When Mat Bowtell was made redundant as part of the automotive industry closure in 2017, he decided to use his engineering skills to help others in need.
Mat decided to follow his passion becoming a full-time volunteer to design, manufacture and provide 3D printed hands and fingers to those who cannot afford or access them.
Rather than licence his designs for profit, Mat has made them freely available to download online so that anyone with access to a 3D printer can make them.
Mat’s designs have been downloaded more than 3,000 times, saving recipients around the world an estimated $18 million.
Mat was recognised as the 2018 Vic Local Hero recipient in the Australian of the Year Awards, and has recently been awarded the Commonwealth Points of Light recipient for Australia by Her Majesty The Queen.
As one of the 2018 Westpac Social Change Fellowship recipients, Mat visited prosthetic and bionic innovators around the globe to learn about emerging technologies, strengthen collaborations and networks as well as find a way to sustain and accelerate his volunteer activites.
He has recently formalised a charity called "Free 3D Hands", leasing a large factory on Phillip Island where he id now developing a multi-function bionic arm for under $100 in parts that will be provided to people around the world for free. Mat believes that as a society we have a fundamental responsibility to look after those less fortunate than ourselves.
Skills & Expertise
- Lean manufacturing
- 3D printing
- Problem solving
- Japanese interpreting and translation
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