Jul 10, 2017 | By Benedict

Tech company SynergyWiz has used 3D printing to develop rEvolve, a $95 strap for the HTC Vive VR headset. The 3D printed rEvolve makes the Vive more comfortable, increases its field of view, and allows the wearer to “flip up” the headset without removing it completely.

There’s no doubting that the HTC Vive has had a huge impact on consumer technology. As one of the most well-known virtual reality headsets on the market, the Vive has brought immersive gaming, video, and other experiences to a large number of people.

But not everyone is completely satisfied with the Vive. Besides the inevitable technical problems associated with such a complex piece of kit, some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the physical fit of the headset, as well as its comfort level and limited field of view.

Coming to the VR rescue is Florida startup SynergyWiz, whose Kickstarter-backed rEvolve strap makes the Vive more comfortable, increases its field of view, and even gives wearers the ability to “flip up” the headset like the visor of a football helmet. Best of all, 3D printing was used to put the rEvolve together.

“Putting on and wearing your Vive will be as effortless as wearing a baseball cap,” SynergyWiz says. “Plus, you will enjoy more immersive VR with the increased field of view, and a hassle-free audio experience now that the headphones are routed through the rEvolve.” All users need to do is switch out the supplied Vive straps for the rEvolve.

3D printing was used to fabricate the simple, plasticky structure of the rEvolve, resulting in a less-than-beautiful object that nonetheless does exactly what it sets out to do: make the HTC Vive a more convenient, comfortable experience.

“As a small manufacturer we decided to use additive manufacturing for the rEvolve to give us full control over every millimeter of the final product,” said John Toner, CEO of SynergyWiz. “Recent enhancements in 3D printing materials allowed us to deliver a final product with the strength you expect from consumer-level products.”

Comfort is key to the rEvolve, and SynergyWiz has reportedly taken steps to improve the Vive’s lackluster comfort level. SynergyWiz notes that HTC’s supplied straps squeeze the headset to your face, and the rEvolve “replaces those uncomfortable straps with a rigid headset that provides balanced weight directly above your forehead.”

But perhaps the most unique element of the 3D printed rEvolve is its ability to flip up, giving wearers quick access to the real world without having to fully remove the Vive. This is great in situations where users need to quickly dip in and out of VR, and eliminates the need to place the somewhat fragile headset in a safe place every time it is removed.

Excitingly, 3D printing could open up even more possibilities for the rEvolve. SynergyWiz has purportedly built a bar into the top of the rEvolve that will allow for custom adaptors to hook into it. The startup will create its own adapters, and will also offer 3D printable files for them, allowing makers to quickly fabricate support for new VR solutions as they are released.

The rEvolve was the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, with the project brought to life thanks to 405 backers pledging $48,627. That campaign is now over, but the rEvolve is available to order for $95.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Jenny wrote at 7/11/2017 8:35:39 PM:

This is a great idea!

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