3-D printing science equipment from e-waste and plastic bottles

We are excited to announce a newly formed collaboration with STIC and TechforTrade who have just established a 3D printing workshop and printing service in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Beside the fact that they are pioneering 3D printing in East Africa, one thing that makes this enterprise so special is that their 3D printers are locally built from e-waste, and use PET recycled from plastic bottles as the “ink”.

Building on TReND’s designs of 3D printable scientific lab equipment and our increasing efforts to introduce the possibilities of Open Source Hardware for local scientific empowerment, the collaboration opens up vast possibilities to bring Open Labware much closer to local researchers, while at the same time providing for an environmentally friendly and sustainable resource management. What’s not to like?

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Above: TReND and STIC/TechforTrade members during Neuroscience school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania displaying 3D printable lab equipment. Middle: Our latest 3-D printable design of lab equipment: The “FlyPi“- a 100 € fluorescence microscope and experimental rig for behavioural monitoring and opto-/thermo-genetic manipulation of genetically accessible model species. Commercial alternatives would cost several 1000s of €. Right: FlyPi in fluorescence mode.

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