3D Systems to help produce affordable, open-source 3D printed prosthetics

A human hand resting on a 3D printed prosthetic.

Categories: Technology

17 February 2016


Innovation is generally thought of as a new or novel idea that results in a more efficient process or end product. For the e-NABLE Community Foundation, an international collection of makers, designers and inventors, making an end product as efficient and cost-effective as possible is their only goal.

In fulfilment of a mission of ‘making good’, leading 3D printing specialists 3D Systems last year partnered with e-NABLE to release fully functional, 3D printed prosthetic hands, to be donated to those in need. The design for the hands, which is created in collaboration with e-NABLE Community Foundation, will be made open-source, and compatible with both 3DS Cube and CubePro desktop printers. Users can download the design, customising it for the perfect fit, and even receive helpful tips and support from a video tutorial produced by 3DSystems and e-NABLE.

As well as partnering to design the hand, 3D Systems will work alongside e-NABLE as an advisory, providing key technical and industry-focused expertise to allow the development of the prosthetics, and help to develop learning materials for use both inside, and outside, the classroom.

In order to fully bring 3D printing to the community, the partnership will identify at least four university-based labs to join them in their campaign. These labs will be stocked with all of the necessary tools, materials and printers needed to produce the prosthetic hands; as well as a range of state of the art scanners, software and equipment to encourage the development of new ideas.“Our technology unlocks everyone’s potential to transform great ideas into real outcomes,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3DS. “By teaming up with the e-NABLE community, we are giving more people the means and the skills to improve lives.”Not only will the partnership with e-NABLE help to support the company’s mission to provide reliable and affordable prosthetics for those who need them, it will also make use of 3D System’s digital fabrication products, services and leading expertise to improve the capabilities of a life-changing device; and engage with the public in doing so. By making the designs open-source, users can access the design files and make alterations and improvements to the hands-free of charge, making the finished product functional and available to all.

Jon Schull, Enable Community Foundation President said: “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".

Related Articles