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First African to Invent a 3D Printer from Scraps

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W.Afate 3D Printer

Africa is  making  huge impact in our quest to be self-reliant. With the likes of DreamOval , Sika, Soft Tribe, Andela, etc just to name a few paving the way, Africa is not waiting for the West to develop and manufacture everything we need.

3D - Printer Africa
Credit: blog.macsales

Afate Gnikou is a developer from Togo, West Africa and he developed Africa’s first 3D printer out of electronic trash he picks up for the local Tech dumpster in Lome. When asked what his motivation was he said

we were inspired to make a printer nearer to our reality,  using materials all around us. 

Thousands of electronic  waste are dumped in Africa each year and Afate with the help of his community based Tech group used this as an advantage to build his 3D printer.  He stress on the fact that even though the e-waste causes pollution  in Africa,  he will use this project as a platform  to raise awareness.

He spent a total of 6 months and 100 euros to build his 3D printer.  On his laptop,  Afate designs the object he wants to print after that it he leave the printer to work.

Afate’s 3-D printer, called the W.Afate (The W is for Woelab), is a home-brewed replica of the Prusal Mendel, a popular printer in the United States and Europe.

His 3D printer integrates leftover parts gathered from old computers, printers, and scanners. A few new parts such as motors had to be purchased, but the vast majority of the 3-D printer was built using repurposed local materials. Much of the W.Afate’s core is based around reused rails and belts from old scanners.

The next step for the W.Afate is participation in NASA‘s International Space Apps Challenge, a competition for technology designed to get mankind to Mars.

Afate’s entry is part of a mixed Togolese-French team that is offering proof-of-concept proposals for developing custom-fabricated mechanical equipment parts. In his proposal, Afate writes

that his printer model can allow 3-D printers to be created in any environment using already-existing equipment, and thatrather than send its computing waste to the poor countries, why the West would not send them on Mars?

Tech Habor congratulates Kodjo Afate Gnikou for making Africa proud

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