ENABLE Alliance

The ENABLE Alliance and APBLS (Alliance for Project Based Learning Solutions) is a 501c3 non-profit, dedicated to supporting the global e-NABLE Community of volunteers, schools, scout troops, FIRST Robotics teams and e-NABLE chapters worldwide who are using 3D printing technology to create positive change in the world!

ABPLS is dedicated to supporting underserved communities, with a focus on empowering women and other minorities by helping them develop valuable skills and gain access to new technologies that will help them realize their full potential.


• EMPOWERMENT: To impart knowledge, inspire individuals to enhance their education and careers and support strategic problem-solving.

• COMMUNITY: To share ideas, help each other develop skills, promote teamwork and foster collaborative networking and innovation.

• MENTORSHIP: To provide outreach support, help others to develop knowledge and skills and offer peer coaching and recognitions of individual and organizational impact.

NEWS BELOW: Plan to join in ENABLECON 2018 this October by sharing news about your summer activities. Get involved now!



SAVE THE DATE: ENABLECON 2018 will be held at the University of Maryland College Park during Columbus Day Weekend October 5-6, 2018.

Join us in research and activities now, and presenting a poster, panel, presentation or workshop, please email your idea and plan for activity in the months leading up to the conference to enablealliance.apbls@gmail.com.

The ENABLECON 2018 schedule bookends the e-NABLE Conference with additional events:

Wednesday, October 3

  • Board training and volunteer leadership development training in the evening.

Thursday, October 4 and Friday, October 5

  • Web conferences with classrooms and volunteers unable to attend in person.
  • Skills workshops with Ed Choi, Christian Silva and others.
  • Discussion Groups
  • Case Review
  • Presentations
  • Site Visits/Tours
    • Local Motors, 3 D printing, scanning and CAD facilities at the National Harbor. Local Motors 3D prints cars and large shuttles like the Accessible Oli. It also distributing interactive, accessible shuttle stops around the country. Test these out and share what you learn about their customer service stations during the conference.
    • University of Maryland College Park printing labs for bioprinting, microprinting, and projects with the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Friday Evening, October 5: ENABLECON 2018 Science Fair Friday, 5 pm – 8:30 pm

  • Evening Science Fair with interactive presentations and exhibits
  • Opening of the e-NABLE Gallery of art, images, video, model devices, and e-NABLE Community timeline
  • Opening of poster sessions, featuring the points of view from
    • chapters, schools, clinics, makerspaces, e-NABLE workgroups
    • recipients, citizen scientists, clinicians and research teams

Saturday, October 6: ENABLECON 2018: “The State of the Science, Technology and Our Community”

  • 8 am – 2 pm  Vendors displays, Community Exhibits, Posters, Gallery open.
  • 8:45 am  Group Photo and Role Call
  • 9 am – 12:30 pm  Opening and keynote addresses, live streamed and recorded
  • 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm  Working lunches
  • 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm  Workshops, device reviews, discussion groups led by Ed Choi, Christian Silva, Jeremy Simon and others
  • Break for dinner, workgroups, judging for awards.
  • 7 pm – 9 pm Awards and Recognitions, and Costume Party

Sunday, October 7: Workgroups’ ENABLECON Summary and Community Planning Session

  • 8 am Birds of a Feather Meetup
  • 8:45 am Final repairs, fittings
  • 9:30 am – 12 pm Review of e-NABLE Community 2 year plan



There are several events coming up that can bring us together and move our whole community forward.

Help with the e-NABLE Printer Project: 

  • Download and print the Printer Torture Test on your 3D printer.
  • Email your contact information, images and video of the results, identify the make and model of your printer, the material you printed, software slicer used, and the environmental conditions during printing to enablealliance.info@gmail.com.
  • Email results of attempts to print devices or other e-NABLE files, letting us know a little about who the print was for, and the device file you were trying to print- where you got it, how you customized it, the software used to do the CAD and slicing. If it failed, how far along into the print did the failure occur? If it succeeded, did you have to do any tweaking? Were you able to assemble and gift the device?
  • We will share an anonymized version of the data for the community to analyze to look for patterns and highlight areas for further development of a design, printable files or instructions.

