Making for Biotech in Africa; Manufacturing low-cost lab equipments

Dear All,

Am leading a session at re:publica Accra from 14-15 December, 2018 in Ghana. The purpose of my session is to introduce the open hardware movement to Africans and showcasing the power it has in redefining how we conduct research in Africa and how it can be used in solving critical socio-economic challenges like youth unemployment.

The session is a purely practical one. Am therefore, calling on everyone in the GOSH community who can support me with this project by either sharing with me a very simple to do project to enable me demonstrate the power of making our own open science hardware in Africa for biotech and education.

Kindly reach me via email;

Dear Friends from Ghana,
please take a look here!

@JJato,, @wumbor

ping me anytime.

Hi Harry

I’ve developed basic lab equipment with recycled electronic trash mixed with digital fabrication.
I believe they are suitable for a workshop or practical session since they’re quite simple to do and low-cost.
This is one of the designs:

If you are interested in knowing more, I can send you more information to your email, greetings!

Hello @jptincopa, thanks for reaching out. This is certainly useful. I will be glad to start a conversation with you. Am going to have some first designs and am certainly going to consider building the micro-centrifuge.

I look forward to hearing from you via email.


Hi guys,

sorry to stick my nose where I wasn’t called, but I would like to ask, if possible, for you NOT to take the conversation to emails or private messages! This way more people can follow up and contribute! :slight_smile:

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Hi @amchagas your suggestion is totally accepted. Am in for it.

nhi @Hail_Harry and all others eager to build cool lab-gear from scraps and pieces, dumpster-divers and fabbers.

we have kinda documented a whole set of simple lab gear, such as shakers, mixers, spin-coaters, wigglers, made from all kinda left-over parts from computers and other recycled hardware. an overview is here:

many times we offered this as workshops for dissassembly and building lab tools. such as this one:;

talking about centrifuges, we experimented with various motors, i see above a computer fan. i guess we can reach higher speeds using harddiscs and a motordriver (which you can buy cheap from ali).
but then… a centrifuge ist more than a fast motor and a eppi-holder… it’s primarily a solid big lid!!! to protect you from stuff flying around (or into your brains).

the all time classic DIY microscope of course is also always a great start, especially if you focus on using locally available construction material and prototyping a decent stage for sample and focusing. webcams… usually not too easy to find in a trash, but relatively affordable on various online stores, approx 3-4USD.
I started a topic abour discussing / developing specific GOSH workshop modules, to share partially the skill to build a specific equipment, but more important some fundamental understanding of the “open” source approach, hacking methods, interdisciplinary colloaboration, fast-prototyping, creativity and critical thinking. not so much response yet…

@Hail_Harry This is great news. I’m glad the conversation about open hardware is ongoing in Ghana. There’s so much potential to make impact with open hardware in Ghana. I don’t think my project Actifield, will fit for a simple project. Check out this DIY fluorometer though I hope we can collaborate on some projects in the near future.