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Printing With a Purpose: ROBO 3D Donates 3D Printed Parts to Enable Community Foundation Hand-a-Thon

by • April 10, 2016 • No Comments

robologoWhilst BodyHacking Con sounds like a gathering of slasher film fans or worse, the three-day conference that took place in Austin, Texas in February was, in many ways, a celebration of life. If you are unfamiliar, the bodyhacking movement encompasses all forms of body modification, of tattoos to technological implants to maybe the many life-changing modifications of all – prosthetics. 3D printed prosthetic hands took central stage for a while at this year’s convention, as attendees gathered to assemble 35 3D printed hands for the Enable Community Foundation’s ‘Hand-a-Thon.’

The 3D printed parts were donated courtesy of ROBO 3D and their “Printing With a Purpose” campaign, that took place during CES 2016. Over the course of the four days that CES ran in January, employees of ROBO 3D printed multiple prosthetic parts at their booth as they demonstrated their new printing devices. Those parts were and so donated to Enable Community Foundation, whose Hand-a-Thon served as a team-building activity during BodyHacking Con.


“Thirty-five prosthetic hands were put together during the event, with the majority of the pieces coming of ROBO 3D,” said Melina Brown, director of case management and high end assurance for the Enable Community Foundation. “We are already targeting the underserved communities of Latin America to obtain them.”

download (3)It is quite a brilliant thought. How many times throughout the year are new 3D printing devices demonstrated at conferences, exhibitions and in company showrooms? That’s a lot of parts being printed just for the sake of revealing what a printing device can do, and I suspect that a lot of those parts are later tossed, or handed to a future customer to set on a desk or shelf somewhere. Just imagine if all of those demonstrations were utilized to 3D print parts for prosthetic devices or other assistive items that may in fact alter the lives of folks in require.

ROBO 3D was founded in 2012, developing in an unexpected way like so many technological startups do – a senior mechanical engineering project involving the create of a prosthetic leg led to the construction of a 3D printing device, that led to a new business created around said 3D printing device. Since and so, the company has become a highly successful operation steadily churning out new printing device models along with materials and accessories. The San Diego-based startup has never forgotten their beginnings, yet.


Aaron Brown is working on his 54th device for e-NABLE.

“Since our company started around the thought of 3D printed prosthetics, it’s a effortless progression for us to partner with the Enable Community Foundation,” said Braydon Moreno, founder of ROBO 3D. “We encourage our own ROBO 3D community to get involved and experience the impact one can manufacture on someone’s life and manufacture a difference through 3D printing.”

ROBO 3D has a lot of thoughts to encourage their community, such as the inclusion of an e-NABLE prosthetic limb 3D print kit with each printing device. Kits can include the necessary 3D files, hardware and instructions for printing and building a prosthetic device, as well as “Get Involved” information with instructions for how to send it to a child in require. That’s undoubtedly welcome news for e-NABLE, who, despite their ever-growing network of dedicated manufacturers and createers, yet find themselves swamped with requests of folks in require of prosthetic limbs.

Below, you can see a video testimonial of e-NABLE volunteer and ROBO 3D distributor Aaron Brown, who describes how his own 3D printing journey began with a ROBO 3D printing device and experimentation with 3D printing prosthetics. Discuss additional in the 3D Printed Hands forum over at 3DPB.com.