West African Inventor Makes a $100 3D Printer From E-Waste

by , 10/12/13

3d printer, 3d printing, Kodjo Afate Gnikou, Togo, $100 3d printer, e-cycling, recycling, recycled 3d printer, e-waste, africa, computers

Kodjo Afate Gnikou, a resourceful inventor from Togo in West Africa, has made a $100 3D printer which he constructed from parts he scrounged from broken scanners, computers, printers and other e-waste. The fully functional DIY printer cost a fraction of those currently on the market, and saves environmentally damaging waste from reaching landfill sites.

3d printer, 3d printing, Kodjo Afate Gnikou, Togo, $100 3d printer, e-cycling, recycling, recycled 3d printer, e-waste, africa, computers

Discarded electronic equipment is one of the world’s fastest-growing sources of waste, as consumers frequently replace “old” models that become more obsolete each year. However instead of letting e-waste sit them on the scrap pile or head to the landfill, Kodjo Afate Gnikou decided to utilize spare parts in order to create a cheap, DIY 3D printer.

Gnikou is part of WoeLab, a hackerspace in the city of Lomé, and has big plans for his recycling project. According to his crowd funding page, he is working with FacLab-France in the WAFATE to Mars project, which aims to make machines from recycled e-waste to prepare for missions on Mars. Systems like the 3D printer could become a crucial part of missions on the Red Planet should they ever go ahead.

Gnikou’s 3D printer was mostly made from materials he obtained from a junk yard in Lomé, though he did have to buy a few parts. The entire system cost about $100 which is a bargain considering current models on the market can cost thousands of dollars.

According to his fundraising page, Gnikou aims that with his project, he will “put technology into needy hands and give Africa the opportunity to not only be a spectator but to play the first role in a more virtuous industrial revolution.”

To support Gnikou’s project, click here.

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Via Popsci

Images: Ulule

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  1. Ian Savage December 8, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    how is the positioning done with this..?

  2. Design Individuals June 21, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Such actions must be promoted… Bravo!

  3. Naren Piedrahita May 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    this is a call for inventors and innovators which promotes the social integration and explores global ecological movements:


  4. Serge Vantalon April 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    félicitations Sir !

  5. Dodji Bonaventure April 22, 2014 at 11:02 am

    you can see the machine work here:


  6. raja March 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Bill Gates, have you watched ?

  7. johnezo January 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    The massive amount of the world’s resources are in Africa, and this just proves that given the opportunity it’s people should be benefiting directly from them. Imagine what Gnikou could be doing with the right support. Great stuff, just love the innovation.

  8. edfdgfgfdgfdgfdgfdg November 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    this is nothing in terms of price, there are far better 300$ ones on printerbot.com right now, and there constantly getting cheaper

  9. Nick Thompson October 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Wyatt, why does it matter that he ie offering it as a reward for $600 when it cost $100? How much do you think your new car or new house coats to make? That $5 sub? The $4 coffee? Why is he not allowed to make a profit off his time, but other people can? I bet if you look at how many hours was spent building this, the time it took to scrounge up the parts and test, isn’t much of a profit.

  10. Wyatt Sanders October 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Can anyone find any videos of this thing working?
    It also says he made it for $100, but they were offering it as a reward on their crowdfunding page for $600.

  11. kimholleman October 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm


  12. Alessandro Nascimento October 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    wow give that man a great job now!

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