The Mildest Breeze Blown in 3D Printing | Introduction of e-NABLE

Various technologies, as we say, have been packed into every piece of our daily lives while greatly promoting the way we live, the way we think, and even the way how we act. By and large, as technology keeps its influence on us offering us a pack of benefits, we as human beings of the new century can’t even live without the existence of technology.

3D printing technology, as a newly emerging innovation in recent years, gained momentum and is now undergoing a surprise shakeup in this huge marketplace. As 3D printing becomes more accessible, it is becoming more common within the home, workplace, and public libraries, and moreover, it helps boost the charity career. In this article, I would love to get you informed about a non-profit organization- e-NABLE.

Introduction of e-Nable

E-NABLE is an online global community of “Digital Humanitarian” volunteers from all over the world who are using their 3D printers to make free and low-cost prosthetic upper limb devices for children and adults in need. People who are suffering the loss of fingers, hands, or even arms because of innate diseases, accidents, or wars will gain their hopes from such an assistive technology out of 3D printing.

Source from YouTube

Touching stories from the community

“Give the World a Helping Hand”

  • The positive shifts and mutual feedback from the child have made everything come with love. This is what e-NABLE does, spreading love worldwide with every possibility.

Cam, a 5-year-old boy who gets the brightest smile when he laughs, is confident and outgoing, yet he still hides his hand subconsciously sometimes. His brightest-ever day came when he got his first 3D-printed arm in his life. Such an artificial arm swept all his concerns and uneasiness while he felt even more confident and innovative in the inspiration of this printed hand in a copy shape from the one of Iron Man. From then on, he became a volunteer of e-NABLE either, on behalf of the child spokesman. He is even more confident when he faces hundreds of people in front, adults or children.

“He has learned how to turn the printer and computer on, and he even knows how to edit a file with the assistance of other people,” said Cam’s mom, a volunteer at e-NABLE.

  • Everyone is not a sage of perfection. We gain more love and hope from those imperfections.

One day in December 2012, little boy Liam finally got an artificial hand of his own with the assistance of e-NABLE. After several tries and practices on handling his new printed plastic hand, he succeeded in grabbing a ball up with that. His mom, who stood right aside, burst out crying with happiness.

As for the other people who possess a healthy physical situation, grabbing a ball is just a casual and simple movement. But for this little boy Liam and his mom, that is hope. They hope for the upcoming future and happiness in every piece of their life.

The volunteer map

Richard Van As, a carpenter from South Africa met Ivan Owen, an engineer from Washington DC. in November 2012. They started running their 3D printing public welfare aiming to build more “Hands” for everyone who was in need of it. What they had done was also posted on YouTube. As the video went viral, more and more people started paying close attention to such a group.

“If you’re willing to receive inquiries from people who need a robohand, put yourself on the map! I’ve put a user-editable map on Robohand’s Facebook and Thingiverse pages.”

Dr. Jon Schull is a scientist from Rochester Institute of Technology, he had built up a map that connects the volunteers all around the world. It was the map that triggered a grassroots movement. And more than 70 volunteers marked their position on the map within six weeks. That’s how the e-NABLE platform formed.

All volunteers nursed the same ambition, they gathered together on the platform and shared their ideas while striving to design various rebounds for different kids.

What’s the most surprising thing is that e-NABLE not only offers a “hand”, but lets those kids in need liberate their imaginations. They allow kids to choose the color and texture on their own. Red or blue? Smooth or carved? They get what they want.

“Can I get my new hand glow in the dark?”

“I want it to be a Spider-man type!”

Their lives aren’t of darkness, they shine thanks to e-NABLE. They glitter thanks to the great 3D printing technology.

This week in Geeetech 3D Maker Salon LIVE TALK #33, we will invite Maria Esquela who is an active e-NABLE volunteer and leader from, a 501c3 non-profit organization to share some of the projects she has done so far.

Let’s stay tuned!

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