As the e-NABLE Community has grown and spread throughout the world, we have not only gotten to see the impact that low cost, 3D printable assistive devices can make on those who are in need of a helper hand or arm, but we have also gotten to learn a lot more about different cultures and how people in areas, especially outside of the USA, prefer to blend in with their peers vs stand out when it comes to the bright color options of their new e-NABLE devices.
While children and adults in North America, South America, and Europe tend to lean toward having brightly colored and themed arms and hands that make them feel like superheroes and cyborgs and want to show the world how fun and bright their new 3D printed devices are, there are thousands of limb different individuals in Africa, India, the Middle East and Asia who live in a culture where they need and want to blend in instead of stand out.
Our amazing volunteers at 3D Universe spent a lot of time researching and sharing options with the global e-NABLE Community in hopes of being able to offer some skin tone colors that would appeal more to some of our recipients and I am excited to share that after a community vote, 3D Universe is now able to offer 4 different skin tone colors specifically offered for making e-NABLE hands and arms for those individuals in the more underserved areas in the world!
I asked Jeremy Simon, of 3D Universe to share a bit about the new materials:
Why did you choose those colors?
“We did a lot of research on skin tones throughout the world. We, humans, come in so many beautiful colors, but we had to pick four since that’s what our initial budget allowed for. We wanted to pick those that would match the broadest possible range of skin tones. We reviewed work like this and this. We also purchased the Pantone Skin Tone Guide.
We asked the e-NABLE community to vote on which colors they would prefer. Based on that voting and our own research and inquiries, we ended up selecting four skin tones ranging from a caucasian skin tone to a dark brown color. The names for these colors are Rose Tan, Light Brown, Medium Brown, and Dark Brown. Additional colors may be added in the future, depending on how these are received by the e-NABLE community.”
Why is PETG material better than PLA?
“PETG is easy to print, like PLA, and it can even be printed without a heated bed if necessary. However. PLA doesn’t hold up too well in certain climates. It has a fairly low-temperature resistance and will start to deform in higher temperature environments. PETG has a higher temperature resistance and increased strength compared to PLA. As a result, e-NABLE devices made from PETG should be more durable and should hold up better in hotter climates.”
thumbnail courtesy of enablingthefuture.org