Ultimaker is in the process of sharing some of its case studies to demonstrate the potential for their desktop 3D printers and none could be more powerful than that of eight-year-old Luke Dennison and the e-NABLE prosthetic network. For 3DPI readers – and, increasingly, anyone who uses the Internet – there’s no need to explain that e-NABLE has galvanized 3D printer users the world over to 3D print custom prosthetics for those in need, often relying on Ultimaker, a prominent partner for the organization. It just so happens that Gregg Dennison has been printing prosthetics and parts for his son, Luke, born without the use of his left hand.
Luke, or Little Cool Hand Luke as his friends refer to him, developed symbrachydactyly, a congenital abnormality that resulted in Luke not having fingers on his left hand. Ultimaker tells us that, “Most children with symbrachydactyly have excellent function in daily activities but due to the length of their arm, do not qualify for most artificial limbs.” As a result, Gregg turned to e-NABLE, ultimately using an Ultimaker 2 3D printer to create five iterations of hands for Luke, each one with input from his son and fitting and working even better with each version.
Gregg says of the process, “I feel a strong sense of pride as a father that my wife and I are able to provide my son with a new hand. Through e-NABLE and our Ultimaker 2 3D printer we are able to come up with a new hand whenever he needs one. Luke loves being able to pick the colors of his hand and show new designs off to his friends at school. e-NABLE and Ultimaker have made it easy for me to give my son the life he deserves.”
Luke’s story is an inspirational one and is even more so in the video put together by Ultimaker and e-NABLE, embedded below. And, fortunately for those in need of prosthetic limbs the world over, the story’s not over. e-NABLE has recently been given a $600,000 grant from Google to push their initiative even further. And Ultimaker will continue help out in the process, with CEO Siert Wijna saying, “Ultimaker is honored to be a part of this ground breaking movement in medical technology. Our desktop 3D printers are the perfect tool for anyone to be able to print assistive hands at home with the help of e-NABLE. Ultimaker is also excited to see where the organization takes the possibilities of 3D printed assistive devices in the future.”