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AMS Spring 2023

Jen Owen of Enablingthefuture.org Needs Your Stories and Support

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The E-nable project has been incredibly inspiring over these past years. The open source prosthetics project has harnessed thousands of volunteers worldwide to 3D print thousands of prosthetic hands. At the center of it all sits Jen Owen who has been organizing E-Nable since the very beginning and founded the community. She matches those who need prosthetic hands with those that 3D print them. She, almost by herself, is Enablingthefuture.org’s customer service department answering any and all questions about 3D printing hands. She also is in charge of all the web content and social media. She’s worked tirelessly on this effort, without pay for six years. If you’d care to support her amazing work you can give to her Patreon here.

Jen’s latest effort in support of the Enablingthefuture.org community is to begin to make a book. Jen wants to collect as many inspiring E-Nable stories in one place. The proceeds of book sales will go to support Enablingthefuture.org. You can check out more information here.

Jen says that, “When I started this website, our e-NABLE community had barely 100 volunteers and about 10 recipients of 3D printed hands created by the makers who were eager to use their 3D printers for something other than printing another Yoda head flower pot or a set of colorful plastic coasters to set their beer glasses on.

“They were excited to find that they could use their machines to make a difference in the lives of others. We were discovering that not only were the recipient’s lives being changed in a positive way through the work and passion shared by our volunteers, but we were starting to hear stories from our makers about how their experiences were not only changing their lives through the inspirational stories they were becoming a part of – but they were literally changing their own life paths because of e-NABLE.”

“As this website grew and media coverage spread the word about the joy that was being brought to the children who were receiving the devices, our volunteer numbers grew from 100 to 1000 and then to 3000 and 10,000.”

“all we know, is that there have been at least 5000 devices created in about 100 countries around the world.”

To celebrate Enablingthefuture.org and the enable volunteers:

“I am also hoping to get enough story submissions to compile them into a beautiful book that will not only share the history of e-NABLE, but the personal, moving and inspirational stories from volunteers and makers who have had their lives changed along with the recipient families who have been gifted these 3D printed hands!” 

Jen is looking for submissions from people all over the world detailing how E-Nable has positively impacted lives. If you’re an E-NABLE volunteer or recipient please do reach out and let her know your story. I truly believe that E-Nable is the single most inspiring thing happening in 3D printing today. By using 3D printing as a force for good we are showing the world what we as a 3D printing community are capable of. Moreover this is not some pie in the sky thing. These hands work and are cost effective showcasing that 3D printing is not only an inspirational technology but also an affordable and practical one. Please support hardworking Jen and E-Nable if you can.

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