic! But at the same day at the same web news I read about a very poor elderly (77y.o.) who lives at isolated place at amazon forest and he don’t have the right leg (ankle and foot) after him was bited by a poisonous snake and he make a handcrafted improvised leg after catch wood at the forest (see the article at: http://g1.globo.com/ac/acre/noticia/2015/04/apos-ter-perna-amputada-idoso-usa-protese-improvisada-de-madeira.html). I saw about the hand construction at E-Nable. But I have a question: if possible to help this Old amazon man with construction of a new and modern plastic leg? Thanks for Help people!

    • Hello Fred!

      Unfortunately – we can not help make legs at this time and are focused on hands!

  19. I am attempting to make an arm, specifically the Limbitless myeoelctric arm along with a school group. Our project is to raise money for building this arm and to hen creating it, as we have three printers. But when doing the volunteer sign up, I realized we had to send in an arm and then make a new one. The arm we want to make costs $450, and raising enough for two arms will be pretty hard, and chances are we won’t be able to. How can I get information on how to fix this problem?


    I’m interested in your 3D printer. I already used it by FDM.

    My friends, in seoultech too, said that we want to know this technology.

    for example, FDM or DLP …etc. very many system is we want to explore.

    Happily we took the opportunity for global challenge competiton.

    That give the chance for students

    If we select the subject about to explore, They examine and choice the cadidate.

    next, The selected candidates will get the chance to explore global enterprise

    and given to Travel expenses

    we will do it by subject about 3D printer prospect .

    the, If we get this chance, could I contact to you ?

    then, I’m gonna wait yours mail, Thank you for taking the time to read.

  21. 我是右手手掌没有了,我想做一个可以动的手,但是我没有手腕。我是整个手掌!可以帮帮我吗?
    I’m not the right hand palm of the hand, I want to make a move, but I don’t have the wrist. I am the palm! Could you help me?

  22. Hi, I am a middle school student who is attempting to make a 3D printed hand for a 4 year old girl at my school. She is missing a few of her fingers on her left hand. When I interviewed her her main goal was to be able to do the monkey bars like all of her friends, I’m wondering if it is possible to do this with the Raptor hand.

    • Hi Devin – unfortunately, these hands will not allow her to use the monkey bars. They are not strong enough to carry the weight of a child and she should not attempt to do any kind of activities that require the hand to carry more than 2 pounds of weight.

  23. Hi, my daughters school wants to run a build a hand project in the UK in June. I will try to find a few other children (besides my daughter) who would like to come along and get a hand (the school will pre-print the hands and assemble them on the day). I can’t find information about how each hand is individually fitted to the wearer – we will only invite children with wrist movement but don’t know how they can be individually fitted on the day? Photos of the inside of the hand would be welcome?? Thanks,

  24. My daughter is 26 and lost her hand just last year. Her insurance will not pay for a prosthetic and she has been turned down for disability. Does this program do adults?

  25. I am a caregiver for a man who is 63 with an Intilectuale disability. He is living in Insdependent Living in his own apartment and I stay with him. He lost all of his fingers and his thumb on his Right hand his writing hand. Is it possible for you to make an adult hand. He was just about to get his own apartment independently when his accident happened. I know he would use it. He is always happy and has not let his accident keep him down. If he could get one of those hands I know it would change his life.

    • Hello Mari – we do make them for adults.
      Please visit our Get involved page and fill out the intake form to get started!

    • Hi Tim – please visit our Get Involved Page and click on the forums link! That is the best place to ask!

  26. Would e-NABLE consider donating prostethic devices through a third-party nonprofit organization to allow access to the devices to people who have no way of getting in contact with volunteer fabricators?

  27. I sent in a raptor re-loaded test hand about 5 weeks ago to be approved, but I haven’t been contacted yet. I would love to become a part of the enable community, any suggestions about what I should do next?

  28. Hello
    I am eun from south korea. I just heard this hand through tv news. My sister is disabled so she cant have move her right hand. And she is now 28 years old.
    How much it would cost for her and is it possible for my sis to get this hand??

    • Hello Debbie! It is not! We have adult users and even a fellow in his early 80s! 🙂

  29. Hello, we live in France and we discovered this great invention and we congratulate you on it. It’s amazing !
    Our little enterprise = Virtual reality and Increased reality.
    One of our friends also has a company, he is a painter. He had a serious accident in the left hand a few years ago, and he is very handicaped to work. 2 fingers were also cut !
    He has to carry heavy loads, hold tools, and it makes him suffer. We would want to help him, and this 3D PRINTED HAND is the solution.
    How can we do to print a hand for him ?
    What do we have to make?
    We thank you for your interest for our question and we would be very happy to have an answer from you.
    Thank you very much and very good news year.

    Alain & Catherine from France (LAVAL – 53000)

    P.S : Sorry for my poor english !

    • Thank you Alain and Catharine!

      Please visit our “Need a hand” page and fill out the intake form and one of our volunteers might be able to assist you!!

  30. Hello! I am a college student in Ontario and I will be doing a presentation on how 3D printing is being used to fabricate prosthetic devices. I just have a few questions regarding the fabrication of a typical E-Nable hand.

    -How long does it take to print one of the hand components? How long does it take to construct a hand after all pieces have been printed and is fit to be dispensed?
    -How many spools (please specify spool weight) of filament does it take to print a typical hand?
    -when do you believe an above elbow device design will be ready to be included in the E-Nable hand options?

    If anyone could offer any input regarding the above questions it would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

    • Hello! Thank you for reaching out!

      To answer your questions best I can:

      1. It takes between 10-15 hours to print one hand – depending on the size. Maybe a little more or a little less, depending on your machine.
      2. Most folks can assemble a hand in about 2-3 hours – some take longer and some are faster.
      3. You can get 3-4 hands from one typical spool of filament – depending on the size of hand that you print.
      4. Above elbow design – hopefully in the next year or two, but there is a myoelectric version created by Limbitless Solutions at UCF! We are getting there!

      Thank you!!

  31. Hello! I am Chinese, and I found a news to introduce your great invention in Chinese. It’s very amazing! Your work contribute to our world a lot! THANK YOU!

    I wonder if you also have an idea to extend “hand” to “leg” later. I really want this invention to be used in legs, since my grandma lost the whole one of her legs in a car accident. I can feel this pain a lot when you can’t walk and stay in room or chair day by day. I really want to help my grandma. I will try even if there is only a gleam of hope.

    Thank you very much! Look forward to your reply.

    Peipei Wang

    • Hello Peipei!

      Thank you for your message! Unfortunately, at this time, the 3D printers that the e-NABLE Community are using at home to make these hands, are too small and do not use a strong enough material to be able to produce legs but there are people working on 3D printed leg designs, I am just not sure they are open source yet as legs would need to be created by a prosthetists for proper fit and function.

      I encourage you to start exploring 3D printing and design – your Grandma would love it if you helped find a way to make a leg device for her!!

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