The number of children with wounds to the hands due to war, natural catastrophes and accidents is always growing, without counting the incidences of birth defects where children are born without complete parts or are victims of other complications during development. Moreover, the prosthetic needs of children are complex because of their small size, constant growth and psychosocial development.
Often a key role in the prescription of prosthetics for children, is covered by the financial resources of the families, especially when private insurance and public funding are insufficient, and therefore these are inaccessible to low income families, uninsured families and children from countries in the developing world.
To address these alarming data, Was born Enabling The Future, a global community of more than 1,500 members working together to make 3d printed prosthetics for hands available to all those who need it. The team of Enabling The Future includes a multitude of elements: engineers, artists, designers, students, parents, occupational therapists, designers, teachers, creative, philanthropists, writers and many other volunteers who are dedicating their “free time” for the creation of open source projects that can be downloaded and printed in 3D for less than $ 50 in materials (a traditional prosthesis could cost you around $ 50,000).
Enabling the Future
The designs are in fact open source, so that anyone, anywhere in the world can download and create these prostheses. Aaron Brown, one of the volunteers from the organisation, had the idea of fitting prosthetic claws, similar to those of Wolverine of the famous X-Men series. Everything is possible thanks to the potential 3D printing has in terms of layout personalization and input
This intuition that initially seemed almost playful, instead helped children to feel stronger and gain confidence in themselves, making them believe that they too could be “superheroes” despite the difficulties. This was possible due to the potential of 3D printing and schematics fully customizable and free.