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Boost Wi-Fi with 3D Printed Reflector

According to ZDNet, there is a new way to boost your Wi-Fi signal.

“Researchers have developed an algorithm which allows you to customize a [3D printed] Wi-Fi reflector to boost signals in the rooms you need it most.  The system, developed by researchers at Dartmouth College, University of Washington, Columbia University, and UC Irvine, offers a cheap way to boost Wi-Fi coverage in specific areas of the home.”

As Dartmouth Assistant Professor of Computer Science Xia Zhou explains: “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.”

This system the researchers have developed gives users the ability “to design their own ‘soda can’ reflector that’s optimized for the layout of a house.  The design is 3D printed and then wrapped in foil…the researchers’ tests showed a reflector for a single access point can boost throughput by 22 percent to the desired rooms and reduce throughput by 36 percent to non-targeted rooms.”

“The algorithm they developed computes a reflector shape optimized for the targeted areas of an indoor setting.  They use 3D ray tracing to create a model of how radio signals interact with objects in a 3D environment.  The access points they conducted the tests with include a Netgear R7000, Linksys WRT54GL, and a TP-Link WR841N.  To measure the effectiveness of the reflectors, [the team of researchers] used a drone with built-in Wi-Fi radio to collect signal strengths at specific locations around the test environment.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of ZDNet

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