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Torrae Owen

I can’t tell you how happy it make us that e-NABLE, the volunteer open source 3D printed hand organization, is finally getting the international publicity that it deserves. The amazing people behind the organization have undoubtedly changed the lives of thousands of children via their 3D printing of prothetic hands. As media attention continues to pour in for e-NABLE, so too will the number of hands produced by their global network of volunteers.

While the organization is quite new, most individuals are unaware of how it all started out almost three years ago when an American prop maker, Ivan Owen, decided to travel 10,000 miles to help create a prosthetic hand for a 5-year-old boy in South Africa named Liam. As Liam was sure to quickly outgrow the original device, Ivan Owen decided to create the first-ever 3D printed prosthetic for the boy, and the rest is history.

What has gone relatively under the radar was the fact that Ivan used his own daughter Torrae’s hands to size up and fit those 3D printed hands he would create for the growing Liam, as his daughter was approximately Liam’s size. About a year ago Torrae decided that she wanted to help out in an even bigger way by helping her father assemble the various hands that he had been fabricating. She learned quite quickly how to snap together the 3D printed parts, and string the cord through the hand to allow for its grasping motion.

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Recently, talk show personality Ellen Degeneres got wind of Torrae’s story and invited the girl to participate in a project that she had been working on with The Gap, #GapKidsxED, where she would interview young girls in an attempt to inspire other children to reach for and achieve their dreams and goals.

“I know from my own experience that nothing makes you feel better than being who you are and celebrating what makes you unique,” Ellen stated. “I think if we shine a light on real girls doing incredible things, that’ll encourage other girls and boys to do incredible things, and that’ll encourage even more people to do incredible things, and eventually the world will be a more incredible place.”

In two different videos presented by The Gap, Ellen talks to Torrae about the hands and what she has been doing for e-Nable over the last couple of years.e1

“You kinda click the fingers together and just snap the pins in,” Torrae explains in the video. “It’s made out of 3D printed plastic… These are meant for kids who don’t have any fingers so that they can still use their hand. Little boys and little girls are so excited because they can have a superhero hand… The only limit is your imagination.”

Torrae is certainly one of those individuals who will undoubtedly inspire both children and adults with her ambition, kind heart, and intelligence. In fact, she recently took part in an event at Marvel Universe LIVE! where she taught another young girl and her family how to assemble one of e-NABLE’s 3D printed hand prostheses.

Although The Gap certainly has other reasons than simply bringing to light an awesome group of volunteers, it’s awesome to see word get out about this amazing organization as they attempt to attract more volunteers keen on helping to 3D print prostheses for children and adults with limb deficiency.

Check out the videos from The Gap below and let us know what you think about this story in the 3D Printed Prostheses forum on 3DPB.com

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