[Digital Business Africa] – Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah (22-year-old) is the winner of the 2020’s Special Prize of the President of the Republic in the digital sector. He won the first prize of the national competition for the best ICT project of the year held during the Cameroon ICT and Innovation Week with his e-Waste 3D printer project. The results were unveiled in Yaounde this 28th august 2020. In this interview with Digital Business Africa, he explains the objectives of his project.
Digital Business Africa: What is the short story behind the e-Waste 3D Printer initiative?
Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah: In manufacturing industries, 3D printing has caught the attention of manufacturing as the next industrial revolution. As an innovator who loves creating and trying new things, I wanted to try out something new by building a 3D printer. Not only that, I have never had access to 3D printers which is an important tool for me to work on my projects effectively as an engineering student. This solution helps students, manufacturers, hobbyists to quickly make parts for their projects.
Digital Business Africa: Why did you choose electronic waste to manufacture your 3D printer?
Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah: I choosed electronics waste because I saw useful parts in it that can be used to build amazing things, using electronic waste will make the 3D printer low cost, affordable, and because we want to reduce the disposal of electronic waste in the environment.
Digital Business Africa: What types of electronic waste are used to make your 3D printer?
Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah: The types of electronic waste used are motors, switches, and other mechanical parts gotten from old photocopiers, printers, and CPU’s.
Digital Business Africa: You said you can produce nose shields and protective masks with your 3D printer. What types of nose shields could you produce and what are your production capabilities?
Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah: The 3D printer can print head bands for faceshields and nose shields similar to cotton facemasks’ but with some extra features in it. With respect to the production capabilities, the prototype only demonstrates it’s possibility. But once we do a bigger version of the prototype, we can produce mass production of the face/nose shields.
Digital Business Africa: What kind of objects have you already printed with your prototype?
Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah: I have been able to print an spoon, a rectangular shaped stamp of Nervtek, and a bowl.
Digital Business Africa: How long did you take to build this prototype?
Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah: I started researching and working on the project in 2018 where I did the first prototype which could only draw 2D designs. After this step, I went on to further development the project into a 3D printer which I have now. It took me approximately four months to implement the e-Waste 3D Printer prototype.
Digital Business Africa: What do you need more for your project to be fully operational?
Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah: All research has been done already and what is left to fully develop the project is a well-designed structure of the printer, more sophisticated parts to make it more solid and robust.
Digital Business Africa: If you were given the opportunity to meet the President of the Republic, H. E. Paul Biya, what would you have said to him?
Nervis Tetsop Nzometiah: If I am given the opportunity to meet with the president, I will, first of all, thank him for giving me and other youths a platform to showcase our skills and finance to support us to further develop our solutions. Secondly, I will plead with him to open an incubation centre were projects like ours can startup and be well nurtured before moving to independence.
Interview by Digital Business Africa