e-NABLE: Lending a Hand to Those Who Need One

I’m not sure what to say about e-NABLE here.  There’s just SO MUCH that can be said.  And really, they do a magnificent job on their own blog, I feel I simply can’t do it justice here.  Really though, I’m only a gateway to something bigger and grander, so I’m going to keep it (fairly) concise then link you up to this phenomenal organization.

Some posts ago, I wrote about my first brush with 3D printing.  Someone had printed the components for a weapon, so I wasn’t entirely thrilled.  Then I happened across this story about a carpenter in South Africa who had done what carpenters occasionally do.  He’d cut off a few fingers.

Long story short… Richard the Carpenter ran across a YouTube video of another guy named Ivan showing off a puppet hand he’d created for a Halloween costume.  He gets in touch and many months later they’ve designed a functional and affordable prosthetic hand that Richard could 3D print at home.  Of course, you know what comes next.  They put their work out there for the world to see.  Next thing, a mother in South Africa contacts them about scaling down the design for her son, Liam.  Here’s Liam with his new hand.


Ivan did not patent his design.  Instead of banking big time, he decided he was going to make a “ding the universe” (all thanks to Steve Jobs for that wonderful expression).  He published those files as open source in the public domain.  He shared.  And that was how e-NABLE was born.

Lots of things happened after Ivan published his design.  Innovation fed on innovation.  Human beings came together to help one another.  More people got on board.  The design saw perpetual improvement.  More people received hands.

e-NABLE’s blog has the full story of their genesis, stories of hand recipients, hand designs for download, tutorials, and information about how you can get involved.

If that’s not enough inspiration, then here’s a link to Ivan and Torrae Owen’s TEDTalk, “Weird Can Be Wonderful.”

If all that doesn’t hit you in the feels, I don’t know what will.


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