Gavin Leggot from Promake International Ltd discusses 3D printing in Africa in this interview. Africa is not yet fully explored when it comes to 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing. There is huge potential for use and application of the technology in Africa and an opportunity to boost development and innovation. Gavin’s firm is helping to make 3D printing more accessible throughout the continent by offering 3D printing services.
Can you describe Promake International in relation to the technology and service you offer in 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing?
Promake International Ltd is a multi-disciplinary functioning company that has the ability to a service a wide range of industries at a professional level by giving our customers and users of our platform international access to a wide variety of machines and services that are not necessarily available in South Africa, thus giving our users an advantage on other industry players of which helps our customers embrace what the technology is able to achieve which helps them grow their businesses further. We offer everything from FDM, SLS, SLA, MJF, Direct Metal printing along with a wide range of other services such as 3D Scanning, moulding and mass production.
Promake Fused Deposition Modelling
What is your view of the African environment when it comes to 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing?
The Promake team take a photo after successful inner ear transplant using latest bio-compatible 3d printing materials.
The African entry to the industry compared to the rest of the world is at a stage of self-development but yet is growing exponentially and we foresee that Africa will soon embrace this technology as and industry norm.
What do you think the African continent needs to do to fully embrace and continuously promote and make use of 3D printing?
We feel that in order for the African continent to embrace the additive manufacturing industry extensive education platforms will need to be implemented in order to bring users understanding of the industry up to speed so that they fully understand what is possible and what processes need to be followed in order to achieve great results, from there further introduction of the latest machines that are not available in South Africa as yet will need to be addressed.
Funding is a key thing in implementing 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing. What advice can you give to potential investors interested in exploring the African 3D printing sector?
I do agree that funding is essential but we feel the approach as to where this funding is placed is really where the key to the matter is held. Buying a range of machines does not mean that the industry will flourish when there has been no market set up for that particular machine along with knowledge on the industry. With us having offices both in the UK and in South Africa we are able to advise on best placement to funding so that return on investment is fully achieved.
How do you see the education sector fully adopting 3D printing? Do you think African governments will adopt the technology as part of the curriculum in the immediate future?
3D printing in an African educational set up
Yes we do see this becoming a big part of schooling curriculum as I already see this being implemented here in the UK and we are currently working on a fully certified online platform, where users will be able to learn through smart devices and write exams that way too of which once the students have done this will then have access to all the professional machines on our platform which will help them enter the industry both with knowledge and the services to deliver professional products whether they work for themselves or are employed by a corporate entity.
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