May.13, 2013

Located in Lome, Capital of Togo, WoeLab is the first hackerpace in west Africa. A young Togolese maker at WoeLab wants to bring 3D printing technology to the land, to create a 3D printer "Made in Africa". He calls it W.AFATE, a composition of "W" WoeLab, and "Afate" the name of the inventor.

W.AFATE 3D printer is inspired by the Prusa Mendel. The Woelab-Lomé imported a Prusa Mendel kit from France and assembled it during the AchiCamp 2012. Afate identified a few issues in the assembly process and initiated this new project aiming to build a 3D printer which is easy to reproduce, using recycled materials.

The suburb of Agbogbloshie in Ghana's capital, Accra, has in recent years become a dumping ground for computers and electronic waste from Europe and the US. Hundreds of tons of e-waste end up there every month where they are broken apart, mostly by children, to salvage the copper, hard drives and other components that can be sold on.

The W.AFATE 3D printer will be built using parts from recycled e-waste, like old computers, printers and scanners. Afate hopes his project could be part of action to clean up the computer parts that dumps there in the entire neighborhoods, and also bring the technology to the area, within the reach of ordinary people.

Afate launches his project on ulule, an European crowdfunding site looking for support. His plan is to first collect all the parts from old scanner, photocopier, computers and tools such as hammer, hacksaw, drill, soldering iron, screwdriver, etc. Then they can start to make printing plate, frame, rails, extruders and afterwards mounting parts together.

The goal is to raise a funding of €3,500 to support the project, which will start in this summer. The team has completed the design and build of the mechanical parts, the next step is to build electronics and assembly and calibration of the machine. In addition they also want to provide a very detailed and yet simple to understand documentation. Check out their funding page here (in French only).

In end of April, the team's WAFATE to Mars project, a collaboration between the members of WoeLab-Togo and FacLab-France, won the NASA Space APP Challenge Paris. The global judging panel is reviewing the 133 nominated projects and final awards will be announced on May 22. Their WAFATE to Mars project is a system of relocation on another planet of the computing garbage dumps by converting them in a new generation of autonomous machines which would be put in the service of the spatial adventure.

We relocate the computing trash cans on Mars with an African 3D-Printer at the forefront of this interstellar recycling! _Our waste for the space exploration? Rather than send its computing waste to the poor countries, why the West would not send them on Mars? But one sends in the form of autonomous machines ! Our project wants to realize this utopia. The W.AFATE, an african 3D-printer completely built in e-waste, as pioneer of this new era of the ecology and the virtuous spatial conquest.


From recycling to Self Assembly. 4D Printing aspect. The W.AFATE will make and will print tools and machines which shall print and will make up to a new living environment over Mars. For a series of machines carrying this spatial great adventure witch will allow to make other active machines allowing to create all the equipment and the living environment in anticipation of a possible colonization of this planet. Create objects that can change after they are printed, making them self... Instead of building something, create materials that build themselves... Machines that produce themselves with minimum energy consumption and without a computer to order... only the environment.



Posted in 3D Printers



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david wrote at 1/27/2015 2:22:21 PM:

Here i have started a list of parts in wast electronics as i tear them down. please help me add to this list. I would also like to know if i would be able to use regular printer boards to control a 3d printer.what abought vcr motors just starting out.

al_maso wrote at 10/16/2013 4:51:47 AM:

How can I purchase one?

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