Our Hackerspace got selected by Instructables to get 10 Dodocase Brand Cardboard VR kits. But due to a Shipping Snafu, we didn't hardly even get them during October. But I had already been experimenting with a Ebayed 'Valencia' Cardboard rig, and dabbling at using our laser cutter to cut my own. So I was at least a little prepared when they finally arrived.
Cardboard is great, because it lowers people's expectations. (how cool can something made out of wood pulp really be?) I technically knew exactly what it was and how it worked. But yet two minutes after opening my cardboard kit and assembling it, I knew I NEED TO SHARE THIS EXPERIENCE! And Share I did.
But you quickly find, cardboard is kinda rough on the face. and the face is kinda greasy. So hence some upgrades/improvements.
Step 1: Smoothing the sharper edges.
Cardboard is very hackable. and many people think its flimsy. but its pretty sturdy, especially for its weight. But those curved forehead and cheek edges can be kinda rough/sharp.
Simple burnishing the edges with the back of a spoon (I used a metal spoon on mine, but all i had at the hackerspace was a plastic one, still worked pretty well on the lasercut edge.
Mashing down the corners and running it along the edge creates a nicer softer rounder surface.
Its much easier than sanding, (sanding makes the edge of cardboard very fuzzy and linty)!
I suppose one could even lightly wet the spoon to dampen the edges for an even more smooth/mushy forming, (I have not tried it yet)
Step 2: Forehead pad
Foreheads develop a layer of lipids. (oils mixed with water, that is part of the sweat and sebum skin system. cardboard absorbs them, and while the sweat dries off, the oils stay behind. leaving a pretty ugly darkened patch at the browridge.
Ive played with two options to both help with cardboard comfort and to avoid the dreaded grease stain.
Dodo cases come with a T-shaped sticker, its to put where your forehead touches. (i don't think the instructions made that clear.)
But for my Velencia cardboard case, and on some of my lasercut ones, I first tried painters tape. it worked to hide/avoid the grease stain, but did little to improve the comfort. (especially when i put a head strap on it)
On one set I made a T out of Furniture protector felt adhesive pad. (also made some cheek pads too) its easy to cut with sharp scissors, and is cheap
on another case I just used a few strips of 1/4' wide 1/4 thick neoprene weather stripping foam sold at local hw store. I like both options. they are both cheap and pretty light.
Step 3: A headstrap (now you can have your arms back)
Its pretty obvious that except for very casual viewing, a headstrap/headmount is a must.
Ive done it 3 ways so far.
The simplest I used existing slit holes on the side to pull elastic banding (I got mine from a 3 for $3 pairs of shop safety goggles from a local supply store. (don't worry I plan to use the sides of the now strapless goggles to make protective sides for my glasses when in the shop) just pulled it through the holes and knotted it off so it could not slip past
The 2nd technique, I used a large square of self adhesive velcro. and added it to the top of the cardboard, and onto the bottom of the bill of a baseball hat. that works pretty well., although you can have the cardboard kinda flap up and down banging into your cheeks unless you do it plus the headband.
3rd technique, I picked up some snap setting pliers, and snaps, and tried out crimping on snaps on elastic (works great) and making snap points on cardboard, i also added a snap at the top of the velcro flap to the middle back of the around the head band, which nicely helps support the weight of the phone.
The snaps may sound like they may come unsnapped. but snaps are very resistant to pulling open at 90degrees from their normal snap opening/closing. so really they are as secure as something riveted through cardboard really can be. (and the phone is padded by cardboard if it does fall) (I will post another instructables about setting snaps in cardboard.
Step 4: Ive Done other 'cardboard' things...
But sticking with the subject of cardboard and dodocase mods.
Sugru can be handy for making a nose bridge (still waiting on my order to come in so no photos yet)
You can use scissors to round the corners where the cardboard meets your temples/cheeks.
You can also bend the sides (along your temples and cheeks) outward if you have a wide head/face like I do.
That about all, if you have any great mods feel free to post em!
I've been compiling links, and tips here, steal away!