Mark Roe ( Managing Director of Fusetec), along with his business partner John Budgen founded Fusetec in April 2017, the business had a somewhat unconventional beginning. “When I was introduced to advanced manufacturing, the theory behind Industry 4.0 was compelling. I could really see a future in it,” said Roe. Once back in Australia, Mark considered the three major manufacturing industries in South Australia: aerospace, defense, and medical. He quickly landed on medical. “By opting to work in the medical industry, we could develop our own IP, with global applications.” It was then that he started canvassing medical professionals and academia to pinpoint that all-elusive problem to solve. The three most commonly cited issues were a lack of cutting guides, medical implants, and patient-specific models. However, he was not keen to pursue a business model based on personalized manufacturing. Mark leads the management team and passionately drives our Research & Development team, collaborating with Universities, Medical professionals, and Government entities worldwide. Mark will be presenting at the upcoming Melbourne event. Here is our recent influencer interview with him.
Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?
Mark: Upon returning to Australia after 10 years of living on a fairly remote island in the South Pacific, a Stratasys salesperson shows me the company sales kit. I was blown away, how far the technology had evolved and was instantly addicted to the endless possibilities.
Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing?
Mark: Upon my return, I effectively became an entrepreneur looking for a problem to solve. It took me 12 months to identify a problem that I felt passionate about and could potentially have a meaningful impact on healthcare.
Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing?
Mark: My first influencer was Professor PJ Wormald, who commissioned Fusetec to develop fully operable sinus trainers, to replace cadavers at FESS Courses.
Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Mark: The quest to develop new knowledge which will translate into products utilized to upskill surgeons and saving lives.
Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work?
Mark: Breaking 1700 century habits of training on cadavers. Surgeons want a new solution, yet are reluctant to change.
Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing?
Mark: There are still many technical challenges, speed of output, materials limitations, cost of high-end equipment. But continued investment in research steadily minimises the technical hurdles.
Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?
Mark: Health, wealth and happiness.
I am working on the health sector which should deliver as a bi-product, some wealth which should sail me up to the door of happiness… Now back to work!
Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”?
Mark: Find something you are passionate about, that adds value to peoples lives. Surround yourself with experienced people who will mentor you.