Steps to Becoming an E-NABLE Maker




This Instructable will guide you through the process of becoming a Maker for the e-NABLE community.

It seems you want to go beyond just printing and assembling hands or arms for the fun and awesomeness of being able to do it, and now want to move on to something more meaningful: producing a prosthetic to deliver to a specific recipient. e-NABLE requires that you pass through a few "certification" steps to do that. So this Instructable will walk you, step by step, through the things e-NABLE wants you to do before becoming a certified Maker.

You can also find a link to this Instructable at my chapter's home page at (This is my unabashed promotion of our local chapter in Madison Wisconsin)! Check it out sometime.

Step 1: What You Will Need

In this Instructable we will be building the Unlimbited Phoenix Hand, to use as the test hand for validation by e-NABLE. This is the device suggested by e-NABLE as the first build.

You will need:

· A 3D printer, or access to one. It needs to have a print bed at least 6" by 6" to fit the largest part

· PLA filament that will work with your printer. Choose your colors to suit yourself.

· An assembly materials kit.

Choose the one for the Phoenix Hand:

If the assembly kit is too expensive for your needs right now, everything within the assembly kit can be purchased at a craft store and hardware store. I could list them all here, but has a great list. Start there to find what you need. What's missing from that list for your build of the Phoenix hand is rubber bands. You will need about a dozen very small rubber bands. Depending on the size of the hand, you may need to find orthodontic retainer rubber bands. Otherwise check at a craft store or office supply store.

Step 2: Introduce Yourself to the E-NABLE Community!

If you want to be an e-NABLE Maker, you should become part of the e-NABLE community.

The e-NABLE community is really just defined as all the members of the Google+ community.

You will need to have a Google account to apply to the Google+ e-NABLE community.

  • Log into your Google account.
  • Choose "Join Google+"
  • Search for e-NABLE community.
  • Within the e-NABLE community, on the left panel, find "Introductions". Click that.
  • Write a post to the community telling who you are, where you are from, and your plans for working with e-NABLE.

Step 3: Building Your Phoenix Hand for Validation

The most highly recommended hand to build as a test hand is the Unlimbited Phoenix Hand (, so we will stick with that hand for this Instructable.

A big advantage of using this device as your starting point is that within Thingiverse it can be customized, then the customized printable files already sized will be emailed directly to you! (In order to do this you will need to create a Thingiverse account, so do that first).

  1. When you are on the Unlimbited Phoenix Hand page in Thingiverse, to the right there is a button called "Open in Customizer". Click that button.
  2. You will see a 3D image of the palm appear. You can look at all the other parts as well, by using the drop-down box to preview each part.
  3. Next choose whether you want to make a left or right hand.
  4. The next choice is the Printing Scale (%). Slide that to be set at 125%.
  5. Now click the button on the top right that says Create Thing.
  6. You are presented with a dialog asking you to name your creation.
  7. Unclick the "Publish New Thing" and click on the "email me when it's done".
  8. Wait for the email to arrive from Thingiverse with an attached Zip file containing all the STL printable files already sized to 125%.
  9. Unzip the file somewhere accessible to your 3D printer. All the files will be in a subdirectory called 'files'.

Step 4: Submit Your E-NABLE Badge Request Form

Once you have created your hand, submit your e-NABLE Badge Request Form. These badges are used to certify that you have shown proficiency in producing your hand. The badges are used later in the process of e-NABLE making, for example, to verify that you can be a maker for recipients found through

  1. Open this link: Fill in your email and name, then below choose the radio button for e-NABLE Device Specific Badge. You might want to read through the descriptions of the categories first.
  2. The next page gives some criteria used to judge your submission. Read through that. After that is a list of all the available badges for devices. There are a bunch of them, but thankfully the Unlimbited Phoenix badges are right at the top. There's one for Fabrication and one for Assembly.
  3. At the bottom of the page, click the Next button.
  4. The next page gives a choice of Fabrication, Assembly, or both. Choose both since you both 3D printed the parts (fabrication) and assembled the hand. Then click on Next.
  5. Now it asks you to specify which device you fabricated and assembled. Choose Unlimbited Phoenix. Then you must fill in the rest of the required fields, which include info about printer settings, pictures of the hand from different angles, and optionally video of the hand being operated.
  6. At the bottom of that page, click Submit.

