A few days ago I wrote about having used 3D scanning to create a test 3D print that perfectly fits the contours of my face. You can check it out here. The next step has been to prototype a simple design for a virtual reality (VR) headset using the scan data of my face, along with the specific dimensions of my phone. Through some earlier testing of Google Cardboard and a 3D printed Thingiverse VR headset, the biggest problems I found were:
- The headsets never comfortably fit my face
- The adjustable lenses are very fiddly to adjust and keep in the optimal position for my eyes
- My phone never properly fits, requiring additional padding
My idea with this particular design has been to address each of these issues separately through the power of 3D printing. So firstly, the main headset uses the 3D scan data of my face – this could easily use anyone’s face, creating a perfect fit. Secondly, the lenses have been located in the correct position for my eyes, and focal length of the lens used. Again, this could easily be adjusted to suit anyone’s eyes and lens. Thirdly I have created a separate frame to hold the phone which snaps onto the main headset. A variety of these could be developed to hold any phone model. In essence, I’m imagining a VR headset that can be customised to suit anyone, and modified as they upgrade their phone using modular components.
While the theory is all good, this particular print isn’t perfect – it’s only the first prototype. There is some distortion in the main headset where the print began to lift off the plate during printing, so modules don’t perfectly fit (this is exacerbated by the fact I had to split parts to fit on my Up! Plus 2 printer and glue them after). The lenses aren’t 100% perfectly located, distorting the image. It’s close, but when you’re dealing with lenses close enough is not good enough! So maybe a small amount of adjustability will need to be built in. The phone is also a little loose in the frame, but this is an easy fix. So plenty of work to go, but at the same time an exciting start! If you want to check it out it will be at the Brisbane Virtual Reality Club‘s next meeting.
– Posted by James Novak