Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life

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Today we helped give a boy a hand

How do you describe what it feels like when you helped create a prosthetic hand for a 11 year old boy who is missing his hand?

We went to Gettys middle school in Easley to meet with the parents and half a dozen 6th grade students to present a hand to David.

David was so excited and wanted to use his hand.   It’s hard to describe just what that was like.   Bob helped him get it better fitted for his hand, he flexed it a few times to make a fist and Bob did some adjustments.   David wanted to be able to pick up a bottle of water, which he did, and then he went to look for the tennis ball that was in the classroom so he could practice catching the ball.   Still need to work on that. Seeing him and the students who made his hand play together was so touching.

Both parents were there and I can’t imagine what that was like for them.  Also the community supporters that purchased the 3D printer for the school were there as well as some other media folks.

Lots more to tell you  and pictures will come in a few days but I had to get this wonderful experience a little out of my brain so wanted to share with my friends.

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Update on hands we are helping schools make for kids that need hands

I haven’t mentioned much lately about the prosthetic hand project we are working on but wanted to let you know there is still plenty going on.

Before I get to our activities, quite a few of you have asked me how you can support this project. Enabling the Future is a non profit.   Last year they provided 1000 hands to kids around the world for free.   Volunteers paid for the hands out of their own pocket, which is what we have been doing too.  If you would like to donate money to support this organization in 30 countries around the world here is the link for donations.  The money won’t come directly to us but it will help fund this important work.

In the last few weeks:

We toured WYNIT distributors of 3D printers and made some excellent contacts with people who want to help us.  Coolest thing was a printer that printed color objects with regular paper.   Mind blowing.  Not in our price range.

We were at a science fair for a small local private elementary school.  We had lots of people at our table although some were so tiny they couldn’t look over the table.  We had as many people at our table as all the other tables did so definitely a success.

We were at the Furman table with the hand and printer at the huge Greenville iMAGINE STEAM science fair with 14,000 people attending.   That was a lot of fun.  Made a couple great contacts.  This was a huge important event for us to be included in.  Thank you Furman and Upstate STEM Collaborative.

We had two training sessions for new volunteers.   One to talk to them about 3D printing and e-NABLE and one to actually have them assemble hands that one of our supporters at GE printed for us.  I would say we got about half a dozen good volunteers interested.

We had and all day “show and tell” display at OLLI building with lots and lots of curious people to look at the printer and the hand.  Hundreds stopped by on the busy Tuesday at OLLI.

Yesterday we were at the quarterly meeting of the Upstate STEM Collaborative and presented the projects we have been working on to educators and the business community.  Excellent networking event for everyone.   Made an important connection with Roper Mountain Science Museum.

And now the best part

Tomorrow afternoon we meet with students in Easley who printed a hand for an 11 year old from Easley and we will all present the hand to him.

And next Friday we go to another school where a family is flying in from New York with their 2 year old and will speak and present a hand to him.

If someone had told me I would be spending my retirement time with 3D printing and elementary and middle school kids and involved in STEAM education I would have said they were crazy.   Just goes to show if you pay attention and reach out there are some incredible things that can happen.

Big Hand - 2 feet

Big Hand – 2 feet

Getty_hands 014


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New friends and helpers

Bob is very excited that he found a young man, grandson of one of our neighbors, to help him with yard work this spring.   We have 10 yards of wood chips to put down, shed to paint and some other clean up tasks. Jeremy is a good worker and makes Bob’s life so much easier.

I assumed we would spend “life part two” with folks like us, over 65 and retired and that is partly true.   Little did I know we would also be making new friends in the “maker” world that are 12 and up – in middle school, young adults, energetic entrepreneurs.  Add in teachers and lots of people with Dr. in their name title as well as new people in the business world.   All because of the 3D printer and the e-NABLE hands.   Really quite remarkable.

We have been able to enjoy some nice spring days but the pollen count is starting to go up and I expect in a week we will be covered in the yellow pollen that is such a mess.   Oh well, I will still choose that over freezing temperatures and snow and ice.

