3D Printed Virtual Reality Goggles


Oculus, as we know, was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, and now the VR community has been buzzing about trying to figure out what to do with all this newly accessible technology. And adding to the interest, the 2nd iteration of the development kits were released, causing a resurgence in virtual reality development as computer generated experiences started pouring out from of every corner of the world. But not everyone can afford the $350 USD price tag to purchase one of these devices, bringing out the need for Do-It-Yourself projects like these 3D printed wearable video goggles via Adafruit.

The design of this project is reminiscent of the VR2GO mobile viewer that came out of the MxR Lab (aka the research environment that spun out Palmer Lucky before he created Oculus). However, the hardware here is more robust and utilizes a 5.6″ display and 50mm aspheric lenses instead of a regular smart phone. The HD monitor is held within a 3D printed enclosure along with an Arduino Micro and 9-DOF motion sensor. The outer hood of the case is composed of a combination of PLA and Ninjaflex printing-filament, keeping the fame rigid while the area around the eyes remain flexible and comfortable. The faceplate is secured with a mounting bracket and a pair of aspheric lenses inside split the screen for stereoscopic video. Head straps were added allowing for the device to fit snugly on one’s face.

At the end of the tutorial, the instructions state that once everything is assembled, all that is required afterwards is to plug in a 9V power adapter and an HDMI cable sourcing video from somewhere else. This should get the console up and running; but it would be interesting to see if this design in the future can eliminate the wires and make this into a portable unit. Regardless of which, this project does a fantastic job at showing what it takes to create a homemade virtual reality device. And as you can see from the product list after the break, the price of the project fits under the $350 DK2 amount, helping to save some money while still providing a fun and educational experience.

Estimated Products List:

5.6″ Display – $149.95

9-DOF IMU Breakout – $39.95

Arduino Micro – $22.95

HDMI Cable – $4.95

50mm 5x Aspheric Lenses – $12.94 x 2 = $25.88

Total – $269.56 (not including taxes and shipping)

DK2 Price – $350.00

As you can see, these DIY VR goggles cost about one hundred US dollars less than the DK2, but perhaps there is a way to reduce the amount even further. Especially since the 3D printer and the filament is not accounted for. If you have any ideas on how to get this design, or a similar one, down into the $150 USD range, be sure to let us know in the comments section.

And check out this video that Adafruit made describing the project:

27 thoughts on “3D Printed Virtual Reality Goggles

    1. Well, I think that people need to learn value their time more and to do basic math. I understand the attraction of DIY (and it is a great learning experience!), but for $270 in parts he has built a clone of DK1. If he factors in the cost of 3D printing, he will be at $300 already, not to mention the labour, energy costs, etc. DK2 has better specs (and some new issues too) and an extra position tracking – for the same price. I don’t see much point in building it at this moment.

      Why not to simply buy a ready made one then and focus the creative energy on building things that you can’t really buy – like various interaction devices.

    1. This is the same dumb argument that was made in early 90’s when VR was first popularized. Also the same argument was made about phone (“People are going to stop talking to each other!”), records (“Oh the horror, people will stop going to concerts!”), etc.

      You do realize that VR has also other than entertainment uses and that the lack of an affordable HMD ($40k+ that a “pro” HMD costs is not affordable even for a university lab) kept back important research (such as PTSD, phobia, pain, post-stroke and many other treatments) for years, right? And new applications are found every day now, thanks to fact that there is a decent $400 HMD on the market.

      So thank you very much for your narrow-minded point of view :(

          1. > You mean mine right? Mines are explosive devices buried in soil or anchored in coastal waters. They’re also surface and in ground resource extraction locations.

            He may have misspelled a word, but your argument is invalid.

      1. Sorry to be “that guy” on hackaday putting down a post. Do you really think people talk to each other the same amount as before ubiquitous internet and smart phones? I see the negative side, just my outlook. It’s not narrow BTW either, those treatments are valid points.

    2. People already spend time in fantasy worlds watching television, going to the movies, reading books, playing games, chasing after people they can’t have, dreaming about what life would be like if they won the lottery. There’s nothing wrong with any of these aside from the last two if its not all encompassing and life consuming.

    1. Personally I’d be more interested in it as a small portable display that could block out as much of the external visual whitenoise as possible. That said if the Rift sticks around the ~$300 price range I’ll probably pick one of those up instead. Was half tempted to pick up one of the newer developer models this time around but talked myself out of it to see how things progress.

    2. Not everyone is hugely susceptible to sensory dissonance. I would argue that even when you get it perfect those that are prone to motion sickness will still get sick.
      That is if VR isn’t also paired with omni-directional treadmills(virtuix &c) or large ‘holodeck’ type spaces with the motion compression algorithms previously featured. These work around sensory dissonance or at least delay it’s onset so you can have a meaningful VR experience.

  1. Ok. So, why not take a chinese Tablet ? A 1280×800 7″ IPS tablet for less than 70 bucks on Ali, with android on a dual core allwinner. With integrated wifi, battery and even IMU…
    Install a chromecast-like reception application to receive images from a computer.
    Just some lens and 3 printing, and you have VR glasses for less than 100 dollars.
    Good enough ?
    And when you can’t stand vomit anymore, just re-use the tablet as … a tablet ! :-)

    1. Because tablets (and chromecast too) are just a spy tool from big business and the governments unfortunately.
      It’s better to use the screens available and hack something together yourself for that reason.

      It’s such a pity you can’t get something like a tablet that isn’t based on spying on you. I can see how mobile phones would become exclusively spy-on-people vectors, but why can’t we have a damn tablet without that?

  2. I liked the video and some of the clever solutions they came up with. On the other hand it is easy to see this is a specifically targeted advertisement for their [rather higher priced] products, I also have no issue with this. The video was cool

    But this post on hackaday, asking for a cheaper solution is silly.
    If there is a term called native advertising, idk where else it makes sense.

    We have already talked about google cardboard https://developers.google.com/cardboard/
    If the cost doesn’t include filament, then any recent phone or tablet becomes the cost of the device, and has a lot more features then this “hack”

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