3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced that it has partnered with e-NABLE Community Foundation (ECF) to support e-NABLE, the global network of makers, inventors and designers using 3D printing to make functional, prosthetic hands that are donated to people in need. Building upon 3DS’ mission of Making Good, this partnership leverages the company’s 3D digital fabrication products, services and expertise to expand access to, improve the capabilities of, and educate the public about these life-changing assistive devices.

“Our technology unlocks everyone’s potential to transform great ideas into real outcomes,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3DS. “By teaming up with the e-NABLE community, we are giving more people the means and the skills to improve lives.”

3DS and ECF announced four key areas of collaboration as part of their partnership. Specifically,

• 3DS will collaborate with ECF to design an all-new hand. This design will be free, publicly-shared, customizable for sizing and optimized for printing on the Cube®, CubePro® and EKOCYCLE™ Cube®. To encourage and support greater community participation, 3DS and ECF will publish a video tutorial on how to print and assemble the free hand file.

• 3DS will provide technical advisory, aiding ECF with key industry and technical expertise on 3D technology, prosthetics design and more.

• 3DS and ECF will identify four or more university-based labs to qualify them as e-NABLE partners. These will be equipped with 3DS’ digital fabrication tools, including CubePro 3D printers, premium material cartridges, Sense™ 3D scanners, design software and the Touch™ 3D stylus.

• 3DS and ECF will collaborate to develop learning materials for formal and informal educators, introducing and facilitating 3D design and printing relating to ECF’s mission of sharing 3D-printed assistive technologies.

“We are excited to welcome 3D Systems into partnership with ECF and look forward to leveraging their solutions and expertise to further our reach and impact,” said Jon Schull, Enable Community Foundation President. “It's notable that 3DS has the vision to open-source their K1 hand so that all sorts of people can use it and learn from it."

The 3DS and ECF partnership will be celebrated at the upcoming Capitol Hill Maker Faire on June 11 and the National Maker Faire on June 12 and 13 at the University of the District of Columbia, where ECF will host workshops using 3DS’ Cube 3D printers.

At both Maker Faire events, 3DS will showcase its new prosthetic hand design, which was optimized for printing on the Cube and CubePro 3D printers. The stunning prosthetic was designed by 3DS’ industrial designer Evan Kuester. Kuester also designed the “Iron Man” prosthetic for the University of Central Florida that was presented to a young boy by Robert Downey, Jr. Kuester and other 3DS experts will be on hand to support the e-NABLE workshops and provide technical advice at both events.

For more information, visit: www.enablingthefuture.org

Published in 3D Systems

As part of its $20 million Google Impact Challenge focused on disabilities, Google.org has awarded a $600,000 grant to the Enable Community Foundation to further advance the e-NABLE community's innovative work on 3D-printed open-source prosthetics.

"We created the Enable Community Foundation to support the fast-growing community of volunteers now known around the world as "e-NABLE", said Foundation president Jon Schull. "Google.org's support will allow us to improve-- and to prove--our products and our processes."

As the world’s largest and most active open source prosthetics community, e-NABLE has produced hundreds of 3D printed prosthetic hands and continues to innovate low cost 3D printed prostheses.

Until recently, children with upper limb differences had few affordable prosthetic options because the conventional fabrication approaches are often too expensive and time-consuming for children who quickly outgrow them. The e-NABLE community leverages open source research and design, crowd-sourced fabrication, and mass-customization to produce affordable and effective prosthetics for children and adults.

"We think the e-NABLE community's products and practices are a potential model for other ventures that can inspire digital humanitarians to use emerging technologies to develop innovative solutions for underserved populations," said Schull, who is a Research Scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology. "Google.org has challenged us to test that idea, and given us the resources to do it, even as we continue to serve volunteers and recipients."

The Enable Community Foundation will use the funding to accelerate research and development through strategic partnerships, global design challenges, and to develop free and open source self-service software such as Handomatic which empowers individuals and groups to use, and to further develop, e-NABLE's inexpensive prosthetic solutions.

Ivan Owen, one of the Enable Community Foundation's directors observed, "We live in a time with an unprecedented level of access to knowledge, technology… and to each other. This opens the door to more flexible models for developing ideas and discovering unique solutions to unique problems, including the ability for people to work together even when they are an incredible distance apart. Our community has thrived as a result of powerful communications tools like Google Hangouts. It is a truly wonderful thing to now have Google’s direct support. As has always been the case with the e-NABLE community, by working together we can do more than we could ever dream of doing on our own."

The e-NABLE community is an open community founded by Jon Schull in 2013 to crowd-source the design, fabrication, and dissemination of 3D-printed prosthetics for children and others missing fingers or hands  The volunteer community has grown continuously since then, and has already delivered hundreds of devices to  recipients in at least 37 countries. The Enable Community Foundation was founded in October 2014 to support the mission and operations of the e-NABLE community.

For more information, visit: www.enablingthefuture.org

Published in Enabling The Future

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