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Thursday, 10 October 2013

African inventor makes 3-D printer from scrap

I have been following African tech development for years. Many in the West will be unaware that in many areas they are way in advance.

In Nairobi hundreds of buses have Wi-Fi - unlike in New York or London. Africans have been able to use mobile phones to make payments and transfer money for years.

The  open source project Ushahidi, which allows users to crowdsource crisis information and began during the disastrous 2007 Kenyan elections, is now used worldwide.

So it does not surprise me that an African has done this:
Kodjo Afate Gnikou has imagination, talent and ambition. 
Using rails and belts from old scanners, the case of a discarded desktop computer and even bits of a diskette drive, he has created what is believed to be the first 3D printer made from e-waste. 
It has taken him several months to put together his experimental device. Lifting designs off a computer, the 3D printer produces physical objects. He shows us by “printing” a small round container. 
And it doesn’t stop there – the 33-year old says he believes this model is only the prototype for something much larger. His aim is to one day transport e-waste to Mars to create homes for mankind. 
“My dream is to give young people hope and to show that Africa, too, has its place on the global market when it comes to technology. We are able to create things. Why is Africa always lagging behind when it comes to technology?”, he asks. 
Some elements had to be bought new but, in all, his printer cost him 100 US dollars to build. 
Gnikou says his printer can also be useful on a daily basis as it can print various utensils needed in any household, that are not always easy to get hold of.
More: African Inventor Makes 3D Printer From Scrap. Video of Kodjo after the jump.

NB: If you're interested in following African tech development I recommend Eric Hersman.

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