Mom, look at my Raptor Hand!
Kids these days. Always growing and needing new things. Overnight, their pants are too short. Shoes too small. Sure, that’s inconvenient. But when children outgrow their prosthetics, the financial implications and human implications are staggering.
The prosthetic challenge is being addressed by e-NABLE, a global volunteer organization comprised of nearly 1600 designers, engineers, and technicians. In collaboration around the world, these talented e-NABLE volunteers are developing designs for 3D printable prosthetics that are low in cost and easy to assemble.
To spread awareness of 3D printed prosthetics, e-NABLE joined forces with Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, MD), 3DUniverse.org, and sponsors like Simplify3D to hold a one-day conference on Sept. 28 called, Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open-Source 3D printed Prosthetics for Underserved Populations. Attendees of the event included prosthetists, designers, 3D technologists, doctors and families. Undeniably, the most special guests at the conference were children who need prosthetic hands.
The event organizers wanted the attendees to understand the design, but just as importantly, they wanted parents and children to become immersed in the assembly and fitting of the hand.
Prior to the conference, e-NABLE volunteers around the world began printing the assemblies so that every conference attendee could assemble a prosthetic. As the conference was approaching, shipments of Raptor Hand assemblies were arriving from all around the world! By the day of the conference, 226 Raptor Hand kits were ready for assembly and fitting!
The value of the information shared between professionals at this initial conference cannot be underestimated, but the joy on the faces of families assembling the hands together is what captured our hearts.
Following the conference, e-NABLE released the 3D Printing files for the Raptor Hand for public download, allowing anyone, anywhere, to 3D print a Raptor Hand for someone in need. Judging by the interest (1700 views and 400 downloads in one week), we will be reading more stories about Raptor Hand recipients in the near future. If you’re curious about the 3D printing and assembly, check out the uber-helpful article and video from Jeremy Simon, of 3DUniverse.org.
If you want to be part of the future envisioned by e-NABLE, click below to visit their site and support their cause.