In the universe of 3D printing, one star shines particularly bright. The organization named e-NABLE has set out to harness the multitudes of home 3d printers to create customized and cheap prosthesis for children. We’ve covered them on many occasions, and it would appear that Google has also taken note.
As part of their $20 million Impact Challenge, a competition to get funding to those who are making a difference in the lives of the disabled, Google has awarded e-NABLE $600k. These funds will go toward further research and will help to get more hands shipped to more kids.
One example of what these funds could supply is more development time towards tools to help in the creation of prosthetics. Hand-o-Matic, a free online tool for generating the 3d printing files that are customized to your specific prosthetic tools has been in development for a while and gets better every day.
For a taste of what it is like to be involved in the receiving end of e-NABLE, check out this video and story by Chris Oxenbury where he shares the experience.
The e-NABLE program already makes quite a difference by bringing the cost of a prosthetic for a child, which they will likely outgrow quickly, down from tens of thousands to just simply tens of dollars. Not only does this mean that people who were previously unable to afford them can now get a prosthetic, it also means that children can upgrade and modify their prosthesis as they grow in a cheaper way.
Hopefully these extra funds will help them come up with even better ways to help the community. If you would like to volunteer to be part of the growing community, you can do so by going to enablingthefuture.org