Togolese inventor makes the cheapest 3D printer from scraps


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.

Togo.  The W.AFATE printer is inspired by the Prusa Mendel which is one of the models had been put together at the WoeLab-Lomé during the Archicamp 2012, thanks to a kit brought from France. Very spontaneously, Afate identified the problem posed by the availability of a kit in the realization of this project and initiated the process of manufacturing an empowering machine easy to reproduce, 100% based on recycling and other materials available anywhere. W.AFATE, the name of the printer, is a composition of “W” WoeLab, and “Afate” the name of the inventor.wafate_1_jpg_640x860_q85

Please have a look at the Euronews-report on the young inventor and his ambitions:

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. In the video he shows the printing of a small round container.

Being supposed to provide solutions adapted to African conditions and realities, it’s an initiative, part of the HighLowTech ethic provided by the WoeLab, meant to equip the various social strata with proximity technology and they also provide the ability to create their own machines with a very detailed and simplified documentation.


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