Will 3D Printing Save Venezuela's Dying Manufacturing Sector?

Venezuelan innovators are bringing the power of 3D printing to their country. They believe the filament they have created from plastic waste will help re build “once-wealthy Venezuela’s vanishing manufacturing sector.”

“They are melting the plastic waste down and feeding it through 3D printers to make intricate pieces such as car parts. These have become increasingly hard to obtain in Venezuela as dysfunctional currency controls restrict the import of basic materials.

Albermar Dominguez and John Naizzir produce only a kilogram of plastic printing filament a day, but they aim to help once-wealthy Venezuela’s vanishing manufacturing sector by making it cheaper for companies that depend on expensive imports.

It’s a sign of how an unprecedented crisis has spurred some young people to innovate following five years of economic contraction caused by failed state-led policies and a plunge in global oil prices.

Dominguez said he had visited the United States to learn from people in the 3D printing industry, after becoming interested in recycling waste.

He then returned to Venezuela, and with 27-year-old Naizzir, began rummaging through their university’s garbage dump, collecting computer cases and old printers. Later, their company, Nedraki, struck a deal with a recycling plant in the Venezuelan city of Valencia for more material.

Nedraki now supplies 13 Venezuelan firms with the filament and produces plastic parts like transmission gear cogs for other companies. The filament is coiled on spools and fed into a 3D printer in a corner of the university’s campus.”

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Categories: Innovation