This African Inventor Created A $100 3-D Printer From E-Waste
Kodjo Afate Gnikou, an inventor working in a Togolese maker space, created a 3-D printer from discarded scanner parts that can be built for less than $100.
The small West African nation of Togo is one of the last places you’d expect to find a maker space—a workshop where inventors and tinkerers can work on new projects to their heart’s content. But inside the capital city of Lome, there’s a maker space. Woelab bills itself as “Africa’s first space for democratic technology” and it’s home to Kodjo Afate Gnikou. Afate’s latest invention was recently unveiled, and it’s amazing: A 3-D printer made from cheap discarded electronics of the kind found all over the world.
Using crowdfunding from Ulule (French-language link), Afate built a workable 3-D printer using less than $100 in parts. Ulule investors provided him with a modest $4,000 to develop the low-cost fabricator, and a functional prototype was completed. In his crowdfunding page, Afate compares the potential impact of 3-D printing on society to that of the steam engine in the 19th century.