Artful Innovation: Inclusive Design and Technology

July 20 – August 30, 2017 | A Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program

e-NABLE 3D Prostheses


The e-NABLE Community provides free and low-cost, body-powered 3D printable assistive devices for individuals with upper-limb differences. The designs for these devices are shared as open-source files, which means that anyone anywhere can 3D print them and use them for personal use.

Ivan Owen, a puppeteer and artist in the United States, co-created the first 3D printed hand for Liam, a young child in South Africa. Thanks to the e-NABLE Community of more than 10,000 volunteers worldwide, approximately 3,000 3D printed hands have been gifted to individuals in over 80 countries. The two devices in this exhibit belong to Luke Dennison and Cam Haight.

Luke was born with no fingers and a thumb that did not work on his left hand. Luke’s parents talked with many hand specialists to find ways to help Luke. Unfortunately no one had an answer that sounded reasonable to them so Luke’s parents chose to leave his hand alone. Seven years later Luke’s parents watched a televised news program about a father who created a 3D-printed mechanical hand for his 12-year-old son. Luke’s parents contacted the e-NABLE community that was making the 3D prostheses and met a wonderful group of people who taught them how to 3D-print hands for Luke and other kids who needed mechanical hands.

Cam is four years old. He was born with fused digits on each of his limbs. Cam had multiple surgeries and skin grafts to give him more use of his limbs, but still did not have full use of his right hand. Then he received a 3D printed hand from two South Carolina sixth graders. With the e-NABLE 3D printed hand, Cam can grasp simple objects and grip things like bike handlebars and baseball bats. He is now helping to assemble e-NABLE hands for other children with hand differences like his own.

Enabling the Future Website Different Heroes Website
A laughing young boy squats, holding his right, 3D printed hand to his chest and holding an e-Nable necklace with his left hand.

Photo credit: Sarah Haight