Dec 9, 2015 | By Benedict

Google has called upon makers to produce their own 3D printed and hand-crafted shells for the OnHub Wi-Fi router, released by Google in collaboration with TP-LINK earlier this year. The search engine colossus has launched an online platform on which creators can share their designs.

Picture the average lounge of a house in 2015. What do you see? Most likely a television, a sofa and a dining table; perhaps some 3D printed family portraiture, and almost certainly a blinking, ever-present Wi-Fi router amidst a tangle of wires. Back in August, Google released its high-end, aesthetically neutral OnHub router, built in collaboration with TP-LINK. That $200 device keeps its wires hidden internally, whilst promising speed, security and ease of use.

With Google emphasizing the visual aspect of its new hardware, many potential customers may have questioned the importance of a Wi-Fi router’s appearance. A functional device requires only a functional look, and besides, you can always hide it behind some books, right? To these skeptics, Google has bad news. The simple fact of the matter is that routers work best when placed out in the open, with physical objects lying at a reasonable distance from their antenna. And who wants an ugly piece of technology in the middle of their otherwise perfect living room?

Google has now gone a step further in its commitment to making the OnHub the most aesthetically pleasing router on the market, by initiating a community customization project. As well as producing three readymade shells priced at $29-39, the web giant has also called upon 3D printing enthusiasts, potters and creators of all kinds to design their own unique shells for the OnHub.

“With OnHub Makers, we wanted to see what some of the world’s most creative minds would do to personalize their routers,” explained Ben Brown, OnHub Product Manager. “We reached out to artists, makers and designers who poured resin, blew glass, and cut paper to make their own unique shells.”

The OnHub Makers project aims to build a community of designers on its online gallery. There, makers can post their router shell creations, 3D printed or otherwise, and provide links to their personal web-shops or studios for customers to explore.

Makers looking to create a 3D printed shell for the OnHub get a helping hand from Google, which has provided 3D files for a template design, which makers can adjust and build upon using their CAD software of choice. If you’ve already purchased the OnHub and have a 3D printer to hand, why not give it a go? Match your router with your reception room!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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