The e-NABLE Community and How to Get Involved
June 08, 2023
It’s hard to believe that it has already been 10 years since the first 3D printed e-NABLE Community prosthetic hand was created and shared open-source – but here we are, an entire decade later, and still going strong! Thousands of volunteers and schools are participating and have been delivering free 3D-printed hands and arms to those in need worldwide.
The 3D Universe team is tremendously honored to have two of the original co-founders of the e-NABLE Community on our staff. Jeremy Simon, our CEO, and Jen Owen, our Creative Director, both have filled key roles in nurturing and supporting the e-NABLE Community and helping it to become what it is today, providing assistance to thousands of people around the world.
Not only has the e-NABLE Community grown in the number of volunteers, chapters, and participating schools over this past decade, but its mission has expanded beyond 3D-printed hands and arms. The global e-NABLE Community came together to help create free PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the form of thousands of face shields and masks during the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic and has been helping animals and volunteers continue working on a variety of assistive tools for limb different individuals.
Below are some helpful resources and links to get you started volunteering with the ever-growing global open-source community made up of kind, creative and caring people of all ages who simply want to use 3D printing, their imaginations, and their ideas to “give the world a helping hand.”
How to Get Involved as a Volunteer with the e-NABLE Community
We get a lot of questions from people who are interested in learning how they can get involved with the e-NABLE Community as volunteers, fabricators, educators, device users, and designers.
We have put together a step-by-step guide that provides an overview and some suggestions for those who want to get involved with this amazing community that includes links on our badging system, how to submit a test hand for approval, creating an account on e-NABLE Web Central (so you can find recipients) and much more.
Which e-NABLE Design to Print and Purchasing Assembly Kits
If you are interested in creating a 3D printed hand or arm and are in need of the assembling kits (3D printed parts are not included) please visit our shop page where you can find everything you need, prepackaged and ready to get you on your way to making your own e-NABLE hand.
This assembly materials kit includes all of the materials needed to assemble any of the following four Phoenix Hand designs, created by the e-NABLE volunteer community:
This kit also includes sufficient materials for producing the Unlimbited Arm, except that additional velcro straps will be needed.
If you have any questions about e-NABLE assembly kits, please email us at email@example.com for more information!
e-NABLE Hand Assembly Mats | Printable Step-by-step Instructions
Printable placemats for left hand and right hand (useful for hand assembly events and classrooms) are available to download and can be printed on large format paper, such as 11×17”, double-sided.
Learn How to Start Your Own e-NABLE Community Chapter
With the e-NABLE Community of volunteers growing rapidly in recent years, there are over 140 chapters that have been formed by students, groups, libraries, schools, and maker spaces around the world, who are all participating in creating free 3D printed hands and arms for those in need. Local chapters are critical since they work face-to-face with communities in a shared language and cultural context. This allows them to deliver individualized devices that recipients love rather than “one size fits all”.
If you would like to connect to e-NABLE chapters directly for help in creating your own device or to create a device for someone else or would like to join their chapter and volunteer with people in your local community, please check the map linked in the button below to see if there is an e-NABLE Community chapter set up near you!
If you would like to create your own e-NABLE Chapter and get added to the e-NABLE chapters map so that families can find you – please follow the directions and steps from the page linked in the button below.
Learn More About Including e-NABLE in the Classroom
Enjoy a round-table panel discussion led by Neesha Rahim, CEO of Bit Space in this video above. You’ll hear from Jen Owen and Jon Schull, two co-founders of the e-NABLE volunteer community, along with several educators who have integrated e-NABLE activities into their classrooms. Learn how they have used the e-NABLE project to teach their students that they themselves have the power to change people’s lives by using their ideas and imaginations to solve real-world problems with 3D printing and rapid prototyping technology.
The recording above is a segment from 3D Printing in the Workplace and STEM Education, a webinar hosted by 3D Universe, Bit Space, Ultimaker, and the e-NABLE Volunteer Community on Saturday, April 25, 2020.
In this session, During this presentation, led by e-NABLE co-founder Jen Owen and Director of Learner Experience at Bit Space, Samantha Gleisten, participants will learn how they can use the e-NABLE project to teach their students that they themselves have the power to change people’s lives by using their ideas and imaginations to solve real-world problems with 3D printing and rapid prototyping technology.
Jen and Sam will share other ways in which educators can get their students involved in their local communities and use 3D printing to make a difference.
3D Universe Terrafilum PETG: Available in Skin Tones for e-NABLE Community Devices
3D Universe is pleased to offer our PETG material in four unique skin-tone colors! Shown above (from left to right): Light Tan, Desert Tan, Chocolate Rose, and Coffee Bean.
We did a lot of research on skin tones throughout the world. We, humans, come in so many beautiful colors, but we had to pick four since that’s what our initial budget allowed for. We wanted to pick those that would match the broadest possible range of skin tones. We reviewed work like this and this. We also purchased the Pantone Skin Tone Guide.
We asked the e-NABLE community to vote on which colors they would prefer. Based on that voting and our own research and inquiries, we ended up selecting four skin tones ranging from a caucasian skin tone to a dark brown color. Additional colors may be added in the future, depending on how these are received by the e-NABLE community.
PETG is easy to print like PLA, but it has a higher temperature resistance and improved strength. This makes it ideally suited for printing e-NABLE assistive devices.
More Helpful Links to e-NABLE Community Resources
There are numerous resources available to those who want to participate as a volunteer with the e-NABLE Community as well as for those who are in need of a device.
Please check out the various links below to participate as a volunteer or learn more about the community!
• Learn about the e-NABLE Community and its origin story
• Check out the e-NABLE Official Website
• Learn how to get started as an e-NABLE Volunteer
• Learn more about e-NABLE Chapters and how to create a chapter of your own
• Explore the e-NABLE Hub (our online forum for collaboration)
• Find the most recommended e-NABLE Device Open-Source Designs
• Explore the e-NABLE project and curriculums in STEM Education
• Check out the monthly e-NABLE calendar
• Join the Prosthetic Devices for Animals e-NABLE group
Follow the e-NABLE Community’s Facebook pages
• Official e-NABLE Facebook Page
• e-NABLE Community Bulletin Board Facebook page
• e-NABLE Educators Alliance Facebook group
• e-NABLE Chapter Leaders Facebook group
• e-NABLE R&D Facebook Group
If you have any other questions about e-NABLE or how to participate, please reach out to the volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.org.