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An Interview with Jeremy Simon, e-NABLE
July 1, 2015
As we have noted in several of our blog postings, in addition to all the interesting things hobbyists can make with 3D printers, the technology has also made it possible to build tools and gadgets to help people. We originally came across e-NABLE back in December 2014 when we heard about their work creating 3D printed hands for children. Truly an example of 3D innovation and ingenuity, the company is primarily composed of volunteers giving freely of their time and talents for the greater good. Recently we had the chance to catch up with Mr. Jeremy Simon, who is a volunteer with the organization and also serves on the e-NABLE leadership team. The interview was conducted via email and the transcript is below.
1) When was e-NABLE founded and why?
2) Who are the key employees and their roles? Have any of them had 3D printing design experience prior to volunteering for e-NABLE?
Among the volunteers in the e-NABLE community, many of them do have prior 3D printing design experience, and they bring those skills to e-NABLE to help create new and improved designs, which are then shared freely with the community.
3) What type of printer(s) are you using to create your prosthetics?
4) Do you print anything in addition to hands currently? If not, are you thinking about expanding to other limbs in the near future?
5) Are the parts (with the exception of the string/line and screws) all built using a 3D printer?
6) Does your company serve both adults and children? How does someone in need contact you for a solution?
7) Can you talk a little bit about the design and printing process? How long does it take?
The design process varies greatly. Some designs take months to evolve, while others come together very quickly. When we created the Raptor Hand, I provided project management oversight for a team of about half a dozen skilled designers. As a result, that design came together very quickly, in about six weeks from start to finish.
8) An article from December on 3DPrint.com offered several statistics about how fast you have grown, the number of prosthetic hands created, and an increase in the number of designs. What do those numbers look like now, basically six months further down the road?
While several new designs have been introduced in recent months, R&D is an area we would like to see more focus on. Thanks to a recent $600,000 grant from Google.org, we hope to be able to expedite the creation of new and improved designs in the coming months.
9) Where do you all see 3D printing in this field and others going in the next 5-10 years?
10) What do you think schools and colleges/universities can do to foster student experimentation with 3D printing, design, and for students?