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3D printed aids: I lend a hand

3D printed aids: Io Do Una Mano (I Lend A Hand)

Let’s cast our minds back in time to a few years ago when it all began. Emanuele Micheli and Davide Canepa of Scuola di Robotica were in Paris to take part in the European presentation of Pepper at the international fair Innorobo.

It was there that they got to know the founder of E-nable France, Thierry Oquidam, with whom they established a relationship not only of collaboration on a working level but also of friendship.

Following this meeting, Thierry became, together with Scuola di Robotica, a partner in the European project “IoT in Education – We are the makers”, which aimed to introduce the concepts of 3D printing, Internet of Things and interactive objects in schools. E-nable France in this project taught all partners, students and teachers how to build and assemble 3D prostheses. Since then, Madlab 2.0 has been testing 3D printing aids with the support and advice of Thierry and Ghislain from E-nable France.

From that moment on, Madlab 2.0 began testing 3D printing aids with the support and invaluable advice of Thierry and Ghislain of E-nable France.

As a result of all this, important events and acquaintances began to occur in a cascade of ways, which in a short time led to the founding of the association Io Do Una Mano. The first meeting was in Modena with the Associazione Raggiungere Odv, in particular with its president Sandro Pupolin; then Elena Parodi of Madlab 2.0 was contacted by a large company that wanted to contribute to the project for the creation of 3D printed aids.

With the help of James Segre, who became the project manager, a team of engineers, technicians, educators and entrepreneurs was created, who shortly afterwards officially founded the association Io Do Una Mano, the official Italian chapter of E-nable, whose main objective is to help children with upper limb impairments and their families by making customised prostheses using 3D printing techniques and distributing them free of charge to those who request them.

Currently Io Do Una Mano, which has been active for about a year, has distributed about ten aids, designed, printed, assembled and delivered by the Io Do Una Mano operational team, which keeps in constant contact with the families.


As Elena Parodi said in her interview for Repubblica, which you can review at the following link: “Children choose their own customisations, we have made superheroes and princesses but also Pikachu and the Winx. These aids, however, have a fairly short life, because children grow, they change quickly, and so we modify them, both from the functional point of view, to adapt them to the changing body, and from the point of view of taste”.

This is why we are now delivering the second aid to the first child to whom we delivered an aid during the first lockdown.

Through the association’s website you can learn more about our mission and how we operate and contribute a donation. If you would like to monitor our deliveries, technical steps and the stories of all our children, you can go to our Facebook page.

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