Oct 28, 2015 | By Alec

Even though the consumer version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset isn’t even available yet, the VR market is already filling up with budget options for experiencing VR. Among the already available options are the Google Cardboard, the Samsung’s GearVR and Carl Zeiss’ VR ONE headset. And while many examples of what 3D printing and VR can do in collaboration, such as making 3D printable models, already exist, the technology can also be used for the actual headsets. ZEISS – which relies on smartphones to be inserted into their goggles – has now also shared 3D printable files that can be used to incorporate the HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones into your own VR experience.

Now the ZEISS VR ONE holds little secrets for true virtual reality nuts, but for the rest of us: ZEISS is an international leader in the field of optics and optoelectronics, and they were quick to jump into the VR market. Released less than a year ago, their ZEISS VR ONE follows the same principles as many other budget VR goggles, by relying on smartphone technology but incased in more than cardboard. ‘The ZEISS VR ONE is a one-of-a-kind device allowing us to take our first steps in the world of virtual reality. Its lightweight design and 100% portability make it the perfect companion for videos, games and augmented reality,’ they say. While definitely not coming close to what is expected of the Oculus, the ZEISS option is also far more affordable – costing as little as $120 USD.

The key factor here is that you need to own a top range smartphone for this headset to work – originally being intended for the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6, though they have since opened the floor up to outside creations and 3D printed containers for other phones to be inserted into their goggles. ‘ZEISS is offering an innovative open source model by introducing a new basic tray CAD design tool. Design engineers and designers have the possibility to expand the range of smartphone trays for the ZEISS VR ONE using this new open source approach. ZEISS provides all the necessary data and a short user’s manual for free on the ZEISS VR ONE website,’ they say. ‘If the respective developer agrees, and the trays pass validation tests, the trays are made available to the public from the ZEISS VR ONE website as free 3D print data which consumers and developers can print out with a 3D printer or 3D printing service.’

This has already led to the release of a number of 3D printable cad models for the : Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, S6, LG G3, Google Nexus 5 and iPhone 6, though there is also a basic model that you can adapt yourself. The ZEISS team advises using a 3D printing service such as Shapeways and using a strong material, like nylon.

But based on this open source approach, private users have already shared the designs for three more smartphones online, and ZEISS has now made them available through their Tumblr page. These are the HTC ONE M8 by Singaporean Vostok SDI, for the SONY XPERIA Z3 by Joachim Rügamer & Martin Ritt, and for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge by Dutchman Roger Roumen. While all look good, especially if you have one of those phones, ZEISS does add a disclaimer: ‘Please note, that the above listed CAD files for trays had not been developed by ZEISS. When you 3D print your tray ZEISS can’t guarantee the quality of the tray because of differences in 3D printer, 3D print quality and material used,’ they say. However, all three are perfect options for owners of those models who are looking for an affordable VR experience.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Don Gateley wrote at 10/29/2015 3:13:07 AM:

Admitting that such an accommodation is necessary for their product and then leaving it up to the user to have it fabricated? Stupid. They had better include one of the users choice, not generic, _with_ the product.

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