Build your own cardboard VR headset with Volkswagen’s help

Warning: It’s a bit complicated
by Drei Laurel | Apr 22, 2020
PHOTO: Volkswagen

We’re going on well over a month in enhanced community quarantine now—that’s a pretty long time stuck at home. If you’ve been trying your hardest to keep busy over this period, chances are you’ve exhausted all your means of doing so already.

If this is the case, here’s a new project that’ll have you pulling your hairs out keep you busy for at least a couple of hours: Volkswagen has just released a template for a DIY cardboard virtual reality (VR) headset.

Basically, this is a contraption where you place your smartphone to view VR environments. Interested? We have to warn you, this is a hell of a lot more complicated than a carmaker coloring sheet. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. VR headset cardboard template
  2. Shoe box or pizza box
  3. Printer
  4. Scissors
  5. A syringe or plastic straw
  6. Plastic water bottle
  7. Xacto knife
  8. Glue gun or epoxy
  9. Rubber band
  10. Smartphone
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Now comes the complicated part. We’ll post Volkswagen’s instructions here word for word to avoid any confusion.

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Step one: Lenses

  1. Find a water or plastic bottle with a good curvature and cut a 25mm diameter circle out using scissors. Make and cut at least four of these—you’ll need two pieces together to create a single biconvex lens.
  2. Seal all the circumference sides of the shape with glue and insert your straw (make sure not to get it on the lens itself, just the circumference).
  3. Wait for the glue to dry and add water to the end of the straw to fill up your lens. After the lens is full, cut the straw and glue the ends together to form a full seal.
  4. Repeat this process for the second lens.
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Step two: Cardboard

  1. Download the headset template here.
  2. Print the template out.
  3. Glue the template to your pizza or shoe box.
  4. Using the Xacto Knife, cut the template out.

By the looks of it, you’re going to need some precise cutting skills to get this done.


Granted, this’ll take quite a bit of work, but when you’re through, you can use your new cardboard goggles to check out these Volkswagen ID.3 VR assembly videos from the Petersen Automotive Museum. Willing to give this project a try?

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PHOTO: Volkswagen
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