Over the past year, we have covered more stories about an organization called e-NABLE than we can count. It seems as though each and every day, there is yet another interesting, tear-jerking, or awe inspiring story that comes from e-NABLE’s army of volunteers who have been 3D Printing prosthetic hands and arms for children and adults in need. So many of these volunteers spend their own hard-earned cash, and precious time, modeling, measuring and 3D printing hands for complete strangers. They do all this knowing that they are making a difference in someone’s life, with no motivation other than that tremendous feeling you get when you know that you have made a difference in someone else’s life.
One of the top consumer level 3D printing brands, Ultimaker has been following the progress being made by e-NABLE for quite some time now. Just yesterday it was announced that Ultimaker has donated $10,000 worth of 3D printers to this wonderful cause.
“There are many places in this world where a single 3D printer and sharing the knowledge of creating low cost 3D printed hands – can allow a parent to be able to go back to work and provide for their family once again or allow a child to have the opportunity to feed themselves or help tend to daily chores that their family relies upon them for,” said e-NABLE on their blog.
Ultimaker 3D Printers range in price form €995 for the original Ultimaker DIY-kit, up to €1,895.00 for the latest fully assembled Ultimaker 2. While it is unknown the exact 3D printers that have been donated, one can do the calculations to see that e-NABLE will be gaining some tremendous resources in their quest to bring 3D printed prosthetic devices to as many people as possible. Unlike traditional prosthetic hands and arms which cost upwards of $50,000, a 3D printed hand can be created for around $50. This means that those, formerly unable to get a prosthetic, now have access to a custom built model at a fraction of the cost.
Ultimaker is also a sponsor of e-NABLE’s upcoming conference at John Hopkins Hospital which is set for September 28th. They plan to bring along four of their 3D printers to help show attendees of the conference the miracles that can be achieved through the incredible technology of 3D printing. Dr. Albert Chi, of John Hopkins Hospital is one of the first to get one of these donated printers. He is utilizing it to create prosthetic devices for some of his patients.
What do you think about this incredible donation by Ultimaker? Will we one day reach a point where everyone in need of a prosthetic hand or arm will be able to obtain one for under $50, through the use of 3D printing? Discuss in the 3D printing and prosthetic forum on 3DPB.com.