Here are most of the members of our Steam tech TeamSteam Tech Team

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Fay and Bobs new look!

We continue to be very active in working with middle school students to tell them about printing hands with a 3D printer to give to kids who need a hand.   Check out   This international organization is only a couple years old, is in 30 countries with over 4000 volunteers.   Last year they made 700 hands.   Our volunteer group has a name – S.T.E.A.M Tech Teams and a website and we now have business cards.   We are looking for more volunteers since the Upstate is quite a large area.

Furman University outreach area asked us to be at their tent next Saturday for the iMAGINE Technology Expo in downtown Greenville so we are really excited and honored to be there.

Here are Fay and Bob in their new outfits from eNABLe holding a couple hands made at Gettys Middle School in Pickens.


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Kids and Technology

Bob and I had the great pleasure of hosting the IT2PI group at our house on Sunday.  IT2PI is a local non profit. “iT2Pi provides free technology and soft-skill training for Greenville’s youth seven to seventeen years old. Through project-based learning modules, with the guidance of peer leaders and adult mentors, participants are able to progress from information technology to programming inventors. iT2Pi’s goal is to increase social mobility by educating youth in the community, especially those in under-served communities, and increasing access to technology.”

They are a very talented and fun group of young people.

They were not only interested in our technology like the 3D printer but also very interested in the woodworking shop.   Bob and I and three of our friends from our e-NABLING the Future group showed them our “toys”.   Keven Ven Deusen from Computer Source in Inman came in with 5 different 3D printers and other gadgets.   What a find he was.  I showed them the workshop and how to make and assemble a pen, that was a big hit.   Bob showed off the quad copters and the new raspberryPI 2.  It was hard to get the kids away from both these things.   Our friend Reid had printed some fun educational toys for them to try.   We had about 10 kids and four parents.  It was really  a wonderful afternoon.   Most of them stayed from 1 – 4.   Kevin brought a “BIG” hand he had printed, about 2 feet long.   That was pretty cool.

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Middle School Students making hands at Getty School in Easley

Bob, Reid and I went over yesterday afternoon to help the after school group at Getty School in Easley put together the two hands their teacher had printed on their two 3D printers.  There were about a dozen very excited mostly 6 graders there.   What we didn’t expect was the Principal, representative from the group that donated the printers, two tv stations, the assistant principal who is missing an arm and another young man who is missing an arm as well as the publicity person from the Pickens School District!   While Bob and Reid worked with the kids I met with all the other people.   A very exciting afternoon to say the least.   Here is a link to another TV story

I haven’t found the second story yet.  Maybe they are doing it today?   Our neighbors are calling us to send good wishes and we just got another request for a fourth middle school to be trained.   We will probably meet with the original other two schools ASAP.   This is so fun and rewarding.

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3D Printing hands and used in schools

I haven’t posted for awhile because much of what we are up too is on facebook but this is too long for face book.

Bob and his friends have been busy working on 3D printed hands and he was on tv again yesterday.   Check out .

They had a couple tough acts to follow.  Ali Henderson from Gaffney , a beautiful young singer who is on American Idol this year and after that they had a two month old German Shephard and collie mix puppie!

Big things are happening after the article in the Travelers Rest online newspaper and the Fox TV story a couple weeks ago.   If you missed that one here is the link .

Since that we have been involved with three middle schools in Pickens, Greenville and Spartanburg counties to teach them how to use their 3D printers to print hands and build a curriculum around the printing of the hands.   Pretty exciting stuff and moving extremely fast.   Bob is thrilled that he can work on some other brands of printers.   It is so wonderful to see how excited the schools are.  Their group of 4 people who have been meeting at our house is growing with three more people added on and they are learning how to build hands and hopefully go out to the schools when they are at that point.  We sure didn’t see this coming!  

The international group http://enablingthe , which is only about a year old, now has over 3000 volunteers, has built over 700 hands and is on five continents.  Can’t wait to see where this organization goes.   Every day there are so many interesting stories coming in.   Yesterday was a story about how someone in Columbia, SA built a hand for a young man specifically so he can play his guitar.  Check him out


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