Utilising plastic waste to create 3D-printed products in sub-Saharan Africa


Additive manufacturing, also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, has been recognised as a leading frontier technology which could support international development. Currently, the technology is at a “tipping point”, where it is becoming a feasible manufacturing technique and is considered to be the cornerstone of future decentralised manufacturing networks. This game-changing technology is expected to have a substantial impact in Africa as the cost of an entry-level printer has declined from $30,000 to $200 in the last two decades. In turn, this has empowered small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by lowering the barrier to manufacture since there are no tooling costs and one printer can produce specific parts for different applications at the same time. This chapter illustrates through case study examples how local plastic waste can be used in the creation of new, innovative, locally made products which meet specific local needs. It is fundamentally important to develop innovative solutions to the problem caused by plastic waste, especially in African countries which have poor infrastructure and inadequate waste management systems. It is critical that frontier technologies such as 3D printing are developed and their potential explored in Africa as they provide a method to leapfrog capital-intensive traditional manufacturing as well as an opportunity to create new businesses and support wealth generation.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003278443-8
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Engineering and Technology > Mechanical, Biomedical & Design
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Engineering for Health
Additional Information: This is an open access chapter licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/]. Funding: This work is supported by the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) under Grant EP/T0238721.
ISBN: 9781032244099, 9781003278443
Last Modified: 23 May 2024 07:32
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2023 11:56
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.tay ... mothy-whitehead (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Chapter
Published Date: 2023-05-31
Authors: Oyinlola, Muyiwa
Okoya, Silifat abimbola
Whitehead, Timothy (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8751-1484)

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record