There are many options for those that are interested in assembling their own 3D printed e-NABLE hand and arm designs for themselves or someone they know but do not have access to a 3D printer at home. Many libraries, schools, universities, maker-spaces and community centers now offer public access to their machines and there are also many wonderful 3D printer companies who have affordable home desktop 3D printers available as well if you are interested in purchasing one of your own!
What are your options?
FIRST – Let’s make sure you know where to find the files, how to size properly, where to find hardware resources and how to prepare for printing!
Decide which kind of device is recommended for the limb different person in need.
Visit our “Which Design“ page to see what your options are and choose from the designs that are currently available and recommended for those types of limb differences. Please note, that the e-NABLE Community volunteers, does not currently have designs for above elbow limb differences and the recipient or user must have a functional wrist or elbow to make these devices function properly.
Make sure to take photographs correctly to ensure a proper fit.
Watch the Tutorial Video to learn how to take images that will help you get the measurements you need to create a device that will fit properly.
Helpful tools to get the sizing correct!
Check out the e-NABLE Device Sizing page to help make sure that you get your devices sized correctly and learn how to import them into software that will allow you to overlay the designs on top of your images to make sure they will fit properly!
Check out our Resources page for tutorials, assembly kits and other helpful information!
Visit the Resources page for video tutorials, hand assembly kits from 3D Universe and other information that will help you in creating your own devices.
THEN – Choose the printing option that works best for you!
Purchase a home desktop 3D printer of your own: After having their first hand created for them by an e-NABLE Volunteer, many families have decided to purchase their own 3D printer so that they can print out replacement parts at home as well as participate in re-designing and printing parts for others! You can find our recommended 3D printers page HERE.
If you are interested in purchasing your own 3D printer, please note that there are an abundance of home desktop 3D printers available and while some of them may be very low cost, they may not provide the print quality that is needed to ensure that the 3D printed e-NABLE hands are printed at the quality needed to function properly.
Enablingthefuture.org has a wonderful volunteer to help answer your 3D printing questions, offer you discounts and have created an e-NABLE Hub to help guide you in your quest to obtain the perfect 3D printer for your home, office, classroom, library or makerspace! Please contact jeremy@3Duniverse.org and let him know you need a printer that will allow you to make e-NABLE hands and arms and he will help you to find the printer that works best for your needs!
Contact one of our many e-NABLE Chapters: If you are interested in building your own device but do not have your own 3D Printer, please feel free to reach out to one of our many e-NABLE Chapters that might be nearest to you and contact them directly for assistance in getting a device printed for you or your recipient. They can help you get the correct sizing, choose the device that might best work with the recipient’s upper limb difference and help to mentor and guide you through the process of creating your own device!
Print at your local library: Many local public libraries now have 3D printers available to use for a small materials fee. Call around to your nearby libraries and see if they have any machines available for use in creating an e-NABLE device for you or someone you know.
PUBLIC, ACADEMIC AND SCHOOL LIBRARIES WITH 3D PRINTERS
There are usually time limits set on these machines so that everyone has an equal chance to use them, so hands may have to be created in pieces with short print times and spread out through out a week or two instead of printing all of the parts at the same time. Most devices require 10-15 hours of printing to complete but the device files can be split so that parts can be printed separately to reduce the amount of time per print.
Many public libraries will charge for materials used but you may be able to offer to provide your own materials or they may donate the plastic needed to produce the hand.
Print at your local school or university: Contact your local schools and universities to locate one near to you that may have a 3D printer. More and more teachers are getting involved with the e-NABLE Community and using this project as a classroom tool to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to their students. You may have a teacher near to you with access to a 3D printer who may be interested in helping to print your device as a service learning project for their classroom.
Invite a school to participate in the growing number of schools that are helping to create and share e-NABLE based curriculum and encourage our youth to learn how to use technology to help make a difference in the world and change lives!
• Visit the website from a school who has not only created hands for kids who need them but has also created video tutorials to help others assemble the devices!
• Visit the story of Chicago Christian High School’s engineering class who have made 8 hands so far and shipped them to places like Vietnam, Ukraine, Syria and China!
Print at your local Maker-space or find a local Makerfaire: More and more maker-spaces are forming in cities and towns all across the world. These spaces provide the tools and staff to help you build your own projects and many have 3D printers and are donating the materials to 3D print e-NABLE devices for those that need a “Helping Hand.”
LIST OF FABLABS AROUND THE WORLD!
PLEASE CLICK THE IMAGE TO VISIT THE FAB FOUNDATION’S BEAUTIFUL MAP AND FIND A FABLAB NEAR YOU!
Makerspaces and Fablabs are amazing! If you have one near you, give them a call! Most of them have heard about the e-NABLE project and would welcome the chance to help you create a device for you or someone you know! Many will have membership fees or materials fees but many of them will waive the fees for an e-NABLE recipient. There is a growing list of makerspaces and Fablabs – but if you do not see one near you, try contacting the one as near to you as possible and you may be pleasantly surprised!
• Find a Makerfaire near you! Chances are, there will be a booth with e-NABLE Volunteers or 3D printer companies who can assist you in creating your own devices!
Print through a 3D printing service: There are many 3D printing service shops available all over the world who are able to print your files for you for a fee. Many of them are now e-NABLE Volunteers and are willing to donate the materials to print but some will charge a fee for the service. Find a shop near you or send your files to one of the many 3D printing services online.
If you are interested in printing an e-NABLE hand to assemble at home, school or as team building projects, if you are a student who would like to assemble a device for a science fair project, if you are a volunteer who wants to make hands for our recipients but lacks a 3D printer of your own or if you just want to print out a hand for fun – you can send your files to a print shop and pay to have the device printed for you!