3D printing is changing our world in many ways. Some people make toys and trinkets while others, like us here at Print your Mind, help solve problems on a global scale. 3D printing prosthetic limbs and donating them to those in need is one such initiative. My name is Colin Pischke and I am the owner of Print Your Mind. I am very excited to announce that we have teamed up with a one-of-a-kind education initiative, correctly termed “INNOVATE” that allows students to create their own self-directed project to work towards solutions to global and local issues while earning high school credits. INNOVATE is coordinated by Alberta Emerald Award winning teacher, Aaron Dublenko, who was recently awarded “Canada’s Greenest School” for supporting student-led environmental initiatives within the program.
As part of his program, Aaron finds industry partners to help with his environmental/sustainability and humanitarian projects. That’s why we decided to reach out to Aaron and the Innovate program, to get students involved in the project. “The students can apply their learning in a real world context and touch the lives of others in the process. When we have an authentic experience like this, it doesn’t end with printing the hands and giving it to someone, it only begins there because now we get to start to imagine what is possible and how we can make the world a better place for many. Our actions have a profound impact on someone’s life. We take education for granted because we don’t understand all of the ways it effects us until we help to create the world we want to see around us.” says Aaron.
We jumped at the opportunity to partner on a project to provide a number of prosthetic hands to the e-NABLE foundation. e-NABLE is a global non-profit organization built with the purpose to “enable the future” by providing 3D printed prosthetics to children in developing countries who don’t have access to such luxuries. e-NABLE made the files available for free online to download for anyone with a 3D printer to create. When you make something as life changing as this, two lives are impacted. The student or person actually making the prosthetic, and the child who receives it. We believe this is something much larger than just a project you put on display on your desk.
We have been speaking with the students remotely and over the telephone to mentor them through the process of printing and assembling the hands. With one hand already complete in Calgary, we plan to create another five by the end of January. Once the hands are finished, they will be shipped to the e-NABLE headquarters in the US and reviewed for quality. Once approved, the team will be matched with individuals in 3rd world countries to make custom fit 3D printed prosthetics for children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to these.
We need support from others in the community to ensure this project has the greatest impact possible. There are a number of ways to support this initiative. We will donate $1 from every order we receive from December 15th - January 30th to e-NABLE. Also, If you want to get involved by printing components, donating materials or your time, or even financial donations please follow the link below.