Digital Designers and 3D Printers: GET INVOLVED

Thank you for your interest in helping us to “Enable The Future” and “Give A Helping Hand” to those who are in need of an upper limb assistive device! There are many opportunities to volunteer with the e-NABLE Community and you can find some of your options below!

If you would like to become a volunteer – please see some suggestions below for ways in which you can help out the growing global e-NABLE Community of volunteers and recipients!


Step 1: Familiarize yourself with e‑NABLE’s Code of Conduct

It’s important that you understand and follow some simple rules when working with e‑NABLE. This is to protect you, as well the people you make devices for (many of whom are minors). Please read e‑NABLE’s Code of Conduct carefully.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the current e‑NABLE designs available

Spend some time browsing the designs on We try to keep that site up-to-date with the latest designs available. Each design page includes a link for downloading the files for 3D printing.

If you’re unsure which design to start with, the Phoenix Reborn is the most useful device for device candidates in upcoming Enable Alliance projects. The underserved populations we will reach require the device to function while subjected to heat and humidity and rugged use. They will also need spare parts, particularly the pins for the wrist and tensioner pins and finger pins.

Step 3: Create an account on e‑NABLE Web Central

e‑NABLE Web Central is a web-based application used to connect individuals seeking to receive e‑NABLE devices with volunteers offering to make them. Visit e‑NABLE Web Central and create an account for yourself.

Be sure to select the “Fabricator” and/or “Device Assembler” roles during the registration process (or you can select them from the Edit Profile screen), or you won’t be able to see the volunteering related pages within e‑NABLE Web Central.

Consider volunteering in capacities that do not require 3D printer access or 3D printing and assembly skills. Volunteers are needed to help us check in regularly with chapters around the world – maintaining the chapters map and advocating for assistance. Translators, graphic artists, designers and instructors are all  needed.

Go to the Volunteering Home page and click on “Browse Available Cases” to see a list of device requests where you can offer to help. Find a case that is requesting a device type you know how to make (preferably in your region), then click on “Offer to Help” in the Case Details screen to get involved. Once the case creator accepts your offer, you can review their sizing photos and make a device recommendation (recommend a certain type and size of device based on their photos). Once that recommendation is accepted, you can start producing the device.

Step 4: Join e‑NABLE’s Google+ community 

e‑NABLE’s Google+ community is a good place to ask questions if you need further assistance.

Step 5: Join a local e‑NABLE chapter – or start a new one

A list of e‑NABLE chapters can be found here. Feel free to reach out to nearby chapters to see how you can get involved with them. You can also start a new chapter in your area.

Step 6: Learn how to properly size e‑NABLE devices

Before you start making devices for actual recipients, it’s important to learn how to properly size a device. Please watch the video tutorial series created by Peter Binkley, found here.

To follow this process, you’ll need to download a free copy of Blender, which can be found here.

You’ll also need to download Peter Binkley’s e‑NABLE Device Sizing Blender File, here.

Watch the videos carefully. Then watch them a second time, following along and pausing the videos as you follow each step of the process.

Step 7: Make a test device

Once you pick a design to start with, you should create a test device and submit it for approval. Since this device isn’t being created for a specific recipient, it can be made in any size, but we recommend that you use a scale of 135%. At 100% scale, the device will be too small for most people, and it will be harder to assemble at that size. 120-135% is a common size range for younger recipients, and it will be easier to assemble the device.

Most of the designs featured on include links to instructions and/or video tutorials to help you get started.

3D Universe offers assembly materials kits for some of the most popular e‑NABLE designs. Assembly materials can also be purchased individually from various online or local sources.

If you need assistance, please post to the enable Google + community. You are also invited to email images and recordings and text to [email protected]; the SUNY Poly Living Classroom and other chapters are organizing a help desk for the e-NABLE Community.

Step 8: Submit your test device for approval

Once you have 3D printed and assembled a test device, visit the e‑NABLE forums and submit a video of your device for approval. This post provides details of what you should submit, including a sample video.

Please send your device and contact information – especially email address – to the SUNY Poly Enable Living Classroom, where it will be checked, serviced as needed, and then sent directed to a candidate’s request, a project contact for distribution, a chapters kit, an outreach/event kit, or research.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute
College of Engineering
ATTN Robert Payne
100 Seymour Ave.
Utica, NY 13502

The new help desk chapter support team at [email protected] will be in touch with the chapter leader and by email with instructions and a code with your first digital recognition.

The leader will also receive instructions and training so that the chapter can begin issuing digital recognitions from their chapter, recognizing their members, sponsors, recipients and events staff and attendees. Use these badges and create your own to create a body of evidence showing your chapter’s impact. You will also give your members sharable recognitions that they can leverage when seeking educational, social and employment opportunities.

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