Free 3D printed hands for people in need

$150,200 raised
GOAL $7,000
1172 donations
since Feb 2017

We dream of a world where everyone has equal access to devices that will improve their quality of life. We design, make and provide these devices free of charge - because that is the way that it should be.

We use 3D printing techniques to manufacture custom devices at just a fraction of the cost. We see this technology as having the potential to revolutionise the prosthetic industry, eliminating the lead-time and costs of associated with traditional manufacturing techniques.

Through collaboration with industry, prosthetists, OTs, orthopaedic surgeons, biomedical engineers, universities, hand therapists, progressive bionic developers, makers, amputee and limb difference support groups, we strive to create a unified effort to advance prosthetic and bionic technology to better serve our global community. Nobody should go without.

All of our designs are released to the public under open-source licenses, so that they belong to the people. We decentralise our designs to empower communities and encourage others to develop our ideas further for the benefit of all mankind.


I would like to thank you all so much for your support to help me sustain my volunteer activities making free assistive devices for people around the world.
We have some very exciting news to share with you. In the last few weeks, Free 3D Hands has become a registered charity in Australia, with DGR (deductible gift recipient) status which means that all future donations over $2 are tax deductible. This is a huge milestone for us, thanks to tireless pro-bono support from Norman Waterhouse Lawyers in Adelaide. We hope that we will be able to expand in a significant way through the amazing volunteer support base here on Phillip Island. We have moved into a large factory in the industrial estate in Cowes, where we have a dedicated 3D printing room with eighteen 3D printers, a volunteer run Just-In-Time assembly line and a collaborative R&D lab where we are getting some incredible support from Melbourne University Biomedical Engineering students to help us develop our low-cost bionic arm that we plan to make freely available later in the year. Last year, Westpac awarded me a Social Change Fellowship to travel around the world to visit the most progressive bionic arm developers, orthopaedic surgeons and prosthetic companies to share ideas, build networks and allow me to expand my vision. This trip included meeting a team in the USA that developed a $120 million dollar arm. But to me, we need to make these devices accessible to ALL people around the world not just a select few, and the trip has put a fire in my belly to make this happen. We are now developing a multi-function bionic arm that we are hoping will be equivalent to a $100,000 bionic arm, for $50 to $100 in parts so that we can provide them for free. It is a very exciting time, and we are so grateful for all of your support to help us make this dream a reality. I had a $7,000 crowdfunding target initially to buy a 3D scanner and larger 3D printer, with only a small vision to make hands for one person at a time. But you have given me the courage to aim for the stars, and I hope that I don’t let you down. Our vision is equal access for all.
None of this would have been possible without your kind and generous support. In our new factory, we have created a “Wall of Gratitude” with your name on it. The last 19 months working as an unemployed volunteer has been quite trying, living off the redundancy payment that I received from Toyota in 2017. But it has been your encouragement and support that has given me the confidence to persevere and make this dream a reality.
I have also received some encouragement to soldier on through being named the 2018 VIC Local Hero recipient in the Australian of the Year Awards, as well as recently receiving a Commonwealth Points of Light Award from the Queen. I never set out to receive any sort of acclaim or reward for my volunteer work, but what it did is give me affirmation that we are heading in the right direction.
All of the remaining crowdfunding money has been transferred into the new charity bank account for Free 3D Hands Ltd, and we will be ending all crowdfunding from this time onward. I am still not drawing a wage from the charity until we get some larger corporate or government support in the future, but I am sure that I will be able to do so one day to put food on the table. One day, I would also love to be able to employ some smart people to work with us to accelerate our activities exponentially. The reason I am still not drawing a wage is to ensure that the remaining crowdfunds go towards making hands, not paying me a wage.
If you would like to support us again in the future, you can make a tax deductible donation in the following ways;
You can also make your tax deductible donation securely by direct deposit:
Account name: FREE 3D HANDS LTD
BSB: 033-265
Account number: 288493
Note: If you require a tax deductible receipt, please email us the deposit details/reference number to with your contact details so that we can issue you with a receipt.

Or by cheque made out to Free 3D Hands Ltd
Post to:
Free 3D Hands Ltd
P.O Box 434
Cowes VIC 3922, Australia.
You can also make a tax deductible donation via our secure form on our charity website via credit card or PayPal at
You can also follow our progress on Facebook and Instagram. (See links on our website,
For those who are able to attend, Free 3D Hands welcomes you to attend the Official Opening of our new factory on Phillip Island on May 31st. This milestone event is an opportunity for us to thank all of the support that we have received to make this dream a reality. Booking are essential for half hourly factory tours between 3PM and 7PM, so please follow the link at to reserve your tour. We hope that you can join us on the day.
We also open our doors to the public every Tuesday from 1-4PM at our factory located at 26 The Concourse, Cowes 3922 Victoria.
Once again, thank you so much for your kind and generous support. You have given me a renewed sense of faith in humanity that as a society we share a common vision to improve the lives of others. I am forever grateful for your support, and I will continue to make the biggest impact that I can. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We couldn’t have done it without you, and thank you for believing in me.

Warmest Regards,
Mat Bowtell
Free 3D Hands Ltd.
Address: Factory 5, 26 The Concourse, Cowes 3922 Victoria, Australia.
Free 3D Hands Ltd is endorsed as a deductible gift recipient under Subdivision 30-BA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Donations of $2.00 or more are Tax Deductible. ABN: 69 632 562 291
If you would like to follow my work and see how your generous donation is contributing, please visit I will post regular updates of my activities on this page, and please let me know if you don't have Facebook but would like email updates sent to you.
Once again, thank you so much for your generous support and encouragement. Love, Mat.
$150,200 raised
GOAL $7,000
1172 donations
since Feb 2017
Fundraising for
Free 3D Hands
Free 3D Hands is an Australian based charity that designs, manufactures and provides assistive devices to anyone with upper limb differences- for free. All of our designs are released to the public under open-source licenses to encourage further innovation in this field.

About fundraiser
Mat Bowtell

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