I always look forward to hearing about new design challenges from e-NABLE. Not only are they fun, but they encourage participants to really use their creativity to come up with new types of prosthetic devices that may be able to help someone in ways that haven’t yet been possible. In January, e-NABLE announced that they would be stepping up their design challenges with the new Create T.I.M.E. program, which would present a new challenge every month. So far, it looks like the e-NABLE community has been having a lot of fun with the program, with competitions that have included February’s Star Wars-themed challenge and this month’s steampunk challenge.
If you’re looking for more options, e-NABLE’s support community, the Enable Community Foundation, is getting in on the competitive action now, too. The foundation was formed last year for the purpose of facilitating donations, publicity and other support for e-NABLE itself. Now the Enable Community Foundation is introducing its own design challenge. From now until April 30, the foundation invites you to submit your designs for a 3D printable, sport-specific terminal device.
What’s a terminal device? Essentially, it’s the part of a prosthetic arm that acts as a hand. It can be designed as a hand, or it can also take the form of a hook, gripper or other sort of tool to serve a specific purpose. As the Foundation points out, no one prosthetic hand does absolutely everything well, so it’s extremely helpful to have multiple terminal devices that can be interchanged for different tasks.
“These often task specific devices are available – but they can be very expensive and insurance won’t cover them,” says Justine Diamond of the Enable Community Foundation. “3D printing them is a great opportunity to expand what the e-NABLE community can do – in the states and all over the world. Although there are plenty of vocational applications, we’re starting off with something fun by asking for the design of a sport-specific terminal device.”
Participants are asked to design a device that is safe, easy to fabricate and use, and complies with industry standards for transradial (below the elbow) prosthetic devices. The device must be able to attach to the wrist socket of an existing prosthetic with the standard 1/2 – 20 or hex bolt/M12 fine thread. Beyond that, there are no limits, as long as your design is sports-related – use your imagination to design a device that can hold a kayak paddle, operate a baseball glove, grip a hockey stick, or perform any other sports-related function you can think of.
The deadline for submissions is April 30, and winners will be announced in May. Entries will be judged on seven criteria: design aesthetics, practicality, safety considerations, ease of use, printability, durability, and shareability. The first place winner will receive $750, second place will receive $500, and third place will be awarded $250. To enter, submit your design (native format and STEP files), plus a video demonstrating the device’s function, to ECF.DDC@enablecommunityfoundation.org. More information and guidelines can be found here. Do you have an idea for an entry? Discuss in the 3D Printed Sports-Related Prosthetic Devices forum over at 3DPB.com.