Find out how you can help!
Thank you for your interest in helping us to “Enable The Future” and “Give A Helping Hand” to those who are in need of an upper limb assistive device! There are many opportunities to volunteer with the e-NABLE Community and you can find some of your options below!
If you would like to become a volunteer – please see some suggestions below for ways in which you can help out the growing global e-NABLE Community of volunteers and recipients!
There’s also an excellent Instructables guide with detailed instructions, created by e-NABLE volunteer Ken Bice.
Step 1: Familiarize yourself with e‑NABLE’s Code of Conduct
It’s important that you understand and follow some simple rules when working with e‑NABLE. This is to protect you, as well the people you make devices for (many of whom are minors). Please read e‑NABLE’s Code of Conduct carefully.
Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the current e‑NABLE designs available
Spend some time browsing the designs on enablingthefuture.org. We try to keep that site up-to-date with the latest designs available. Each design page includes a link for downloading the files for 3D printing.
If you’re unsure which design to start with, the Unlimbited Phoenix is e‑NABLE’s current recommended design. It’s relatively easy to fabricate and assemble and is one of the most popular designs currently.
Step 3: Make a test device
Once you pick a design to start with, you should create a test device and submit it for approval. Since this device isn’t being created for a specific recipient, it can be made in any size, but we recommend that you use a scale of 120-135%. At 100% scale, the device will be too small for most people, and it will be harder to assemble at that size. 120-135% is a common size range for younger recipients, and it will be easier to assemble the device.
Most of the designs featured on enablingthefuture.org include links to instructions and/or video tutorials to help you get started.
3D Universe offers assembly materials kits for some of the most popular e‑NABLE designs. Assembly materials can also be purchased individually from various online or local sources.
Step 4: Submit your test device for approval
Once you have 3D printed and assembled a test device, fill out this form to submit your evidence and request the appropriate badge. There are three badges you can claim. Under the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category, you can claim the “Test Device Approved” badge. Then, under the e-NABLE Device Specific Badge category, you can claim the Fabrication and Assembly badges for the device type you produced.
Step 5: Learn how to properly size e‑NABLE devices
Before you start making devices for actual recipients, it’s important to learn how to properly size a device. Please watch the video tutorial series created by Peter Binkley, found here.
To follow this process, you’ll need to download a free copy of Blender, which can be found here.
You’ll also need to download Peter Binkley’s e‑NABLE Device Sizing Blender File, here.
Watch the videos carefully. Then watch them a second time, following along and pausing the videos as you follow each step of the process.
Step 6: Create an account on e‑NABLE Web Central
e‑NABLE Web Central is a web-based application used to connect individuals seeking to receive e‑NABLE devices with volunteers offering to make them. Visit e‑NABLE Web Central and create an account for yourself.
Be sure to select the “Fabricator” and/or “Device Assembler” roles during the registration process (or you can select them from the Edit Profile screen), or you won’t be able to see the volunteering related pages within e‑NABLE Web Central.
Step 7: Find Someone Who Needs a Device and Offer to Help
e-NABLE Web Central is a self-service matching platform. So once you’ve created an account for yourself, you need to go to Browse Cases (under the Volunteering menu) and find a case that looks like something you can assist with, ideally in your geographic area. Once you find a case, you can click the “Offer to Help” button to offer assistance in one of several roles for that case.
The Experienced Volunteer role is responsible for reviewing the sizing photos and determining the most appropriate device type and size.
The Fabricator role is responsible for 3D printing the parts for a device.
The Device Assembler role is responsible for assembling a device and delivering it to the end-user.
You are welcome to offer to help with any or all of these roles for any given case.
Once you have made an offer to help, the case creator will need to review and accept your offer. Then you can proceed with producing the device.
Step 8: Join e‑NABLE’s Google+ community
e‑NABLE’s Google+ community is a good place to ask questions if you need further assistance.
Step 9: Join a local e‑NABLE chapter – or start a new one
A list of e‑NABLE chapters can be found here. Feel free to reach out to nearby chapters to see how you can get involved with them. You can also start a new chapter in your area.
