The potential of converting plastic waste to 3D printed products in Sub-Saharan Africa


Additive manufacturing (3D printing) can transform low-income societies with underdeveloped infrastructure and inadequate manufacturing capabilities. However, uptake in sub-Saharan Africa is still very low. This study adopted a transdisciplinary approach which included critical synthesis of the extant literature, laboratory experiment and a cross sectional engagement with stakeholders, to examine the potential of converting plastic waste to 3D printed products in sub-Saharan Africa. The study showed that while several extruders have been developed in the last decade, there are still many challenges some of which include difficulty to produce filaments with consistent diameter, degraded mechanical properties and health hazards from emissions during extrusion. Furthermore, it was observed that communities across sub-Saharan Africa are interested in 3D printing but do not have sufficient understanding. The study highlights the need for building local capacity to develop, operate and maintain technologies associated with 3D printing.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Engineering and Technology > Mechanical, Biomedical & Design
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: Funding Information: The project is supported by the UKRI GCRF under Grants EP/T0238721 and EP/T029846/1 and the Royal Academy of Engineering through the Frontiers of Engineering for Development ( FoESFt5\100014 ). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( nc-nd/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: 3D printing,Additive manufacturing,Distributed manufacturing,Recycling,SDGs,Waste management,Waste Management and Disposal,Economics and Econometrics
Publication ISSN: 2667-3789
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.sci ... 667378923000019 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-05
Published Online Date: 2023-01-02
Accepted Date: 2023-01-01
Authors: Oyinlola, Muyiwa
Okoya, Silifat Abimbola
Whitehead, Timothy (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8751-1484)
Evans, Mark
Lowe, Anne Sera

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