W. Afate On Mars
W. Afate On Mars. Screenshot via YouTube

The circle of electronic life: useless printer scraps become a way to print scraps of other things! Resourceful 33-year-old inventor Kodjo Afate Gnikou, of the West African country Togo, has created a cheap, DIY 3-D printer out of electronic waste scavenged from junk yards.

Gnikou is part of WoeLab, a hackerspace in the city of Lomé, as well as a geographer and an occasional maintenance technician, according to a crowd funding page for his project. He gets most of his material from a junk yard in Lomé, though he did have to buy a few parts. All together, the printer ended up costing him about $100, a far cry from the hundreds or thousands of dollars you’d shell out to buy one. (Even the minimalist Printrbot Simple retails at $299.) He told euronews, “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.”

W. Afate On Mars
W. Afate On Mars Screenshot via YouTube

He and his printer system are part of this year’s NASA International Space Apps Challenge in Paris, proposing to use e-waste to make 3-D printers that would print tools to colonize Mars.