Mechanical engineering graduate, Swaleh Owais and Yang Cheng, and Carvey Ehren Maigue have been previously named a Top 20 finalist in the James Dyson Award. Owais's and Cheng's invention and Maigue's invention, is just two of several inventions among the global best entries that seeks to create a more inclusive world, solving problems faced by people with less access to resources and recycling.
Polyformer - a project that recycles plastic bottles into 3D filament
During Owais's and Cheng's time at a makerspace in Rwanda, they discovered that many locals were unable to utilize the 3D printers due to the expensive cost of importing filament and that there was a scarcity of infrastructure for recycling plastic bottles in the country. As a result, we devised a solution to address both issues by constructing a machine that could transform plastic waste into 3D printer filament for the makerspace. Polyformer is a machine that recycles plastic bottles into 3D printer filament. The device reduces plastic consumption, while also producing 3D printer filament at low costs. By implementing this machine, makers in Rwanda now have convenient access to affordable and high-quality printer filament. Their short-term goal is to deploy several Polyformers at 3D printing labs in Rwanda and then promote it in other developing countries. This will ensure people in developing countries have access to affordable filament and means to recycle plastic bottles as its low cost of $150 is financially accessible to many communities.
AuREUS system - a project that creates aurora renewable energy
Maigue's project evolved from the understanding of how glass buildings in urban areas are contributing to excessive UV exposure. The idea for the solution was inspired by the process of creating Auroras. By utilizing luminescent particles that convert high energy (gamma, UV) into low energy (visible light), this technology functions similarly to address the issue. Traditionally, solar farms have been constructed in a horizontal manner. However, AuREUS introduces a new approach. By harnessing UV rays, AuREUS can generate electricity even when not directly facing the sun. When buildings are covered on all sides with AuREUS, they transform into vertical solar farms. Farmers often face losses due to the spoilage of crops. This technology offers a solution by enabling the upcycling of agricultural waste, reducing such losses. It advocates for the sequestration of UV rays, improved availability of solar energy to combat climate change, and assistance to the local agriculture sector affected by disasters through the repurposing of crop waste, thereby reducing losses for farmers. To achieve a higher sourcing rate of 100% from fruits and vegetables instead of chemicals, further investigation will be conducted to extract the required luminescent particles. This research will contribute to the sustainability of the process. AuREUS currently produces 30 panels per month. However, with additional funding, it can establish a dedicated team and facility to enhance its production capacity. The future holds promising advancements in chassis formation for solar-powered transportation, which will contribute to the development of more efficient and sustainable vehicles.