The Nexus 4 is notoriously hard to get, and, to rub salt into the wound, the currently available accessories for the LG-made smartphone are scarce. Many people eagerly await one accessory in particular – the Orb wireless charger, which Google showed off when the Nexus 4 launched in October. Just this past weekend our colleague Nate Swanner brought up the issue in his eloquently titled “What the hell, Google?!” piece.
If you’re tired of waiting for the real deal, perhaps a 3D-printed substitute will do? Before we get any farther, know that this 3D printed “Orb” charger does not offer wireless charging. Nevertheless, it will charge your device and activate the Day Dream function on your Nexus 4, so it’s pretty close.
Micah Ganske, a user of The Verge forums, presented his 3D creation to the world on the Thingiverse website. The device is actually an orb-shaped stand, to which he connected a USB cable. The design is relatively crude, but you’re free to modify it if your skill set includes 3D modeling.
Using Blender, the free modeling tool, Micah Ganske created two versions of his Orb, one for the “naked” Nexus 4 and one for the device fitted with the official bumper. To make the dock smarter, Micah added an NFC tag, which enables the Day Dream mode when you place the Nexus 4 inside. Pretty neat, if you ask us!
This is obviously not a real alternative to the official wireless charger (how many people have access to a 3D printer?) but still, we loved the ingenuity of the solution. And who knows, fitting a 3D printed dock with a wireless charging coil should not be that difficult. Perhaps sometimes in the future, you’ll see a real wireless charging dock that you can 3D print yourself!
If 3D printing won’t cut it for you, the real wireless charging Orb is rumored to become available next month.