: Blog Post


3D printed digital microscope

Waterscope is an organization that created a digital microscope designed for the detection microorganisms and other pollutants in water. For the purpose of empowering the bottom billion to secure clean water. There are billions of people that lack clean safe drinking water and death occurring because of waterborne diseases. Due the fact that water testing equipment are expensive and hard to use this results to lack information and no treatment for the water. Therefore Waterscope aim to create an easy and cheap way to test water.

Waterscope microscopes are a 3D printed Open Flexure microscopes. Using an innovative and inexpensive 3D printed microscope which is either by using a USB cable or raspberry Pi. Thanks to its flexure- based design, its motion is free from friction and vibration and achieves sub-micron precision and range of 8mm. due to the fact that this is a digital microscope whereby the image can be view on a computer monitor or phone when connected by a USB cable or the images from the camera can be processed by a raspberry Pi and transmitted wireless to a smartphone, tablet or PC. This technology is helpful in ways that testing is very easy with less experience needed to operate the microscope. Pictures can be viewed, saved and sent to anyone anywhere for further preview or analysis. Using 3D printer to create this microscope has made it significantly smaller, lighter and cheaper than today’s microscopes and testing kits.

The Waterscope microscope was specifically made to test water but found that it can be implemented in more fields of testing. Malaria is one of the biggest problems, constantly being testing so there is the need to acquire fast, cheap and easy means of testing it. Due to the fact that in most villages and urban areas there is the lack of microscopes and experts for accurate diagnosis brings the need of having means of dealing with this.


Ups and Downs of 3D Printing in Africa

There are benefits and obstacles of using 3D printing in TANZANIA(AFRICA) as addressed in the following reasons;


Limited markets, with less product choice comparatively to the global north, particularly in more rural areas, drives the desire for customization. It is more difficult to source the part you may need or it may be necessary to adapt products to the use case. 3D printing enables mass customization.

Supply issues, importing products from abroad and/or transporting them through the country incurs large costs and can often take months. Comparative to the delivery ability of ‘amazon prime’ in Europe and USA, there is significant potential in being able to eliminate the supply chain.

Adaptation to the environment, the majority of products that are designed, are designed for the environment in which they are originally designed. 3D printing enables designs to be easily adapted for the local environment. An example is Beehives made in the US are designed for bees in the US. African bees are about half the size of those in US and hence the queen bee cups need to be half the size of those mass produced in the US

Bottom-up manufacturing, There is a large funding gap for low scale innovations. The majority of startups are unable to get capital investment to invest in larger scale manufacturing processes. 3D printing allows for very low scale manufacturing to start a business. Example PrinPo, a startup producing 3D printed visual teaching aids has been able to manufacture products instantly given access to 3D printers.

Culture of reuse and recycling, There is a culture for fixing, re-using and recycling old parts. This culture is lacking in the global north where consumers tend to throw away and purchase new. 3D printers are a great resource for fixing broken appliances. Example STICLab fixed a food blender that had broken of one of their friends with a simple 3D printed part.


Design skills lacking amongst the general population, The National Curriculum incorporates ‘Aesthetics’ which consists of fine arts, theatre art, physical education and music. These are all optional subjects for schools to teach. http://www.tie.go.tz/docs/CURRICULUM%20FOR%20SECONDARY%20EDUCATION.pdf

Additionally, schools don’t have the resources (computers/programs), teachers or facilities to teach design. At the University level CAD skills are taught amongst engineering students.

Slow to adopt new technology, Tanzanian households and industries have been slow to adopt new technologies in the past compared to their neighboring nations. http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/TZ-fails-to-gain-from-digital-wealth/-/1840340/3048062/-/jolwup/-/index.html. Only about 22% of companies with more than 5 employees used the internet in their operations in Tanzania compared to 73% in Kenya. http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/TZ-fails-to-gain-from-digital-wealth/-/1840340/3048062/-/jolwup/-/index.html, http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2016

Importing filament is expensive, shipping and import costs are high in Tanzania. Filament is expensive globally which becomes more limiting if the purchasing power of the general population is comparatively low. Example, A roll of filament purchased in Tanzania costs 80,000 TSH ($36.53) per kg comparative to $20/kg in the Uk.

In conclusion of the advantages and disadvantages above I believe that if we change the systems by encouraging, motivating and incorporating the technology of 3D in Africa a lot more then we can make a big difference in terms of promoting design skills, more rapid adaptation to technology and cheaper prices of filament and printers.


