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.
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.