A Global Network Of Passionate Volunteers Using 3D Printing Gives The World A Helping Hand.
We are living in a time of great technological advancement. I’m so pleased to share the efforts of a truly humanitarian organization that not only creates new technology but also gives that technology away for free to all those who need it world wide!
Enabling The Future is a global organization which is volunteer based. This group is working together to create free open source designs for upper limb devices, that can be 3D printed for those children and adults in need.
Their website shares story after wonderful story from around the world of children and adults receiving free 3D printed e-NABLE hands and arms from the thousands of e-NABLE Community Volunteers. Now Enabling The Future is adding new designs to their website that is sparking more innovation, and creative design to keep perfecting their designs, getting better and better results.
The original hand designs were based on the look of ‘Iron Man’ robotics, from the Marvel movies, Avenger series. The children receiving them throught they were really cool looking just like the super human robotic devices, Tony Stark wears in the movie! The children were empowered by the design as well as having a the functioning hand!
Peter Binkley, creator of the Talon, Ody and new Osprey Hand as well as co-designer for the Raptor and Raptor Realoded designs, shares some of his thoughts on the work of the Community over the past 2 years.
Peter writes, “In 2014, designers really refined wrist powered designs but there grew an awareness that 3D printed assistive devices could and should be used for those with transradial and transhumeral upper limb differences. The RIT arm championed by Jon Schull and the RIT lab was a bold step into elbow-powered devices.
In 2015, we saw some very nice improvements in wrist-powered devices, like the Phoenix hand, but also a lot of exploration into transradial devices, like the Flexy Arm, the Unlimbited Arm and some impressive improvements to the RIT arm design. We are also seeing some very exciting developments in low-cost myoelectric devices.
In 2015, there was a much larger proportion of designs coming from geographically diverse locations globally. The North American, British and European, designs continue to be strong now thought there are several really exciting developments coming from volunteers in South America and Asia.
2016 looks even more promising!
Introducing “the Osprey Hand!”
Jimmy tries out his new Osprey Hand!
The Osprey is the latest wrist actuated assistive device to come out of the Alderhand series created by Peter Binkley and Peregrine Hawthorn. The Osprey is the first ever hand designed specifically to use a Bowden push-pull mechanism. Rather than use thin braided line, the Osprey uses thick nylon monofilament cables.
Introducing the “Phoenix Hand!”
Abbi tests out her new Phoenix hand as a flower girl for a wedding!
This design was created by Jason Bryant, e-NABLE volunteer, researcher and teacher at Shandong University in China. This design uses orthodontic rubber bands as opposed to the elastic cords that current devices use.
Introducing the “Unlimbited Arm”
This device was created for those that have a functional elbow and a considerable amount of forearm but no wrist or not enough wrist/palm to power a wrist driven device. This design is for those who have too much forearm for the RIT arm but not enough wrist/palm for a wrist powered device.
This design comes from Steven Davies and Drew Murray of Team Unlimbited who were inspired by work by Christian Silva and Po Paraguay.
Shea tests out her new viola bow holder device!
Introducing the “Viola Bow Holder Device!”
Along with the new wrist and elbow powered hands and arms that were released by the global e-NABLE Community this year, we also saw some exciting developments in designs for task specific devices coming out of the Digital Craft Research Lab at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Another of our top designers, Frankie Flood, created a viola bow holding device for one of e-NABLE’s recipients, Shea Stolenwork, who was in need of something that would allow her to hold her viola bow more easily. Frankie came up with a wonderful design that has helped her along in her dream of being able to play her viola a little more easily!
There are so many heart warming stories, of children and adults getting a new lease on life, literally after receiving their free 3D printed e-NABLE hands and arms from the thousands of e-NABLE Community Volunteers.
You can read more heartwarming stories about the amazing efforts of “Enabling The Future”.