Helpful Hands at Hopkins! Prosthetists Meet Printers #enablethefuture #enable3DPP

OK, that will be the last “hand” pun/joke for this entire blog, hand to god! (Alright after that one)…Yesterday Hopkins hosted an incredible event:

Prosthetists Meet Printers:

Mainstreaming Open Source 3D-Printed Prosthetics for Underserved Populations.


Like many incredible movements, e-NABLE started small. Two individuals from different sides of the planet (a prop maker from the USA and a carpenter from South Africa) came together to create a prosthetic hand for a small child in South Africa:

Then they did something perhaps even more incredible, they gave the plans away FOR FREE, so that those in need could make hands for themselves or have someone else create it for them.  What started as a small project to help one, has grown into a World wide movement of makers, engineers, 3D printer enthusiast, professors, designers, therapists, families, and pretty much any one who wants to make a difference.

Yesterday, individuals gathered from around the globe to learn about enabling the future of 3D printing in medicine. What was perhaps most amazing was this mix of people engaged from clinicians, to elementary school children, parents, policy wonks, and artists…in fact, it was the first conference I have ever  been to that had a playroom with Legos for the very young (or young at heart).


Hand building workshop in the afternoon, families working together to build limbs.

Cause who has better ideas than kiddos? Through they day we heard things like:

“Can mine be THIS long (gestures about two feet) and glow in the dark” OR “How about an Iron Man hand? ” and by the way, YES that does exist: IRON MAN


After all, what little kid (person) DOES’T want to be a super hero? Dozens upon dozens of hands were assembled yesterday. Check out my hand building journey (This is where the many years of IKEA furniture building came in handy…shucks, that one just slipped out)

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In the evening many were presented to kids that needed them:

hands copy

It was a brilliant Sunday and I’m so inspired by what can come from a little cross global collaboration. Check out a few more shots from the day and if you are feeling inspired like me, check out e-NABLE’s page for ways to get involved:

DONATE TO THE CAUSE HERE! (Special note, all proceeds from acupaday will go to e-NABLE this month, so let me know if there is a cup you’ve been eyeing)



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