Young Scientists

Doing experimental science in Africa: how to? - 15. Questions: Make equipment with a 3D printer

The manufacturing processes are shared, you need a 3D printer to implement them.

Arouna Darga: "Thank you for these nice presentations that cover a very wide range. We start from how we can make these instruments up to how we can collaborate within Africa; get out of Africa, go get funds to build a laboratory; collaborate from your PhD while keeping scientific links and networks; and come back and build a laboratory from scratch!

These three presentations summarize the opportunities that exist. To put again an emphasis on training: when you look at all these technologies, you have them all in your hands, but you don't know that it can be useful for anything. So that clearly means that we must train young people! You need to train.

On the Internet there are informations but you need experienced people to lead you. The public authorities can decide. And yourself, decide and build networks! That is a summary of these discussions."

Question: "On the topic of technology hijacking: to you send only the proceduresor do you actually recycle equipment on a large scale? And where can we order this new centrifuge, for instance?"

François Piuzzi: "It's not on a large scale at the moment. There are only a few models that are made like that. The centrifuge based on a drone engine can be done easily: 3D printing; the engine is tied on; the electronics costs 5 euros; and it is assembled in one hour.

I left a few of them in different places at first. But now that the procedure is well adjusted, we prefer to let it to everyone. You need a 3D printer that works well: the printing for the centrifuge takes two to three hours. But it's not something difficult.

We could also think about making kits. But this requires an organization that we do not have yet. What we could do is ask several laboratories to print. For 3,000 euros you have a very good 3D printer called Ultimaker that can be put in any hand. There are laboratories where many people use it, so it means that it is strong."


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