Given the different ways our homes are laid out internally, sometimes you might find certain areas in your home basically being void of any WiFi coverage whatsoever. There are ways around this problem, such as buying WiFi extenders, creating a WiFi mesh network using devices like Google WiFi, or purchasing a router with a more powerful signal.

However these are expensive solutions and recently researchers at Dartmouth College have found that with 3D printing and maybe $35 in material costs, you could not only improve your WiFi signal, but make it more secure at the same time. This is based on the concept of how placing aluminum foil or an aluminum can behind WiFi access points can actually boost its signal.

How does this work? Basically the aluminum will bounce the signal from your router away, so if your WiFi is placed next to a wall, it will bounce the signal away from the wall. Also by creating a physical barrier, it helps confine your wireless signals to a limited space, making it harder for attackers on the outside to hook onto your network, at least in theory.

The researchers then tested this theory out by 3D printing a reflector made out of plastic and metal that redirects wireless signals to areas where you want to cover. According to assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth, Xia Zhou, “With a simple investment of about $35 and specifying coverage requirements, a wireless reflector can be custom-built to outperform antennae that cost thousands of dollars.”

Filed in General. Read more about 3D Printing, Science and _cold.

User Comments