3D Printer Donation
Article Source: TODAY Newspaper
Earlier this month the National Institute for Science Technology and Innovation (NISTI) received a 3D printer on behalf of the Johns Hopkins University through Dr.Ralph Etienne-Cummings, PhD.
On 25th Feburary, a virtual meeting was set up by Etienne-Cummings alongside NISTI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Xavier Estico.
The Seychelles professor, who recently was lauded for his election to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s college of Fellows (AIMBE) told TODAY in an interview donating 3D printer is part of a collaboration between himself and NISTI ongoing for over three years.
Etienne-Cummings explained,”[..] It is a mean to provide a tool for people to learn about 3-D printing, to be able to prototype ideas, and hopefully one day to use it in the development of industry-related products”.
Estico for his part detailed that the context of the 3D printer arriving in Seychelles relates to the pre-existing strategy that took its root in 2016 through robotics.
“We then reinforced it under our Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme , and we are sensitising on this framework to different educational institutions to take up an interest in emerging technologies”.
NISTI believes that for Seychelles not to be left behind in this fourth industrial revolution, there is need for support from emerging technologies. The CEO expressed, “For us not to miss out on the opportunity, as well as the importance of modernizing our economy, our future generations need the chance to get to know these technologies”.
Estico explains that 3D printing forms part of what’s called frontier technologies, meaning that it is emerging. Another component of emerging technologies that the Institute has already started is robotics.
NISTI is diving deeper in terms of a wider array of technologies that Seychelles can benefit from. In this context, the 3D-printer is one example.
Currently, NISTI and all those concerned are familiarizing with the technology, which will be added to its incubator, a project in the pipeline which will foster innovation and bring together minds and expertise.
Estico says, “On the long term, we want to provide an area where all technologies that support Seychelles can be made accessible to all industries”.
TODAY asked him about the applicability of the newly-gotten technology for students. NISTI’s CEO noted that they have, in the past, engaged with students to showcase and teach about robotics. The same will also apply for the 3D printing technology.
Estico concluded that this would be in the context of extra-curriculum here, whereby those interested can come to the centre and learn about the 3D-printing technology.
In terms of scaling up to have access to multiple examplaries , this would be a budgetary concern which would have to be taken up in the future.
As mentioned, in terms of industrial use, prototyping is a function that can be used.
For the moment we have only the one, and we are still in the midst of familiarsing ourselves with it .