3D Printers for Special Needs Makers

Provide 3D Printing tools for speical needs makers in wheelchairs
Sarah Boisvert
Boston, Massachusetts
United States
1 Team Member

Thanks everyone for your support!

Mike Norton and his Mom are putting other campaigns' fulfillment to shame!  Here they are at the Post Office already shipping out Wheelchair People Pins to lucky backers! Go Mike!

Hope you'll get yours next!


We've raised enough to get started! YEAH!  Next funds to come in will go towards a scanner for Mike Norton and to get Cameron Naramore's project launched.  

Cameron is a wheelchair-bound maker in Colorado using 3D Printing.  He's especially interested in creating a head motion-controlled robotic arm that would use 3D Printing to make the brackets and fixtures to mount a portable system onto a wheelchair.  This robotic arm would really help people like Cameron navigate the world, but it could also be used at a workbench by non-handicapped makers as a 3rd arm.

While there's some work being done elsewhere on thought-controlled systems, Cameron wants to make something that is a lot faster to operate and easier to learn and control.  He needs these tools to create the head motion controlled prototype of his dreams:

  • Emotiv EPOC Development Edition - $500
  • Robotic arm with 5 degrees of freedom and 10 inch median reach -  $600
  • Software development - $1000 to get started 

We're on our way to giving these awesome Makers the tools they need for these cool projects! Below are the details on the entire project.  Thanks again for your support!

The FabLab Hub Team


Last fall, FabLab Hub co-chaired a big Digital Fabrication conference in Portland, Maine and one of the most gratifying moments was when Mike Norton wheeled into the registration area to attend the one-day event.

After the conference Mike's Mom, Suzan, sent us a note saying:

When I first read the article in the newspaper about the conference, I knew I had to bring my son. He is wheelchair bound and he is an incredible artist who uses Adobe CS programs and is currently a student in the Communications and New Media Program at Southern Maine Community College. With the use of one finger, he does all his work. We have been reading about 3D printing and we know it is cutting edge technology. So I knew that he had to attend.

I must tell you that we felt like we had just attended a World Fair. We felt like we witnessed something so magnificent, like the invention of telecommunications, electricity and the internet. We particularly were interested in hearing what the manufacturers had to say as well as hear about their applications.

My son was fascinated and afterwards we networked with people...I left with more questions. I am involved in the medical field not by choice, but because I have a son with Muscular Dystrophy who uses a lot of equipment. He uses ventilators and cough assist machines (alone those cost $17,000)  I asked myself what lies in the future of these magnificent machines and what applications will they serve? 

The opening of the conference in the auditorium with the Keynote speakers from the MIT FabLab and 3D Systems Corporation was fabulous. The power point history of what is going on with FabLabs and 3d technology , left us in awe.  It is a fascinating time to be alive. Thank you for a wonderful experience.

Regards, Suzan Norton

FabLab Hub has also worked with Cameron Naramore who writes for 3DPrinter.net.  Cameron is wheelchair-bound and has been trying to use 3D Printing to make robotic arms.  And then there is the inspiring story of Raul Krauthausen, shown below, who 3D Printed portable ramps for his wheelchair.  Raul is just one example of how Digital Fabrication represents the Democratization of Manufacturing, giving opportunity to everyone.

So, we just knew we had to help get 3D Printers, supplies, scanners, and other tools to these awesome makers!  That's where you come in!

What We Need & What You Get

Here's what we're going to do...

FabLab Hub will raise funds to buy as much as we can in printers, suppliers, 3D Scanners and other tools for these inspiring makers.  We have local FabLabs that can serve as facilitators and provide space where needed.

Our first goal is to get Mike Norton in Maine, who we mentioned above, a Desktop 3D Printer and some material.  We'd also supply training, and if we raise enough funds, perhaps a 3D Scanner.  How sophisticated a machine we can purchase will be dependent upon how much we raise.  We're thinking at a minimum it will cost us $3,000 to outfit Mike properly, train him, and give him enough material to be able to print for 6 months.

Then we'd like to use the balance of the funds to help Cameron Naramore with his robotic arm R&D project.  Other makers are also in the wings!

Any amount we raise can get these special makers started, but the higher the amount, the more people we can help!

Special Rewards

While all our rewards are great, we wanted to talk a little bit about these special rewards.

Mike Norton WheelChair People Buttons




Whether the Angel, Weed Smoker, Wedding Couple, Wounded Warrior, Warrior King, or other fun image, you're sure to find 2 Buttons right for your message!

$25 REWARD:  eBook

Ever felt like getting into 3D Printing is too complicated to understand?  We know how you feel.  Although we've worked in Digital Fabrication since 1986, we do a lot of workshops and have seen how intimidating some of the work, especially CAD, can be to anyone new to 3D Printing.  But no more! Anybody off the street can jump into 3D Printing with some simple projects, and then refine skills as you progress.

Here's the Table of Contents of the 150 page eBook:

·  What exactly is 3D Printing?

·  What’s hype and what’s real?

·  How do I get started?

·  How much should it cost to get started?

·  What’s the difference in consumer 3D Printers?

·  How do I get designs for my printer?

·  Do I have to learn CAD?  What are some simple CAD programs?

·  Isn’t the simplest route to scan an object?

·  What are some basic, practical applications?

·  How are other people like me using 3D Printing?

·  What’s in the future of 3D Printing?

All our rewards are great and we hope you enjoy them!
THANKS for taking the time to read our story!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 54 people in 25 days
101% funded
No time left
$5,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 4, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Website Listing

    Get a special thank you on the FabLab Hub website and a Twitter shout out to our almost 50,000 followers!

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $10USD
    Wheelchair People Buttons

    2 Wheelchair People buttons created by Mike Norton Choose from any 2 designs shown in the main text to the left

    8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $25USD
    3D Printing eBook

    Writen by experts from FabLab Hub, the "How to Get Started in 3D Printing" eBook gives newbies all the inside info you need to get started in 3D Printing

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $50USD
    3D Printed WheelChair People

    Get your favorite Wheelchair People character as a 3D Print! Approximately 4 - 6" tall depending upon design.

    1 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $99USD
    FabLab Hub Workshop

    1-day 3D Printing, hands-on workshops in Portland, Boston, Baltimore, Asheville, Fort Myers and San Jose. Dates TBD

    3 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $250USD
    Laser Engraved Nameplate

    Get a name of your choice laser engraved by Potomac Photonics of Baltimore MD on a special name plate for 3D Printers donated to each maker. 10 for each printer

    0 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $500USD
    10 hours Consulting

    Get expert advice via phone, Skype, email or online chat from one of our FabLab Hub Digital Fabricaiton gurus!

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Cube3 Printer

    Next generation 3D Printer the Cube3 is great for beginners and experts alike who want a rugged, reliable desktop machine

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
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