Today’s buyers demand mass customization, local production and sustainable materials, all of which 3D printing can provide.

Now let us look at 3D printing in the education system.

It lets us solve more problems physically than just mentally. Revolutionizing the way of learning. Incorporating the imaginative ideas into reality. Let’s us not just think of something and guess it will work but create something then see how it will work.

“Now I believe when I see but not when I imagine”. Things are accomplished when done and seen but not when just said and heard”

What is PRINPO technologies?

PRINPO technologies is a company that deals with 3D printing technology in terms of incorporating it within the education system. Using 3D printed modals, 3D printers and 3D designing.

What is the problem?

In Tanzania (Africa), the lack of teaching aids within learning institutes cause inadequate understanding for students. Students find it very hard to understand the technical and physical concept of the materials being taught.

What is our solution?

Incorporating 3D designing and printing within schools and any other learning institution.

Advantages that 3D printing provides are endless.

Increase student’s performance, Increase/ promote understanding to students, Involving students with practical learning, Enhancement of student to teacher relationship by promoting engagement while teaching and learning, Rapid prototyping of the teaching aids.

Why should schools use 3D printers?

According to the technology of 3d printers, students can touch and hold objects which can help tactile learners. 3D printers can bring students creation to life which can be a powerful learning experience and printing out prototypes can help students refine their designs and better understand the creation process.

Due to the fact that this technology is fairly new to Africa therefore it is a challenge integrating and incorporating it within the education system. With more awareness and usage of this technology I believe that soon or later on in the future it will be widely used in Africa and will be extremely beneficial.

so i say let me and  you start a trend,let’s use 3D printing more and educate them.


Makers movement with 3D Printing

An important current trend is the Makers Movement. When applied to healthcare, patients can hack their illnesses with simple modifications and brainstorming. Patients are making a difference by driving solutions in their own care, on an individual case-by-case basis.

A cornerstone of the Makers Movement is 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, one of the most disruptive technologies across every industry and economy in the world. Its applications in healthcare are tremendous and game-changing specifically when used in places of insufficient medical supply. Widespread access to and knowledge about 3D printing is going to take the patient makers movement to a whole new level.

The explosive growth of 3D printing means that you can personalize and individualize literally every single thing in your life to your exact specifications — color, design, size. This is a huge difference from making one-size-fits-all. Anything that goes on or in the body will be printed to fit you 100 percent. Just about anything that was previously made of plastic or metal can now easily be printed in 3D.

3D printing would be able to furnish hospital with on-demand supplies and equipment. In areas with unstable supply lines or in remote locations, 3D printing will mean the difference between being able to access some supplies, or having nothing at all. For example,In Tanzania, a makers workshop Sticlab has managed to 3D print a microscope that is cost effective and reliable to inidividuals of all calibers. The microscope could be used in rural places where access to daily medical deliveries is a huge issue. It’s difficult to get enough medical supplies to places like Mzaganza and 3D printing provided an immediate solution, with accurate results.

Widespread access to and knowledge about 3D printing is going to take the patient Maker Movement to a whole new level. It is expected to see rapid progress, now that patients suddenly have easy access to new tools to create solutions that can make a major impact, especially in daily routines.

Traditional medicine isn’t deeply personalized, but the Maker Movement is making it possible for patients to individualize their treatments, share their work and ideas in communities, collaborate together and innovate further.

Health and 3D printing hackathon has been organized to take place in Tanzania on 14th February 2017 at Buni Hub with one core purpose. TO drive more people and raise awareness on the use of 3D printing in saving lives.

3D printing in Africa,3D printing at home.

Why idealize when we can materialize, having all at our finger tips. Imagining and creating beyond our expectation, not having to depend and wait for everything to be made for us. Making the dormant ideas become activated and switched to reality.

All great things started small, with a push of looking for ways to make Africa to be more innovative and creative. 3D printing can revolutionize and change the perception of our lives. 3D printing can push the limits of personalizing the needs at hand by creating resourceful tools and aids.

Might not make such a drastic change today but I believe there is a great future with 3D printing in Africa. 3D printing is offering various opportunities in medicine, education, agriculture, architecture and some much more. Taking the chance to work together in order to persuade the change of incorporating 3D printing in the system.

As we move into the future, 3D printing will start to become a common term in the technology industry. It is clearly a challenging problem, and it’s likely that it won’t succeed without all the significant contributions that have to be made during a period of time. I am looking forward for the future with this technology and playing my part to make a change. Let’s us all play our parts, lets us all work together because I know we will have more fun at it like that.