Here’s a selection from Heartfelt E-nabling The Future Conference Wrap-Up from the e-NABLE Family:
Over the past few weeks we got to witness some amazing things. In just a little over a week, people from all over the world came together to donate their printer time and plastic to create over 200 complete hand kits in various sizes to then ship off to Johns Hopkins for our first ever e-NABLE conference – so we could teach families and medical professionals how to create them. Seeing hundreds of colorful hand kits laid out across the tables was incredible. To those that participated and printed these kits for us – we can not thank you enough. We could not have done this without you.
It has been a few days since I witnessed dozens of families, hundreds of medical professionals and numerous volunteers – sitting together to create 3D printed hands…hands that are being printed all over the world and donated to those in need. It still doesn’t feel real. I got to meet some of the beautiful people that have up until this weekend, only been little heads in boxes on my screen that I talk to every day and have grown to love as a family.
I sat in an auditorium full of over 400 people – all wanting to learn how to assemble these hands and make a difference in someone’s life. It was incredible.
I can not really describe the intense emotion that is burning in my chest and it feels like my heart has grown too large to fit inside of my own little body. I witnessed some of the most beautiful moments I have ever seen and knowing that I had some small part in this all – is honestly almost overwhelming.
- Watching a mother raise her fists to the sky and burst into tears when her son makes his new fingers move for the first time and hearing him exclaim “HAPPY!” – nearly brought me to my knees.
- Witnessing a young autistic child born with no fingers – go from hiding behind his parent’s legs to running around the room and laughing with his new “Best friends” after finally meeting other children just like him – was beautiful.
- A sobbing young mother wrapped her arms around me and thanked us for making it possible for her to give her child “the fingers she could not.” She has carried the guilt that she somehow did “Something wrong” while her sweet baby was within her womb – that caused him to be born without fingers.
- I watched numerous father’s with tears streaming down their cheeks as their children hugged them and thanked them for making them a new hand. I encountered dozens of families helping each other during the day and there were entire tables that consisted of 2-3 families all working together to each create a device for one another’s children.
Some parents approached me during the family workshop session – asking me who they could thank for gifting their child a new set of fingers and I had to remind them that THEY gifted these hands to them. THEY took the time to learn how to build them, spent the day making memories with their children and gave their child something they will never forget. I reminded them that now that they know how to make them – they can turn around and give that gift of “That moment” to another family….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!