Once your submission has been reviewed and accepted, you will receive email feedback indicating your successful test hand submission. Congratulations!

Step 5: Congratulations! Thumbs Up! (get It? Look at the Picture!)

What, you really made it this far? I'm impressed!

I know you want to jump right onto finding a recipient through EnableWebCentral, but there are many other resources you should also check out. And really, all of them start at the home base, e-NABLING the Future! So go there to explore the whole world of e-NABLE. Read some of their feel-good stories to get you pumped up about building hands and arms.

I should point out that there are very few recipients listed on EnableWebCentral in the United States at this time. But you could also ask around your local schools to see if they have children who might benefit from an arm or hand.

If you can't find any recipients but still want to build hands that would go to a worthy cause, you can build hands and arms of a variety of left/right and sizes, and send them to a location where they will be distributed to hospitals, clinics and educational institutions for training purposes. If you choose to do that, you should package up the device and mail it to:

ATTN: Maria Esquela

1260 Stevens Avenue

Arbutus, MD 21227

Step 6: As You Make Other Devices, Claim More Badges!

In the last step you submitted your test hand for acceptance by applying for a badge at

If you looked through the other choices (the Phoenix hand was luckily right at the top of the page), you see that you can get many different badges for many different devices. For most all devices there are badges for fabrication and assembly, so you should snag both as you finish a hand.

On the first page of the "e-NABLE Badge Request Form" at, you see there are 5 different categories for badges. As a newly minted "e-NABLE Maker", you should collect badges you have earned. These are especially helpful in the EnableWebCentral app, which lists your accredited badges as you make offers to volunteer on cases for recipients.

For each badge, you need to provide certain proof that your device is worthy of a badge.

  • For Fabrication badges, the requirements are usually "Links to photos showing the 3D printed parts, with enough detail that the print quality can be clearly seen". It would be preferred if you take those photos before the device gets assembled.
  • For Assembly badges, the requirements are usually "Links to photos showing the assembled device from multiple angles".

Here are the steps to collect the Fabrication and/or Assembly badge for any of the devices:

  • From the request form link, fill in your email and full name. At the bottom of the page, select "e-NABLE Device Specific Badge". Then click Next.
  • The next pages lists all the possible badges for e-NABLE Devices. There are LOTS of them. At the bottom of the page just click Next.
  • The next page asks whether it's for Fabrication, Assembly or Both. Choose the right answer.
  • The next page lists all the devices, and asks which Fab/Assembly/Both are you applying for. Choose the right answer.
  • Further down the page are questions about what printer model, print settings, and links to other photo and (optionally) video evidence. Fill those in as described.
  • At the bottom of the page is the SUBMIT button. Click that to complete the badge request process.

Now you've earned some time to sit and relax. Your badge request will be reviewed by a team of community volunteers chosen to curate these requests. A key word here is "volunteers"! They can't work on your schedule, they have lives to attend to, so it could be multiple days before you get an email with your badge approval. Patience, please.

Step 7: Want to Find a Recipient to Work With? Use

The best way to find a recipient is to create an account on and browse through the existing cases on the world map. Each pin represents a case. Some cases need volunteers. You can offer to help on any of them. I recommend trying to find one close to your own location. I often need to travel 3 hours each way to meet with recipients.

You can get to EnableWebCentral starting with this link: Partway down that page is a tutorial video. Beyond that is a good description of the different roles, and how to navigate the app.

Step 8: Other Resources

There are a number of documents you should read before you actually deliver a device to a recipient. All of them can be found within the webpage

One is the Device Safety Guidelines. As soon as you engage with a recipient or his/her guardian, make certain they have a copy.

A second is the Code of Conduct. It has directives about where to meet, who must be present, and links to other documents. You must read this document before meeting a recipient.

A third is a release for e-NABLE (and you) to use/post/display media of your recipient. Get this signed before you deliver the prosthetic.

And a fourth document is the Release and Waiver of Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement. This is the legal-ese required to avoid lawsuits.



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    2 Discussions


    1 year ago

    really helpful instructable , we are also working on 3d printed prosthetics , that we want to build it for E-NABLE the Future community to help someone who needs it.
    Thank you:)


    1 year ago

    I've seen some awesome solutions from this community! I look forward to seeing more :)