Heroes in a HalfShed

People buy sheds for all sorts of reasons, for storage, an extra “room” in the garden, a dedicated workspace for their hobby or craft activities.  Your shed can be a she-shed, a man-cave, a quiet place to escape and enjoy some “me-time” or somewhere to tinker with your new invention.  We’ve come across what is probably one of the most unusual sheds on the planet – it’s a workshop that creates helping hands for Team Unlimbited.  Team Unlimbited is the brain child of Stephen Davies and Drew Murray – Stephen was born without a hand and, despairing of the prosthetic hands available to him from the NHS he dedicated himself to creating something better.

Stephen, a CAD (computer aided design) engineer teamed up with Drew, an IT consultant and member of the volunteer network, e-Nable that makes 3D prosthetics for children.  The two put their skills to good use and came up with a blueprint for a prosthetic hand that has proved popular with kids across the planet.

In a real “hands-on” process, the kids get to design their own hand, choosing the colour and patterns that best reflect their personalities and, you can see from the video below, that there’ no limit to their imaginations.   Demand is high and the walls of the shed are festooned with photos sent in by families from around the world of children with hands in a mind-boggling array of colour combinations.  Team Unlimbited is transforming the lives of kids around the world, making it easier for them to accomplish so many thing that we often take for granted – turning the pages in a book, playing ball, walking the dog and even playing the piano.

Thanks to the generosity of Stephen and Drew, the blueprint is open-sourced, which means that anybody with access to a 3D printer, some fishing line and a piece of Velcro can make a prosthetic hand that costs around £30 in materials to make and takes about 12 hours.  Stephen has even created several YouTube videos with helpful instructions on creating and using these hands.  The guys are swamped with requests and do all of the work free of charge, funding it themselves with the help of donations.