Additive Manufacturing Strategies

EnableCon2015 : e-NABLE Celebrates Another Year 3D Printing Affordable Protheses on Oct. 24th

ST Medical Devices

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imagesIt’s certainly no surprise that e-NABLE has their own annual conference–and this year will mark their second one. Being held on October 24th at the University of Washington Bothell, the company famous for launching the 3D printed prosthetic into the limelight will be celebrating an incredible evolution, giving credit to those who made it possible: thousands of volunteers around the world.

The Second Annual Enable Community Conference, also known as EnableCon2015, is a venue that not only celebrates all of the hard work and effort contributed by volunteers who have been 3D printing prosthetics for individuals–and especially kids–in many developing countries, but they also mean to accelerate numerous programs further with a cohesive event open to the whole public.

Sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities are available through e-NABLE for the conference where around 400 innovators with expertise from many sectors will be available.

“A big theme this year will be education,” e-NABLE founder Jon Schull told 3DPrint.com, regarding a continued focus which will also result in the upcoming launch of the e-NABLE Educators’ Exchange.

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The fully assembled e-NABLE Raptor 3D printed prosthetic

A priority at the conference will be in putting together teams and collaborations between previous recipients and families, along with doctors, teachers, and engineering design leaders. Along with the gifting of numerous 3D printed arms, those attending the conference can look forward to:

  • Talks being brought forth by doctors and medical professionals
  • Assembly workshops for practictioners, families, and volunteers
  • Service-based learning curriculum for educators
  • Working lunches
  • An ‘unconference’ to review the last year’s work
  • Benefit dinner by donors to raise funding for a new entity called the Enable Community Foundation
  • First retreat for young recipients to offer activities and relevant discussions

“This conference will show the world why, and how, e-NABLE has been able to do so much so quickly,” said Maria Esquala.

The vast e-NABLE team has good reason to celebrate and move forward with enormous optimism as they’ve seen their international community grow to nearly 6,000 members after being founded by 3D printing prosthetic pioneers Ivan Owen and John Schull. We’ve followed the company’s progress and the many events and programs they’ve put together for doing some serious good in this world, via supplying those who may not otherwise have had prosthetics with customized, quality replacement limbs that are inexpensive.

We’ve reported on many of their challenges and events, spanning the globe, as well as more unique and inspiring programs like innovative middle-schoolers designing and 3D printing prosthetics for other kids to an ever-growing inventory of new 3D printed designs with input from volunteers , to recent news of them joining Autodesk as an ‘impact designer.’

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6th Graders – McKenzie Smith, Carson Ellis and Corbyn Player making e-NABLE hands for kids in need.

We’ve also just recently been following their plan to have 1,000 3D printed prosthetics fabricated by mid-September with a focus on integrated participation from numerous businesses and multiple colleges.

“A highlight of this year’s conference will also be our growing collaborations with medical professionals including prosthetists, whose indispensable role must be protected, even as we expand the options available to them and their patients,” says Jon Schull.

Part of the conference will indeed be dedicated to collaborative workshops for prosthetists, teachers, and those involved with 3D printing. Below is a video regarding the positive ‘meeting of the minds’ they experienced last year.

“The conference will follow the model of our historic first conference at Johns Hopkins University, albeit with more participants, more diversity, and greater ambition,” said Schull.  “Last year we broke into the medical mainstream, and began discussing international engagements.  Since then the newly-formed Enable Community Foundation has received funding from the Genesis Foundation for a pilot program in Haiti, funding from Google.org for to prove and improve our devices and our processes, and funding from the Autodesk foundation.”

“Our challenge now is to build an organization that will help the e-NABLE community continue to innovate, self-organize, and scale.”

One substantial panel discussion led by Owen will include:

  • Andreas Bastain, Autodesk
  • Scott Summit, Singularity University
  • Evan Kuester, 3D Systems
  • Jorge Zuniga, Creighton University
  • Peter Binkley, designer of several e-NABLE hand devices

Other sessions will work to seek feedback from the e-NABLE community regarding a possible Enable Collaboration Infrastructure, as well as a discussion on legal and policy issues led by Grace Mastalli, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy, USDOJ and a key player in writing the Americans for Disability Act.

The entire conference schedule is available online. Are you planning on attending? Discuss in the EnableCon2015 forum over at 3DPB.com.

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