Togolese inventor, Afate Gnikou has developed a method to create a 3D printer made from scrap computer parts. What makes Gnikou’s idea all the more incredible is his vision to put his printers to work 55 million kilometres (34 million miles) away on Mars!
The printer he calls W. Afate was inspired after Gnikou became concerned by the thousands of tonnes of rubbish being dumped by America and Europe in the Agbogloshie e-Waste site in nearby Accra, Ghana. Gnikou hopes to relieve the impact on local people and the environment caused by dumping such large amounts of waste by transforming it into useful 3d printing machines which would in turn be used for cheaper automated developments on our extra-terrestrial neighbour, Mars.
Gnikou’s idea has been well received by scientific communities. It has won the first prize local award in NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge and has exceeded funding targets via Europe’s first crowd funding site Ulele.
As well as reducing the amount of waste filling up landfill sites, or releasing harmful toxins through burning and contributing to advancements in space exploration, Gnikou has another objective. He wants to make 3d printing available to those in parts of the world where the technology is less accessible. By providing communities with simple instructions on how to create hi-tech machines from waste materials he hopes to achieve this goal.
You can learn more about 3d printing and Wafate via the links below