Before you can start with assembling your own cardboard VR headset you will need to purchase and collect some specific items. I ordered most of the “ingredients” online on websites like Ebay. If you are lucky enough you can find some of the items in a (specialised) hardware store. I would recommend you to collect all items on beforehand, because it is much more fun to assemble the headset in one go.
Of course the most important ingredient of the headset is the cardboard. You can probably buy this in a local hobby shop, but it is cheaper, environmental friendlier, ánd more fun to collect it from waste-paper bins. I collected some very nice pieces of cardboard from the waste-paper bins at my university’s faculty of Architecture. The minimum size of the cardboard should be somewhere around 62 x 25 cm (that’s 24½ x 10¼ inches). Make sure there are no folds in the cardboard. Google advises to use cardboard with a thickness of 1.5 mm (0.06 inches). I think mine was slightly thicker. This only meant that I had to adjust some of the cuts and holes when folding the headset.
- The lenses
Perhaps the hardest part is to find the right type of lenses. These lenses are so-called “biconvex lenses” and have a focal distance of 45 mm. They should have a diameter of around 25 mm. I bought these: http://tinyurl.com/p4t8pa9 (note: 1 piece contains a set, so 2 lenses!).
- Two types of magnets
You will need two different types of magnets for the switch used for controlling the headset. One of them is a “ferrite disk magnet”, the other one is a “neodymium ring magnet”. Both should have a diameter of around 20 mm (¾ inches). Thickness may vary between 3-5 mm (⅛ to ⅕ inches). Unfortunately you cannot just buy one magnet of each. Instead, they are mostly being sold in bulks of 5 or 10 pieces. I bought these: http://tinyurl.com/nm9bzha and these: https://tinyurl.com/y58ls5p9
- Velcro strips
The Velcro is used for opening and closing the back of the headset, where you put your phone. Use adhesive-backed Velcro with a width of approximately 20 mm (¾ inches). Something like this: http://tinyurl.com/ltmmnpw (select 1 meter and “hook & loop”). For the Dutch people, I bought this at the local Hema store: http://tinyurl.com/l2ucnvn
Optional: Velcro headband. If you don’t want to hold the headset while using it you might want to create a Velcro headband.
Tip: use a bit of super glue to glue the Velcro to the cardboard. Although it is adhesive-backed, the Velcro tends to come off under pressure. And you really don’t want your phone to fall down and crash onto the floor…
- NFC-tag (optional)
You can stick an NFC-tag onto the headset if you want to automatically start the Google Cardboard app once you put your phone into the headset. These stickers will work with our OPOs: http://tinyurl.com/o2jum67 (sold in batches of 5 or 10 tags).
Once you have collected all of the items you are ready to move on to the next step: cutting and assembling, yeah!