REALISING INNOVATIVE PROJECTS. THE FAB LAB CHCH ARE PRINTING AN OPEN SOURCE PROSTETHIC HAND PROVIDED BY E-NABLE / by Carl Pavletich

E-Nable  is a global network of volunteers using 3D printing to give the world a "helping hand".

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This is a very simple and straight forward concept. With a bit of interest, research and access to a 3D printer, a hand can be donated in no time.

THE STEPS OF HOW TO DONATE A HAND

Step 1. Sign up for e-Nable

 Not to long ago Rachael Wood from Woolston Christchurch contacted us, wanting to 3D print a prosthetic hand. She had seen a documentary on TV3 about e-Nable, a community organisation that provides 3D files of prosthetic hands. Inspired by the story she started researching online straight away, found the e-Nable page and signed up to become a member. She expected the process to be complicated, but after reading into it further she realised just how simple the concept is.

Step 2. Print the and assemble the hand

Seeking a facility with 3D printers Rachael came to us shortly after seeing the documentary, asking for a cost estimate. Looking at the files and the density of the print, we realised, this could be a $100.00 - $200.00 print plus filament. So we decided in the spirit of non-for-profit, for how long the print took, Rachael would volunteer her time in the Lab. Giving a hand for a hand. After Rachael donated some of her time, we downloaded the file, checked the settings and printed the hand. There are many intructables and vidoes online explaining what it is you need and how to put the hand together.

Step 3. Give the Hand to e-Nable

After the hand is printed and assembled, we will get in touch with e-Nable. They will find a child that the hand fits and it will be delivered to this person.

This 3D printed hand was assembled by Rachael and printed at the Fab Lab Chch

RESEARCH INVOLVED

In our case Rachael was the one to do a very large part of the research. She joined e-Nable March this year and has access to the Google+ group. This group has different categories such as research and development, articles and videos and a blog. In the blog people can share their personal experience and seek out others who have completed the project. The Google+ group helped clarify the steps of the project and gave important technical information, for example which hand to print first, printer setting, etc.

Rachaels personal aim is to advance her skills in 3D printing and configure the initial file of the hand in order to customise it. Ultimately, she wants use this knowledge to explore the field of wearable art.

Possibilities as a member of e-Nable

There are many ways to help the e-Nable community, you don't need to have access to a printer in order to get involved. 

See how it all began and started changing peoples lives.

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