When the DIY is a reason for living

Ivan Owen created the first community for 3D printed hands: “e-NABLE -Enabling the future”. 

This all started in 2011 when he posted a short video on Youtube on his metal functional puppet hand. This led to an email from a carpenter, Richard, hailing from South Africa, creating the first collaboration via skype and email to produce various prototypes and designs of hands.

The first prototype was for Liam, a young boy from South Africa, missing fingers on his right hand.

Soon afterwards, Ivan understood the importance of the new technologies “Do It Yourself”, so he contracted a 3D printer company that donated two 3D printers to create, together, the first printed mechanical hand.

Ivan decided to give free the design of this new hand as an open-source and public domain because not only Liam could have a hand, but all people that needed ones around the world. He also decided to build printed hands for free becoming a volunteer sharing his maker’s expertise and his 3D printers.

With the help of a professor at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology),  Jon Shull, in 2013, it was created a Google+ group with a map of the locations of each maker, who joined Ivan printing hands, to allow people who were seeking a hand to find the closest volunteer.

In two years, the e-NABLE community became more than 6,000 persons and they built over 2,000 devices gifted to people in over 45 countries.

Mitsuko, a young girl from New Caledonian, who lost all of her fingers in her right hand;  Jimmy, a 8 years old  little boy without the left hand; Musa, a boy of 12 years old from Nigeria, who lost his hand when he was just 4 years old; Zizi and Yu-Lia got their personal 3D printed hand with a special creative design. These are just few examples of individuals that have taken advantage of these new devices.

All these people are the proof that with the Do It Yourself we can make the difference.  It is amazing to know what could be done with just one 3D printer and what is now a global movement and community of makers, artist, designers, teachers, engineers, children, parents, medical professionals and so on.

This is a story too good not to be turned into our blog.

Find out on http://enablingthefuture.org/ and get trained on DIY! The future could be in your hands.