This might be the best thing to come out of 3D printing. First you’ve got Enabling the Future, an organization that utilizes this technology to create prosthetic fingers and hands for people in need. Then you have the creative, geeky types who have hacked Enable’s prosthetic hand model to create specialized, superhero-themed prosthetics for children whose hands aren’t fully developed. Two lucky little boys can now call themselves Wolverine and Iron Man.
The grinning kid in the photo above is the recipient of one of Enable’s prosthetic hands, which 3D printing enthusiast Andrew Brown hacked to turn it into Wolverine claws. (Even better is that the color scheme is classic X-Men, not the movies.) Though he tooled around with the blueprint for the Grand Rapids Maker Faire, Brown said that the project has inspired him to create more superhero hands for kids. (And parents needn’t worry—those claws are rounded plastic, attached by velcro.)
This same week, we heard about another Enable hand-hack, this time to make an Iron Man glove for Rayven “Bubba” Kahae, a 3-year-old from Hawaii who was born with one hand not fully formed due to ABS, or amniotic band syndrome.
Just look at Bubba’s face when he gets his new hand!
You want little kids to feel invincible, and to not be self-conscious about any disabilities. These Enable hands take kids’ self-confidence higher in leaps and bounds, and make them believe they too can be superheroes no matter how they’re born.
Photo: Enabling the Future