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Weekly Roundup: Ten 3D Printable Things – Virtual Reality Headsets

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While the general public hasn’t had much of a chance to experience virtual reality, within the next five years or so the technology will be a commonplace part of our daily lives. From video games to movies and even to immersive business meetings and house tours, there are dozens of real world applications that are going to make VR one of the most widely adapted new technologies since the MP3. And VR isn’t being driven by a small, grassroots community, big business is jumping into it head first. This year’s Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo Santa Clara even devoted an entire summit to virtual reality.

Since the future of entertainment is clearly going to be a virtual real one, for this week’s Ten 3D Printed Things I decided to focus on DIY and 3D Printable versions of VR headsets. There are a surprising amount of options available out there, so I tried to focus on headsets that were unique, well-designed or just really cool looking.

Warning: you may not want to wear most of these VR headsets in public unless you don’t mind looking a little goofy.


3dp_ten3dpthings_focusVR_1Focus VR by FocusMediaGroup

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The Focus VR is one of the more interesting designs for a DIY VR headset that I found. It has a retro-style look to it, and is one of the few designs that won’t make you look completely goofy if you ever use it in public. The clear material contrasted with the bright red plastic bits make it look far more like a professionally designed consumer electronic device than something made at home, so that really helps.

3dp_ten3dpthings_focusVR_2The Thingiverse page has full build and assembly instructions and even a video (in Polish) so you can see how everything fits together. It also looks like one of the easiest to build thanks to all of the parts being flat and easily snapped together. The Focus VR also works as a stereoscopic device, sort of like the Viewfinder we used as kids, so it has multiple uses.


3dp_ten3dpthings_adafruitgoggles3D Printed Wearable Video Goggles by adafruit

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Adafruit always has the best DIY maker projects, and their version of the VR headset is no exception. Their design is really simple, incorporates several different materials, PLA and NinjaFlex, so the headset is more comfortable to wear, and has a cool, futuristic look to it. They also have some of the best DIY tutorials around, so if this is your first project like this then the Adafruit headset may be the perfect option for you.

And they have very well-produced demo videos:


3dp_ten3dpthings_az360vr3D Printable VR Headset for Smartphones by AZ360VR

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The VR headset from AZ360VR (Arizona360VR) is probably one of the most popular VR headset designs on Thingiverse and it is easy to see why. There are no awkward rubber bands or strange phone clips in sight. It is just a simple headset design that encloses the entire smartphone and holds it firmly in place with a clever internal mechanism. It can tolerate smartphones up to about 5.5 inches, so it will work with several different larger-scale devices.


3dp_ten3dpthings_backweight_cardboarddesignCardboard VR Goggle for 5.5 Phone by palatis

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Finding the right headset for you is probably going to be the most difficult transition to virtual reality gaming, and one of the things that I noticed about most headset designs is the fact that they often look a little front-heavy. I could really see some of the goggle designs that I found falling or slipping off of some people’s head, so this design based on the Google Cardboard with a full head strap looks like it would easily solve that problem. This isn’t the prettiest headset in the bunch, but it looks pretty easy to build and the back-weighted part on the strap is a nice option.


3dp_ten3dpthings_dovisionOpen DoVision CE 0.0 by Kailang

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The admittedly strange-looking Open DoVision is a VR headset that seems more suiting to watching movies or TV shows rather than playing video games. The odd shape of the headset magnifies the image and offers a more immersive feel. It also looks like something that a character would wear in a Terry Gilliam film, so it gets bonus points for being quirky.


3dp_ten3dpthings_kuutio3dVR Cardboard Glasses by Kuutio3D

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

This VR headset is also based on the Google Cardboard and has a simple, no-frills design to match. It looks like a really straightforward print, and uses a simple head strap to hold the headset in place. While this is a perfect starter VR headset, there aren’t very clear assembly instructions up on the Thingiverse page, but check the comments for some helpful tips for final assembly if you get stuck.


3dp_ten3dpthings_streamlined_design3D Printed Virtual Reality Headset by Gagan543

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Here is another 3D printable version of the Google Cardboard headset that was designed to look simple and professional. It will fit most smartphones, and just needs to have a strap attached to hold it in place.


3dp_ten3dpthings_hololensDIY Hololens by FultonX

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

I included the DIY Hololens on this list because the design is over the top and would look hilarious when worn, but it also seems to work really well. I really like the phone being loaded on the top of the headset, it’s a different design that stands out from the rest of the pack. This project may be a bit more advanced than some of the others, however.

You can actually se how well the hologram effect works in this video:


3dp_ten3dpthings_raRA by WickedAndy

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Yes, that’s Ra as in the Egyptian god. The Ra headset is a far more advanced VR headset design than most of the others and includes some rather sophisticated electronics. It includes headtracking technology that makes for some really immersive virtual reality gaming.


3dp_ten3dpthings_DIYHMDDIYHMD V4 Full Configuration by brianferrara

Found on: Thingiverse

Cost: Free

No, this isn’t the helmet worn by the third member of Daft Punk, it is a really cool VR helmet that can fit just about any sized smartphone screen. The DIYHMD project is completely open sourced, so it is easily customizable, and there is even a smaller, streamlined version of the design just in case you don’t want to look like a background extra on a sci fi movie.

So there you go, ten of the coolest 3D printable VR headsets that the internet has to offer.


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