From 3D printed animal prosthetics and 3D printed prosthetics for children and adults to bringing 3D printed prosthetics to under-served areas…every time I hear a new story about the e-NABLE volunteer community, it warms my heart. Even if you don’t have access to your own 3D printer to make prosthetics, there are many ways to volunteer, from sponsorships and fundraising opportunities to simply spreading the word. In the summer of 2016, to assist people who wanted to help but weren’t quite sure how to go about 3D printing a prosthetic for someone, e-NABLE released an augmented reality video guide that functioned as an app to shows users exactly what to do. Now, a little less than a year later, e-NABLE is introducing the first release of its highly anticipated e-NABLE Web Central (EWC) app.
e-NABLE volunteers Jeremy Simon and Aleks Jones of 3D Universe graciously donated their time and skills for the last two months to create the much needed matching app for e-NABLE’s global community. While further app development will continue over the next few months, Simon and Jones decided to release the first version now to get things started, and begin receiving feedback and learning about possible bugs.
Jen Owen, e-NABLE founding member and community volunteer, told 3DPrint.com, “This app will bring back the ability for individual makers to be matched with recipients and will allow our underserved and over taxed e-NABLE Chapters, to share cases that they are unable to provide for and give an opportunity for those who are not part of chapters, a chance to use their 3D printers for the greater good again!”
The first version of EWC, which can be accessed from any web browser (including mobile devices), includes the basic functionality for people to submit device requests, and for volunteers to help make the devices. You can login through your existing Google account, or make an account.
Once you’re logged in, you will have to register – this is where you’ll indicate whether you want to help, need help, or both, in order to determine what EWC functions you can access. Then, once you’ve had your address verified through Google Maps API, you can set up your Device Requests page, where you can request a device and monitor the status of your active device requests.
Once your registration is complete, you will have the ability to do all sorts of things in the app: set privacy controls, add a profile picture, browse and filter available cases, exchange messages, and use the Google Translate widget to translate the app into multiple languages, among other features. If you’re registering as a volunteer, you’ll also want to set up your Credly Badges account and claim the correct badges; EWC uses this to figure out which volunteers are authorized to make devices. All volunteers can browse the badges, in order to see which types of devices are being requested.
The EWC app supports varying ranges of functionality, and the role you’re assigned will allow EWC to figure out what functionalities should be accessible to you. Anyone using the app is automatically considered a User and has access to the Device Requests screen. A Fabricator is a volunteer role for people who want to 3D print e-NABLE devices, while an Assembler wants to put them together; often, these two roles are filled by the same volunteer. An Expert role is for people who are familiar with many e-NABLE device designs and how to determine the proper sizing, so they review the device requests and make recommendations. Matchers monitor cases for progress and put together the volunteers with the people who need devices, while e-NABLE Chapter Leads manage an EWC ‘My Chapter’ page, approving and declining requests to join and matching and monitoring the cases in their chapter.
To receive an e-NABLE device, a new Device Request is needed. Once you’ve created a request, you’ll have to upload sizing photos, which should be at the proper orientation and angle, with a high resolution and good lighting, so the device will fit properly.
Once you have a good sizing photo, go to the Device Requests page, click on the Case ID, and choose Add Photo on the Case Details screen. Then, select Ready for Expert Review to make your case available to e-NABLE volunteers. Once the case is created, people in the three volunteer roles of Fabricator, Assembler, and Expert can offer to assist with the case.
Before the work can begin, the User will need to approve the volunteers; once this is done, the Fabricator will get to work, and can add a record for the device they’re making by clicking Add Case Device on the Case Details screen. This allows the Fabricator to add details like device type, color, and material. The completed parts will be sent to the Assembler, if it’s a different person, and upon final assembly, the device will be shipped to the User. The User can accept the device and close out the specific case if it fits and performs its function well, or offer feedback and request a change.
e-NABLE and 3D Universe are working hard to add more EWC features in the coming months, such as Case Process Flow Improvements, an Available Devices Page, Event Management, charts and statistics, and several others. Discuss in the e-NABLE forum at 3DPB.com.[Source/Images: e-NABLE]
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