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Posted by Upworthy on Martedì 3 novembre 2015


I have come to know the E-Nable project almost by chance, and it was a good chance indeed! E-Nable is a group of Makers, Engineers, Medical Professionals, Tinkerers, Teachers, Students, Artists, Philanthropists, Parents and “Ideas people” who have come together from across the globe to collaborate, innovate and re-design the 3d Printable open source design of a mechanical hand device that was released as the original “Robohand” open source file in 2012.

There are many interesting points in this design for kids project. First of all it is open, that is something we were not used to just a few years back. It is not the only, luckily this kind of projects are spreading all over the world (of course it is the spirit) and related to many issues. One of my favorites is definitely the medical area.


Of course reasoning on open development, especially on a medical background sounds like a real change. And it is indeed!  First of all for its economic implications, because it means abandoning traditional entrepreneurship (based on the opposing producer and consumer) and rather cooperate in making available a product (or the way to gather it) to everybody. E-Nable’s statement is “We are not a company. We do not sell our devices.” and this is what they really do! And that’s brilliant, yet a bit weird if we think the old “profit-oriented” way. Instead, they ask for donations and sponsorships. And if we spread this the word-scale sounds like something that can actually happen and grow.

The other thing I love is the look of some of those hands. In some cases they managed to bridge the gap between a medical supply and a kids product, making them feel like heroes, like they are special, in a good way this time! And that is a great message not only for them, but for all people involved in disability in a very wide way.


People from E-nable are volunteers that do not sell devices but instead encourage parents and individuals to create them on their own, guide them in the building process and print parts for those that need them.

The designers at E-nable offer their assistance and design skills at no cost to aid those that would like to DIY (do it yourself) one of these devices and has numerous members that are willing to take on individual cases to help custom design around different shaped hands or needs.


So, doors are open, there is a Google+ community if you would like to aid the development of open source 3d printed prostheses or create a prosthesis yourself, join the community!

e-NABLE is not officially affiliated with the Robohand Project in South Africa. They build off of their work and that of others. If you would like to purchase a Robohand you can visit their website:

If you would like to contact members of e-NABLE for journalistic purposes, please email them at We need to spread this word!

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