Feb 23, 2017 | By Tess

Anyone with a mess of charging cables by their bedside or on their desk will surely appreciate this new product made by tech accessory design studio Native Union. Made with the help of 3D printing, the 'Eclipse' is a compact and sleek charging hub that keeps your USB cables and devices organized and accessible.

The Eclipse, which takes on the circular form of an eclipsed sun, is a three-port USB hub that has been optimized for several purposes: managing USB charging cables, which almost every household utilizes; charging, as it offers faster charging thanks to innovative IC technology; and style, as it houses cables in a sleek, minimal casing. The useful product was first introduced through a Kickstarter campaign which raised over $900,000. Evidently, cluttered outlets and messy cables are common pet peeves.

With the Eclipse, users can plug up to three USB cables in at once, and can store up to 24 feet of cables. As Native Union explains, “Up to three of your USB cables are wound into their own precision-engineered channel, so you’ll never have to worry about them tangling or overlapping.” The best part? Using the device is exceptionally simple. Just plug your USB cables into the specially designed hub, wrap them up, and plug the Eclipse into the wall.

Of course, such an expertly designed product did not simply materialize out of thin air, as the team at Native Union went through many iterations and design prototypes to arrive at the final product. A crucial part of this prototyping and design process was 3D printing. As Igor Duc, co-founder of Native Union explained, 3D printing was used to test internal parts and mechanisms for the device and allowed the team to rapidly test new ideas.

To manufacture prototypes for the Eclipse, the Native Union team relied on their in-house Ultimaker 3 3D printer and utilized PLA/PVA and TPU/PLA combinations. “The 3D printing allows us to speed up the process of refinement, and aids in making some tough design decisions, therefore improving the final result,” the studio explained.

The Eclipse has a number of additional features, such as an optional USB-C port (for early adopters), an advanced transformer to keep your batteries safe, and a halo-light effect that makes the device easy to use in the dark (also reinforcing the eclipse inspiration). The Eclipse also comes with an extension cable and a classy leather strap that can be used to keep the device’s own power cable wound and neat.

Additionally, as wireless charging slowly becomes more common, the Eclipse has been designed to accommodate wireless charging mats (they can be placed on the hub's flat top).

The inconspicuous and versatile design of the Eclipse can also be customized, as users have the option of choosing between three different colors and finishes: marine and cherry wood, taupe and walnut wood, white and cherry wood, gold aluminum and white marble, or black aluminum and black marble.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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