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Supporting 3D printing education in Nigeria with The 3D Printing Handbook

Protolabs Network gifts The 3D Printing Handbook to 3D Printing Naija as a learning resource to support the education of young Nigerian communities.

Written by France Preecha

At the end of 2019, Olumuyiwa Omole founded 3D Printing Naija - an initiative that focuses on educating young Nigerian students about 3D printing technologies. This program is considered to be one of its kind in Nigeria and is backed by three other organizations, Lifecenta, Ebelola Bioenergetics Solutions and FIRAT Nigeria, which focuses on research and outreach.

With a background in mechanical engineering, Olumuyiwa believed that 3D printing was one of the best technologies that the Nigerian community could pursue. This inspired him to leverage 3D Printing Naija as a way to create a culture around 3D printing and foster the curiosities of young Nigerian students. Through this program, he wanted to spark innovation and research on how 3D printing can be effectively applied to the African context.

3D Printing Naija: How it all started

It was realized that only 10% of the Nigerian population are aware of 3D printing and that many academics were not convinced about the technology. This is because many of them have never seen how a 3D printer works before.

Therefore, what Olumuyiwa is trying to change through 3D Printing Naija is to promote the use of 3D printers so that it gains more awareness within the Nigerian educational system. He designs the program in a way that turns novices to experts so that individuals can later apply this knowledge and make an impact in African society.

“Everyone in the country has a sense of responsibility but only 10% of the Nigerian population are aware of 3D printing. Many of these people have never heard of 3D printing and do not know how this technology actually works.”

  • Olumuyiwa Omole, Founder of 3D Printing Naija


As part of the educational program, students are taught three main aspects of 3D printing: How to design for 3D printing, how to access 3D printing technologies and how to recycle 3D printed material for later use.

Building a 3D printing community

While the initiative is still in its initial phase, Olumuyiwa has already travelled to various schools in Nigeria to demonstrate how 3D printers work. In October 2019, he started engaging with high school students to create a small engineering community around 3D printing. In November, he began presenting at universities to enlighten students and discuss the realities and future of 3D printing.

Most recently in February, he visited more highschools and shared his own knowledge and experiences. Through his practical demonstrations, Olumuyiwa managed to get the students blown away by the possibilities of 3D printing. Currently, 3D Printing Naija is focusing on how they can structure their program to get students even more engaged with the technology. This was one of the reasons why Olumuyiwa reached out to Protolabs Network for support.

Reaching out to Protolabs Network

Before diving into the real phase of teaching students about design and material selection, Olumuyiwa is first getting students to familiarize themselves with the technology.


However, in the next phase, The 3D Printing Handbook will be used as a main learning tool to train students about 3D printing design. The handbook will be simplified into smaller lessons, making it more tangible and easier to understand for young Nigerian students.