3D printers have revolutionised the development of low cost prosthetics and one of the common projects undertaken by the 3D printer community is the e-NABLE project. This open-source project features a number of 3D printable designs and instructions for making your own prosthetic hand. The e-NABLE project also matches up users who require a prosthetic hand with makers who will make one for them.

This makes a perfect STEM project for teams of students, either to undertake in Design Technology lessons or in an extra-curricular STEM or Engineering club. It also provides a good starting point for students in further and higher education who are looking to develop their own prosthetic or bionics project.

Project Links

This project was developed by the Enabling The Future community.

Visit the project website to learn more about the project, how to get involved and download additional project resources.

Through the e-NABLE Educators Exchange you can also access a variety of different curriculum plans and classroom resources.

Incorporating 3D Printing

This project is only possible with the use of 3D printing as all the parts that make up the various e-NABLE hand and arm designs require 3D printing. The e-NABLE hands can be printed in PLA, ABS or Nylon and the following tips for successful prints have been provided by the project.

About Project Ideas

Project Ideas” are a series of ideas shared by the CREATE Education Project to provide inspiration and a starting point for students to develop their own projects that utilise 3D printing for prototyping and/or to enhance the final solution.

Many of the ideas shared would provide suitable starting points for students in Further or Higher Education who are undertaking their own personal projects, allowing them to adapt and extend the projects to develop new outcomes. Some of these projects could also be tackled in a similar way by high school students undertaking individual project work.

Alternatively suitable projects could be selected by teachers and assigned to teams of students in a project based learning approach. A series of editable templates and resources have been developed to support the project based learning approach. These include:

  • Project Planning Templates – A series of editable templates for course leaders or teachers to use when planning student projects.
  • Presentation Templates – A series of editable PowerPoint slides for course leaders or teachers to use for presenting project stages to groups of students.
  • Student Project Worksheets – A series of editable worksheets for individuals or groups of students to use for planning and documenting their projects.

These resources can be downloaded by clicking the links in the right column.