By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Wisdom Monday Eyoh is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from University of Uyo. He specializes on mechatronics and robotics with an extentive knowledge of building several machines used for industries. Eyoh also have a talented and skilled teams in University of Uyo working alongside in building machines.
Wisdom Eyoh speaking on an exclusive interview with Obineme Ndubuisi Micheal, Oil and Gas Republic’s Correspondent. Eyoh said the 3D printer is an interesting innovation that creates physical prototypes from computer aided designs. The machine has been showcased at industry events and have gained a lot of recognition. But it started as a personal project, but,in the process a whole lot of people came to join the team. Right now, it is now a school project and it is designed at the University of Uyo with the aim of promoting local content development in Nigeria.
He said the project is part of a ‘Waste to Wealth Project’ initiated by the University of Uyo with the objective to turn waste materials in the environment into functional things that will be useful in industries. The machine have a long life span of five years but with proper maintenance it can last up to 15 years.
According to him, it is difficult to get a locally made 3D printer in Nigeria as the main challenge is getting the parts of the machine. He adds: “We did a lot of research in building the machine so that it can be used to get parts for other machines. With the 3D printer, all you need to do is design the prototype on your computer and once you design it, send it to the system and the machine prints the parts out physical”
“During the cause of the project, we built series of machines and the 3D printer is part of the machines we produced. We also built a machine that takes the waste bin as it is and converts it into useful materials which the 3D printer can use to create physical objects. We pay waste collectors and tell them the type of waste materials we need because there are some plastics that are easier to recyle so we tell them the type of plastics we need and they bring it to us, we sort them and convert it accordingly,” Eyoh said.
He also explained that the 3D printer was designed as a self replicating machine in the sense that, if any of the part breaks, there is no need for panicking because it will print its own part. He adds: “We are trying to expand the machine’s capabilities in order to print other things such as metals, concretes, cake as it currently prints plastics only. We are in discussion to partner with a company as we want to produce a 3D printer that will be big enough so that in the next 10 years to build a house will be much easier. You just have to design the house on your computer and send it to the 3D printer for printing.”
He stressed that the team is working on modifying a 3D printer that will be used to print cake decorations which will eliminate the manual labor involved in creating prototype products.
Eyoh and his team have also built another machine, designed a scanner used for a particular operation. The scanner scans a particular object. The machine can scan the face of a person after
which you will be able to print through the 3D printer. As part of the machine’s advantage, it by passes the process of designing the object on a computer.
Eyoh said the machine can be used in major industries such as metal work and oil and gas industry. He said most times when designs are done, you need prototypes and the machine can help you get a physical prototype that is complex in the design. The machine can also be used to producing specialized spare parts.
Eyoh said the group is actually looking for funding to create a bigger, better and more improved operation of the machine. He adds: “All we have lacked all this time is a platform and funding to be able to showcase our work to the world that it can be done here in Nigeria”