Step 10: Search for your own cases, both near and far
While registering for EWC (e-NABLE Web Central), and volunteering for cases is an excellent way to Lend a hand, don’t stop there! Talk to people in your local community, church or civic organization. Tell them what you do, and you may well get referrals to local people who need prosthetics. There is plenty of need in our world, and regions of poverty and strife can present opportunities to donate prostheses. Do research and find organizations or individuals who might be interested in your help. Then reach out with a “cold call” email, and offer your assistance. You may be surprised by their response!
Regional partners may well be connected with international organizations, and the leads and experiences you have with the former may help us all establish relationships with the latter.
One thing to watch out for is “collisions.” If you think another e-NABLE player may already have contacted your regional prospect, compare notes and coordinate. Similarly, if you see an opportunity with an international player, check with SPC or the broader e-NABLE community through G+ or Facebook before reaching out to the contact. Larger organizations have more bureaucracy than we do, and have a harder time understanding a distributed network like e-NABLE. We want to spare them as much confusion, and as many conflicting perspectives, as possible.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP!
• Start an e-NABLE Chapter in your area! If you do not find an established e-NABLE Chapter near you and would be interested in starting one – please fill out the information intake form and our Chapters coordinator will help to guide you and connect you with other chapters who might mentor you!
Claim your “e-NABLE Community Chapter” Badge (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category)!
• If you have access to a 3D printer and would like to help create unassembled hand kits for end users – please visit our “Donate A Hand Kit” Page HERE.
Claim the “Donated A hand“, “e-NABLE Community Hand Kit Donor“ badges(in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category)!
• Claim the “e-NABLE Social Butterfly” badge (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category) for sharing e-NABLE Community stories, videos, blog posts and images on your own social media channels to help spread the word about the community!
• Display e-NABLE Community devices and information at events and Makerfaires to share the work of the global community and reach out to local families and recipients as well as school groups who might be interested in participating! You can find promotional materials HERE.
Claim your “Event Organizer” or “Participant” e-NABLE Event badges (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category)!
• e-NABLE is a volunteer network of digital humanitarians.
• 3D printed e-NABLE Community devices aren’t for everyone. In many cases, professional prosthetic consultation is required.
EDUCATORS, STUDENT, GROUPS & SCHOOLS
If you are interested in creating e-NABLE’s 3D printed hands for your school projects, using e-NABLE in your STEM/STEAM programs, have scouts troops or youth groups that would like to get involved in making a difference as e-NABLE Volunteers and find matches to make devices for:
If you are interested in simply using the design files in your classrooms as educational tools and service learning projects, please feel free to do so, as the designs are all open-source and free to use and create!
If you are a school or educational group and are interested in purchasing a 3D printer for your students/group and need help in deciding which machine to purchase, please contact jeremy@3Duniverse.org who can help guide you to a 3D printer that will best suit your classroom and group needs! Please make sure to tell him that you are specifically looking for a 3D printer to use to create e-NABLE devices!
If you would like to become official e-NABLE Community School Groups and Chapters and potentially get recipients to create devices for – please see the steps below:
STEP 1: Teachers/Leaders – please Join the Google+ Community and:
Claim your “Joined Google+“, “Introduced Self In the Google+ Community“ and “e-NABLE Volunteer” badges (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category)!”
STEP 2: Locate the files for the design that you would like to print for your test hands: Suggestions – Phoenix or Raptor Reloaded
Claim your ” 3D Printed an e-NABLE Hand“ badge (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category).
STEP 3: Assemble your test hand device. Once you have 3D printed and assembled a test device, fill out this form to submit your evidence and request the appropriate badge. There are three badges you can claim. Under the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category, you can claim the “Test Device Approved” badge. Then, under the e-NABLE Device Specific Badge category, you can claim the Fabrication and Assembly badges for the device type you produced.
STEP 4: Once your test hand has been approved by another e-NABLE Volunteer/Mentor, please:
Claim your “Test Hand Approved” badge (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category).
STEP 5: Please visit the e-NABLE Chapters page and register your school/library/makerspace or scout group as an e-NABLE Chapter.
