A Combination of Technology, Ingenuity, Generosity, and Compassion Help Children Missing Fingers Do What They Love

Thanks to 3-D printing technology and individual generosity, children missing fingers have prosthetic devices that enable them to do many things they love – and look cool in the process!  Children who were born without fingers or lost them in accidents were often teased and shunned in school.  Prosthetic devices have been available, but they are extremely expensive and often not worth the investment while the child is growing.  Now, as featured in an excellent recent New York Times article, thanks to 3-D printing technology, functioning prosthetic hands can be made at much lower cost, and their users are not going to outgrow them over a short time.  A 3-D printer creates the components, which are easily assembled.  Several volunteers have gotten into the act, most notably e-NABLE, a network of volunteers who have been helping children for over a year.  Many cool designs are available for downloading on Thingeverse, by MakerBot.  Children who felt left out now proudly show off their new bionic hands that resemble those of their favorite super-heroes.  In fact, e-NABLE has teamed up with Marvel Universe LIVE!  These children are super-heroes – and so are the generous people who make it all possible.

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