A team of researchers at Dartmouth University have solved the problem of how ordinary aluminum foil can be combined with 3D printed signal reflectors to improve wireless signal strength.
The same technology for enhancing Wi-Fi signals around a home can also be used to strengthen wireless security.
The project was conducted by placing a reflector on and around a Wi-Fi router’s antennae to shape the beam. The team then increased range and prevented it from passing through to unwanted spaces. They then created a program called WiPrint using a 3D printer and fed their data into that program. That 3D prints the perfect shape needed to form the beams for better signal strength and security, according to the team.
This solution is inexpensive and solves multiple problems with Wi-Fi signals. If you have 3D printer’s access, then it will cost you about $35. Another benefit is you can control it over your Wi-Fi signal. It also allows you to cut off signal where you don’t need it. So you can stop neighbors accessing your network as it improves physical security.
A Dartmouth assistant professor, Xia Zhou said, “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.”
The team will now study how to design reflectors made of different materials. The step is to create an object that can automatically adapt its shape when the room’s layout changes.