Make a 3D Printer By Reinventing E-Waste
A large part of the recycling process involves re-purposing. Besides keeping your electronics running for as long as possible, there are many creative things you can do with your old electronics. Some innovators have turned gutted out CRT monitors into fish tanks or cat beds, others have turned keyboards into jewelry or pencil holders. In 2013, Kodjo Afate Gnikou from Togo in West Africa got very creative and built the world’s first 3-D printer…out of electronic waste! He came up with the idea after assembling a 3D printer kit and noticed many complications with the process. His goal was to create a 3D printer that was inexpensive and easy to replicate. Gnikou’s printer only cost him about $100 to make, by reusing parts of old computers, printers, and scanners that he found in a scrap yard. Gnikou hopes that his invention will help make the world notice Africa as a contender in the tech market. “My dream is to give young people hope and to show that Africa, too, has its place on the global market when it comes to technology. We are able to create things.”
Ghana’s capital, Accra, has become one of the many dumping grounds of e-waste from the US and Europe. Hundreds of tons of discarded computers and industrial equipment are dumped each month, including usable spare parts and equipment.
Today, you can find many instructions online detailing how to make your own inexpensive 3D printer out of e-waste. Happy creating!
While it is fantastic to see someone like Gnikou make such great use of the e-waste, it still doesn’t tackle the source of the problem. GreenCitizen exists to make sure electronics don’t get dumped in landfills or sent overseas to places like West Africa.
For more information about keeping electronics out of landfills, give us a call at (650) 493-8700. We also welcome you to stop by our Burlingame EcoCenter where we offer convenient electronics recycling drop off and business pickup services.
James Kao is the founder/CEO of GreenCitizen, which provides products and services that help make every day Earth Day. He’s passionate about data and sustainability, with a deep background in launching, funding, and managing successful tech companies. James enjoys spending quality time with his family, hiking, traveling, watching well-made documentaries, and eating good healthy food. read more »