Prime Cuts: Danish bring home the bacon*

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Denmark is having a purple patch at the minute: if it’s not fashion, literature or films, we’re being reminded that the Danes do product design better than most.

Having already picked up a Red Dot Award for the Linksys E4200 router, Cisco is pleased to unveil its Danish design office (its other is in California) and the “ground-breaking production techniques” responsible.

With the internet providing the hub of entertainment in the home, isn’t it about time we stopped hiding our routers behind the TV/sofa/picture of the mother in-law and started appreciating these little boxes of wonder?

  • The underside is inspired by home textiles and is created as a unique cross weave plastic which fits neatly in living rooms and with furniture.
  • The single discreet LED lighting on the top of the router means that users are spared the many flashing lights typical to routers, allowing the E4200 to take centre stage in the living room alongside TVs, set top boxes and games consoles.
  • “This is our best design so far. It combines unique innovative aesthetics with maximum performance and could become iconic to today’s connected home,” trumpeted Eskild Hansen, leader of the Cisco European Design Centre.
  • At the centre of Cisco’s design process is its rapid 3D-printing technique, using a Z650 3D printer from ZCorporation to print out a large number of different versions of the enclosure, with details in 2:1 and 4:1.
  • The team worked in SolidWorks to take its initial sketches into 3D where they could work on the final model, but also make any changes to the 3D-printed prototypes.
  • Hansen explained: “Many equipment designers work mostly with computer tools and have no interaction with physical models from day to day. We believe that in order to be able to evaluate, develop and design products effectively, you need physical models to work from.”
  • Bunkspeed Hypershot was employed to produce high quality renderings that could be used for styling evaluation and eventually marketing.

*No actual bacon is involved in this product


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