When Ivan Owen posted a video of his homebuilt mechanical hand on Youtube in 2011, he never could have predicted how far it would reach.
A South African man who was missing fingers saw the video, contacted Ivan and they collaborated to develop a style of prosthesis that was cheap and customizable. Following this success, a mother of a boy born without fingers on his right hand contacted Ivan to make a full prosthetic hand.
This grew into the e-NABLE Community, founded by R.I.T.'s Jon Schull, which provides downloadable plans online for affordable 3-D Printed Mechanical Prosthetics that anyone can try building on their own.
Today e-NABLE has grown to include over 1500 designers and engineers, successfully provided mechanical hands to over 400 recipients--and that’s just the beginning. “With a grassroots dynamic global organization you never really know what’s going to happen and that’s exciting” says Owen.
Ivan Owen is a propmaker and self-taught engineer who lives in Bellingham, WA and assists with teaching 3D printing and mechanical design at the University of Washington Bothell campus.