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West African WoeLab is Creating 3D Printers and Robots From E-Waste

by • May 1, 2016 • No Comments

In February, we reported on a one-of-a-kind 3D printing device that came out of the Buni Hub maker space, that is located in Tanzania, the coastal country in the eastern part of Africa. Members of the Tanzanian lab had joined together to turn it into Africa’s very initially 3D printing device of e-waste, utilizing discarded electronic parts to assist advance the innovation of the impoverished region. Now, that same progression is cultivating out in West Africa, as another lab of the hilly and palm-lined country of Togo has only revealed an e-waste-based 3D printing device of their own.

Back in 2012, Togolese architect Sénamé Agboginou founded the WoeLab, an organization focused on locally sourcing and creating sustainable innovation to assist promote urban renewal inside the nation of Togo. Resting right outside of Lomé University, the maker space serves as the initially incubator and fabrication lab in the country, hovia a number of startups, createers, and entrepreneurs inside its walls. One of the brightest participants of the WoeLab is 22-year-old Togo native Lalle Nadjagou, who is utilizing the resources of the space and e-waste of his country to turn it into a miniature 3D printing device.

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Nadjagou with his e-waste 3D printing device create

The community participants were initially inspired to undertake this project after buying and assembling a Prusa 3D printing device together, that is when Nadjagou came up with the thought to turn it into another 3D printing device via e-waste. After launching a crowdfunding campaign, and raising a total of over $4,000, the WoeLab team used e-waste components of computers, scanners, and other electronic devices to create the W.Afate 3D printing device. The printing device was named after WoeLab member Kodjo Afate Gnikou, who in addition turn it intod a 3D printing device created of e-waste back in 2013.

So far, the project has been displayed and awarded on a number of occasions, and is may already being used by local firm Africa Tracing, that is 3D printing plastic casing for its vehicle GPS innovation. More importantly, the WoeLab participants are aiming to cultivate an educational platform revolving around their e-waste printing device, and have launched an initiative to plant W.Afate 3D printing devices in schools throughout Lomé. In a country where of 60% of the inhabitants live in poverty, contributeing access to emerging and self-sustainable technologies is a viable way to improve their livelihood.

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The e-waste 3D printing device create

“We want to put a 3D printing device in every school and cyber cafe in this one kilometre area of Lomé,” Agboginou said. “We are working with 10 schools this year and teverying the young folks how to draw in 3D in school and after the thought is to put the 3D printing devices in every one of these schools… our objective is to put them in the hands of everyone.”

woesWoeLab locally sources their e-waste of all across Togo’s capital, particularly of one of their partnering groups, the Action Sociale pour Le Developpement Integral (ASDI) recycling centre. The ASDI is heavily stocked with discarded electronic components, most of that are being used by 11 startups inside the WoeLab. Aside of the miniature 3D printing device project being that is being headed by Nadjagou, other community participants and startups are working to create drones and jerry can computers out of e-waste materials as well.

WoeLab participants are in addition working on the Ifan project, that they describe as a “multifunctional agricultural robot” that is in addition created of recycled electronic components. The Lomé-based maker space is already searching for funding to assist jumpstart their educational initiative, and can go on to contribute workspace and hacking camps to local residents throughout the year. The WoeLab, like most active maker spaces in Africa, is centering a majority of their projects around e-waste, the thoughtl way to store emerging technologies inexpensive
, locally sourced, and in a say of constant development and improvement.

“E-waste right now is a material in Africa. We have to ponder what we can do to deal with it,” Agboginou said. “Maybe we can have a big economy based on the transformation of waste… perhaps e-waste can be the new gold.”

Do you see innovation like this bringing off in other places? Discuss in the Waste 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source/Images: Motherboard]