If you are interested in printing a hand kit for others to assemble, please email enablealliance.info@gmail.com.

Camp e-NABLE will be held July 22-27 at the University of Maryland College Park. Children 8-12 with upper limb differences will customize and make their own e-NABLE device during a fun STEAM summer camp. This is a day camp for parents and children with upper limb differences to team up with medical and additive manufacturing engineers. Families and staff who don’t live in the area can arrange to have a dorm suite for the week and obtain campus cards for meals and access to the pool and other campus facilities. A huge thank you to the Whovian Running Club, who raised the funds needed to make this possible!  For more information or inquire about registering as staff or participants, please email enablealliance.apbls@gmail.com.

e-NABLE Summer Workshops will be held at summer camps, libraries, makerspaces and youth programs coast to coast. These groups have been matched with volunteers willing to print kits for them to assemble. During their assembly meetings, other e-NABLE volunteers teamed up with them will join them on-line to show youth how their kits were made, how the hands were designed, how they will be checked, and how they will be given the hands away to people who need them. Groups will be guided by preassembled models and printed instructions. A huge thank you to employee teams at Microsoft and student groups at University of Maryland, University of Illinois, FIRST Teams Rolling Thunder and Froggy Force, and the Hollow Hills Community Library for helping to make models and kits.

e-NABLE Nepal and volunteers from e-NABLE Canada and e-NABLE Western NY will set up a printing lab in Nepal. Experts on the trip include OTs and electrical engineers. Volunteers will test hardware and rehearse set up with the remote participation of e-NABLE volunteers who will support the lab after the lab installation, training sessions, and first activities testing devices, materials and fitting and gifting to recipients. Thank you to the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Living Classroom and the Economics and Engineering class for analyzing and testing 3D printers, 3D scanners, flesh-toned gloves, and classroom filament manufacturing technology as preparation for this mission trip.

Planning is underway for follow up visits with partners in Haiti and Nigeria. Congratulations to  e-NABLE volunteers who successfully completed mission trips in late spring!

  • Engineer Steve Owens just returned from a clinic in northeastern Haiti, meeting with medical staff to  evaluate e-NABLE devices and 3D printed medical equipment using files suggested by eNABLE volunteers in Africa. During discussions with the medical staff, local NGOs and government, Steve helped scout sites that can support a 3D printing lab and identified pathways for safely shipping and storing filament and other materials. Steve and his team also dug a well and set up a bottle purification station on the clinic property to give the area a secure source for clean water. Great work everyone!
  • Ed Choi, founder of e-NABLE Sierra Leone repaired printers and worked with other e-NABLE volunteers to set up 3 printers at an innovation lab in Nigeria. The volunteers brought devices that were reviewed and tested by a young boy from a displaced persons camp in the region who needed a prosthetic. Of all the devices tried on, the Unlimited arm and Kwawu hand fit best. Volunteers were inspired by the boy they helped, and enthusiasm at a grand launch attended by the Nigerian Vice President and other officials. A follow up visit this year will include training of volunteers and creation of a local chapter partnered with medical volunteers and artists Choi identified during his stay. This post will be updated with a link to a one-hour debrief.
  • These projects will have their own fundraising pages on our site, updated by media contacts for the projects.

Lastly, please support the projects of the other e-NABLE Chapters in the family.

e-NABLE Germany, which has made prosthetics for people and animals, asks for votes for funding of app development for supporting and matching makers to projects. They are shortlisted for Google funds in Europe. Please review their appeal for votesView their chapter’s Facebook Page.

Please review the call for financial support in the donations area of this site for the volunteers of eNABLE Aden, Yemen.

Consider supporting the Enable Alliance using the donations programs accepting cars and other vehicles, designating us at Amazon Smile or your local United Way giving campaign for projects in your area.