STEP 6. Please create an e-NABLE Chapter Facebook page or website – for your group/school – and let us know about it so we can follow your work!
Please claim one of the following badges (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category):
• e-NABLE Community School
• e-NABLE Community Library
• e-NABLE Community Makerspace
• e-NABLE Community Scout Troop
STEP 7: If your students/group would like to allow recipients to find you and contact you directly for assistance, please make sure to add yourselves to the e-NABLE Chapters map so that your students can create a device or tool for them!
Claim your e-NABLE Community Chapter Badge (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category)!
STEP 8: Please follow us on twitter and instagram – ( @enablethefuture )- as well as Facebook and use the #enablethefuture hashtag to share your classroom images when you wish to do so! We love to see e-NABLE in your classrooms!
Claim your “e-NABLE Social Butterfly” badge (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category)!
STEP 9: If you have created your own e3STEAM e-NABLE Based curriculum and would like to share it with other students and schools, please feel free to share:
Claim your “Created e-NABLE e3STEAM Curriculum” badge (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category)!
STEP 10: If you would like to send your hands to those in need for our underserved e-NABLE Chapters, to be used in educating clinicians how to use 3D printed devices and for helping to teach other schools who do not have access to 3D printers about this project – please consider mailing your completed devices to our volunteer Maria Esquela, who will package them up and ship them to locations where the need is great and your completed hands will find homes with children and adults who need them!
Please ship to:
ATTN: Maria Esquela
1260 Stevens Avenue
Arbutus, MD 21227
Claim your “Donated an e-NABLE Device” badge (in the e-NABLE Community Participation Badge category).
• Feel free to incorporate the community chapters logo into your own if you would like! You can find the file HERE!
Other ways to volunteer:
• Join the Google+ community and collaborate on designs! (Earn the “e-NABLE Community Designer” and “Designed a 3D printed e-NABLE device” badges!)
• Participate in our CREATE T.I.M.E. Challenges! (Claim a “Participant” badge!)
• Create video tutorials or written instructions! (Claim your “Tutorial Creator” badge!)
• Greet people in the Google+ Community and help them out as they get started! (Claim your “Google+ Greeter” badge!)
• Display e-NABLE at a booth at an event and share about the Community and potentially meet individuals in need of devices in person! (Claim your “Event Participant” badge!)
• Print hand kits for hand-a-thon events for scout troops, schools, libraries or medical training groups who want to assemble devices as learning tools or training purposes and to donate them to e-NABLE Chapters in need. (Claim your “Donated a hand kit“ badge!)
• Design fun themed versions of the current devices and share the files so that makers and families can enjoy them! (Claim your “Artistic designer” and “Created a themed device” badges!)
• Hold a “Hand-a-thon” at your local school, library, makerspace or scouting event and donate the completed hands to handchallenge.com to ship to those in need in underserved locations! (Claim your “Organized a Hand-a-thon” and “Hand-a-thon Participant” badges!)
If you do not have access to a 3D printer but are interested in finding one in your community so that you can help print devices, please visit the 3D Printing Options page for ideas on where you might locate a 3D printer in your area!
• Locate an established e-NABLE Community Chapter group near you and connect with them to reach out into your local communities! If you do not find an established chapter near you and would like to start an e-NABLE Chapter in your area, please fill out this information/intake form and our Chapter Coordinator will assist you! (We appreciate your patience, as we are all volunteers and it may be a few days before you hear back from someone. We will get back to you as soon as we can but there may be times when we have to attend to our day jobs, families and family emergencies or commitments and your patience as we try to keep up, is much appreciated!)
** Enablingthefuture.org is not part of the matching system of volunteers and recipients. Enablingthefuture.org does not guarantee that you will be matched directly with a recipient by going through the matching system or any other e-NABLE Volunteer chapters!
• e-NABLE is a volunteer network of digital humanitarians. We are not a “Company” or a “Business.” We do not sell hands.
• 3D printed e-NABLE Community devices aren’t for everyone. In many cases, professional prosthetic consultation is required.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?