A huge thank you to those who attended our 2nd Hardware Innovators Meetup last Tuesday, and especially to Carolynn Duncan from Northwest Social Venture Fund who brought the 3D printed hand pictured above! The hand was designed and made by the e-NABLE community, a global network of volunteer designers, engineers, and 3D printing enthusiasts who are harnessing the power of new technologies to "give the world a helping hand."
Using a host of free, open-source tools, people can now make custom-fitted prostheses that used to cost $10,000 or $20,000 USD for about $35 - $50 worth of materials. You can print the hand yourself from Thingiverse (just search for "Raptor Hand"), or use e-NABLE's powerful "Handomatic" web app (http://webapp.e-nable.me) to input measurements and generate custom-fitted .stl files. If you don't have your own 3D printer, you can connect with the global e-NABLE community at http://enablingthefuture.org/ and click on "Get Involved!"
In addition to letting the Gearbox community geek out with the hand last Tuesday, Carolynn organized a meeting yesterday with representatives from Gearbox, techfortrade, the Association for People with Disabilities in Kenya, Villgro, WoeLab, and the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, where we discussed ways to move this technology forward in Kenya.
If you want to learn more, come to our next meetup scheduled for this coming Tuesday, March 3rd, from 6:30pm onward. We'll have the hand available to see for yourself!
Note -- these meetups aren't just about 3D printing! Carolynn brought a cool project to share with the group, and interesting things are coming out of it. Bring your own project to show, and who knows what could happen! We'll be hosting meetups every other Tuesday from now on, each one being a chance to meet interesting people making great things. Sign up to our group on Meetup.com (http://www.meetup.com/Gearbox-Hardware-Innovators-Meetup/), and we hope to see you next Tuesday!