e-NABLE 3D printing prosthetic devices
John Schul and Jen Owen
Online global community of 3D printers for making affordable prosthetic devices.
e-NABLE 3D printed prosthetic devices are designed by more than 30,000 volunteers from the e-NABLE community, a community created in 2013 to gather 3D printing enthusiasts who are interested in helping to make 3D printed hands for other people. In 2019, approximately 7,000 3D printed hands and arms were created and gifted to children and adults in need in over 100 countries around the world. Various designs can be found in their portfolio, and are constantly provided by the members of the community.
Prosthetics are distributed by the volunteers of the community.
e-NABLE 3D printable upper limb assistive devices are donated free of charge by volunteers to recipients with a functional wrist. Manufacturing and delivery is also for free. Volunteers can purchase a complete assembly material kit on the shop for the prosthetic of their choice, not including the 3D printed parts. Material cost is around 7.99 USD to 35 USD.
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
People who were born missing fingers and hands or who have lost them due to war, natural disaster, illness or accidents. Children born with amniotic band syndrome.
Prosthetics are manufactured and delivered by the volunteers of the community to the recipients, following a previously scheduled meeting. Assemble materials kits are provided by the e-NABLE Community.
All the 3D printing designs from the catalog are open source.
Delivery from manufacturer (Volunteer).
7000 prosthesis delivered and gifted as of 2021.
Skilled/unskilled required ability or training necessary to construct and fit a product for a patient
% of users reporting being satisfied with the product as determined by independent patient studies
% of patients reporting daily use of the product as determined by independent patient studies
% of patients reporting comfortable use of product in independent patient studies
Devices must be affordable and light. The prosthetics should provide full range of motion, matching adduction and abduction degrees of typical human motion. Also, it must ensure patient comfort and is easy to put on. Designers wanted it to be durable, in order to withstand all operating conditions for 1-2 years. Finally, design should be reproducible, to be easily printed and improved in all parts of the world.
Provided by the volunteer and the e-NABLE Community.
Assembly components can be found at the shop.
Depends on the usage and the material selected. The hands hold up efficiently to activities like riding a bike, throwing a ball, swimming, and others. The Gripper Hand endures 60 pounds of pressure. The hands sustained minor damage, but survived. Additionally, the hands can also be printed in a variety of materials, including very durable nylon.
e-NABLE prosthetics should be affordable, light, provide full range of motion, comfortable, durable, reproducible, and easy to put on.
A group of students has conducted initial impact testing by dropping the hands from a height of several stories. The hand resisted a 5 story fall, demonstrating its resilience and durability.
Prosthetics are tested by manufacturers and users.
The e-NABLE Community recommends that children be at least 3 years old before wearing a device due to the choking hazards that small parts pose and so that children can have the chance to learn to do everyday things without a helper hand.
User who wants to manufacture the prosthetics must have a 3-D printer.
Parry-Hill J., Shih P., Mankoff J., Ashbrook D., 2017, Understanding Volunteer AT Fabricators: Opportunities and Challenges in DIY-AT for Others in e-NABLE, Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 6184–6194.
Kuehn BM., 2016, Clinicians Embrace 3D Printers to Solve Unique Clinical Challenges, JAMA, 315(4) pp.333–335.
Hawthorn P., Ashbrook D., 2017, Cyborg Pride: Self-Design in e-NABLE. Proceedings of the 19th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 422–426.
Parry-Hill, J., 2019, e-NABLE: DIY-AT Production in a Multi-Stakeholder System, Thesis, Rochester Institute of Technology.
Jacobs S., Schull J., White P., Bertucci A., 2016, e-NABLING education: Curricula and models for teaching students to print hands, IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), pp. 1-4.
Schmidt R., Ratto M., 2015, 3D-printed prosthetics for the developing world. Association for Computing Machinery, 21(1).
Parry-Hill, J., Ashbrook D., 2016, Challenges and Opportunities in DFO-AT: A Study of e-NABLE.
Hofmann M., Burke J., Mankoff J., 2016, Clinical and Maker Perspectives on the Design of Assistive Technology with Rapid Prototyping Technologies, Proceedings of the 18th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 251–256.
These are experimental devices, and have not been reviewed by FDA. They come with a disclaimer of liability, and the community is actively looking for test pilots. Recipients whose residual limb is pressure tolerant, and does not require a highly customized device may well appreciate an e-NABLE device, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before considering an e-NABLE device.
Researchers are currently collecting data on 20 patients using e-NABLE hands to assess their effect on functional outcomes, as well as patients’ views on when the hands are useful and when they are not.
3D Universe is a partner of the community.
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