This 3D printed Nexus 4 dock looks more functional than Google’s Orb


I still haven’t used the wireless charging feature of my LG Nexus 4, mostly because I’ve been trying to decide which Qi-enabled charging pad will work the best. There is, of course, the OEM Nexus Charging Orb, but it is a bit on the pricey side and has had some trouble with the Nexus 4 sliding off of the “dock.” Other, more generic charging pads are cheaper, but don’t offer any dock functionality.

3D Printed Violin

While it doesn’t solve the cost problem of other wireless charging docks, an XDA user decided to take matters into his own hands by making a better wireless charging dock for the Nexus 4 by utilizing 3D printing. The dock, pictured above, is custom designed to hold the Nexus 4 securely in portrait mode. It is made by printing out the plastic shell, and then buying a cheap Qi charging pad like this one and moving the internals into the shell.

What results is an extremely nice looking and simple wireless charging dock (you can easily make it in colors other than red) which, while it will cost more than any retail option, is specifically tailored to hold the Nexus 4 securely while charging. The design includes a tunnel for the speaker, and overall looks like a high quality product, especially when the plastic is finished properly.

You can purchase a printed shell of the dock here, or download the files and print your own (if you are lucky enough to own a 3D printer). If you buy all the parts, the dock will cost at least about $80. Still, even at that price I’m tempted by this dock even though the Orb is of little interest to me.

Clearly, this is a well made and well though out project, and I actually prefer the look of the dock to Google’s Orb. When factored in with the much more secure and better angled dock functionality, this accessory looks quite appealing. The price is high, but if I keep my Nexus 4 for any amount of time, I’ll want to have one of these on my desk.

Pocketables does not accept targeted advertising, phony guest posts, paid reviews, etc. Help us keep this way with support on Patreon!
become a patron button - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Aaron | Subscribe to Aaron's posts

Avatar of Aaron Orquia

2 thoughts on “This 3D printed Nexus 4 dock looks more functional than Google’s Orb

  • Avatar of JRDemaskus
    June 30, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I am in the same boat. Make it or buy it.
    Why are the OEMs taking so long to get the QI products out. We should be flooded with universal pads by now that are attached to well known names, not no name manufacturers.
    I need a “universal” car dock with QI, NFC, and a Bluetooth receiver with 3.5mm out. I have all the parts except the QI transmitter.
    Make it, or Buy it?

  • Avatar of Tom
    July 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I have the orb and it’s actually great. In months of use my Nexus 4 has never slid over and I do not believe it ever could. The magnetic pull is very strong, and the edge of the phone is going to touch the surface the orb is on further helping prop it up. It feels like a premium product and it works like a charm.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.