Archive for May, 2017

Upcoming Functional Print: Hand Challenge

I’ve heard that 3D printing is being used to change lives by allowing the inexpensive design and construction of prosthetic limbs. It’s especially useful for children, who will outgrow prosthetics multiple times during childhood, and those who may not otherwise be able to afford traditional prosthetics. I even saw a 3D-printed prosthetic hand last weekend at Hagley Museum’s Maker Fest (see the 6th picture down). But I only learned today that anyone can produce one of these devices and send it to a person who needs it. The e-NABLE Community is a community of people who do just that, and help match those in need with those with printers. A couple of years ago, a group of 6th grade students in South Carolina decided to participate as part of a class project. They then took it a step further by issuing the Hand Challenge, to encourage anyone with a 3D printer to participate. The challenge is still going strong, and I’ve decided to participate. Since this will be my first one, I’ve ordered a starter kit with all of the non-printed hardware (nuts, bolts, velcro, etc). I plan to start printing parts in the next few days (modulo an upcoming 2 day trip), and I’ll be posting progress as I go.

If you have a 3D printer, I encourage you to have a look. If you know anyone who could benefit from one of these devices, check out the community website; they can help match you with someone who can help.