Introduction: DIY Lens for Google Cardboard VR

Picture of DIY Lens for Google Cardboard VR

Since Google launched it's VR cardboard last 2014.,i've read some good feedbacks about it.,And last May 2015.,the cardboard VR supports iOS.,Getting the VR cardboard is cheapest way to experience Virtual Reality.,And i asked myself can you DIY a complete functioning VR cardboard from recycled stuff.,Including the lens.That's how this project started.,And i'm sharing it here how to build a Google Cardboard VR all from scratch at no cost.,Using recyclable materials 
•(That is if you have have all the basic tools needed for this project.)

Step 1: Needed Things

Materials and Tools needed:
- Google Cardboard templates
- Scissors
- Exacto knife (stencil cutter)
- Glue
- Quick dry Epoxy
- *Transparent (clear) plastic bottle *
^made of (PET)
*stands for polyethylene terephthalate. PET (also known as PETE)*
-Syringe with needle
- Velcro or rubber band
- Glue stick (for glue gun)
-neodymium magnet(optional for older iphones)
*a smartphone(iOS & Android)

Step 2: Steps

I will focus the steps on how to make a Biconvex lens out of used clear plastic empty bottle.,Because the cardboard VR is useless without the Lens (the most important part of the VR) So anyone who will try this project can go forward and start the Cardboard VR casing.,And some of the images here shows how i build the Google Cardboard VR.,
(you can find steps on how to build or assemble a Google VR cardboard here in instructables and in various websites or in youtube).So i'll start first with the lens.Then followed by the cardboard VR.
1.Find an empty clear bottle with a good "Curvature"
2.Then make a circular template (25mm diameter)on a sheet of cardboard/paper.As seen on image.
3.Then cut the marked you made on plastic bottle using scissors.
4.Make and cut at least 4 pcs of this.,because you'll need 2 pcs together to create a a single biconvex lens
5.Combine 2 pcs together to create a biconvex shape lens.
6.Carefully sealed all the circumference sides of the biconvex shape plastic you just joined.
7.Now that you have sealed all the sides using quickdry epoxy.Fill your syringe with clear water and carefully inject it on the biconvex shape until you filled it up.
*to removed bubbles-just pinched or gently squeeze the lens-to slowly remove all the big bubbles in it.
8.After successfully removing bubbles filled it with water(the lens).,Sealed it again.Seal the hole you just made by syringe needle.
9.Let it dry for a few minutes..Test it-if it magnifies things.Try to magnify small things-(like printed letters).
10.After succesfully made a biconvex lens that magnifies things up.,Repeat the procedure for your second and last biconvex lens.
*If you successfully magnifies things up..Congratulations.!.,your good to go on building your own Google Cardboard VR.,
•It's fun building things up by youself.
•Next Images is how i build my Google Cardboard VR.
Though it's not so very elaborate steps,,but you can google it for more elaborate one.,specially regarding the use of magnets to control your phone while inside the VR cardboard.
•i dont use any magnets on my VR Cardboard.Will be discussed in some parts of this instructables.

Step 3: Steps

Picture of Steps

*In image form

Step 4: Google Cardboard VR Assembly

Assembling Google Cardboard VR
1.Download the templates for free and print in on long bond paper in landscape mode.

(Link will be provided in some parts of this instructables.)

2.Cutting using scissors and stencil cutter accordingly with the template guides.
3.Attached the templates after cutting on a cardboard.
4.After cutting all the three pages -parts of the templates.,assembling it is quite not difficult to follow.,as their is a marking on templates where you can fold.

Step 5:

Picture of

Step 6:

Picture of

Step 7: Sources

•VR Apps for iOS

Step 8: In Depth Understanding Magnifications

Picture of In Depth Understanding Magnifications

•Magnification of images
: the act of making something look larger than it is : the act of magnifying something
: the larger appearance of an object when it is seen through a microscope, telescope, etc.
•Focal Length
Focal length is the distance from the magnifying lens to the object behind the lens when the object is in focus. To put it another way, the optimal distance between the object being magnified (when it is in clear focus) and the magnifying glass is the focal length.
•Magnification Power
As the magnification power increases, the focal length decreases; conversely, as the magnification power decreases, the focal length increases. The stronger the optical power of the magnifying lens, the shorter the required distance between the magnifier and the object behind the lens.
For example, if you are looking at a diamond through a 10x loupe, the distance between the diamond and the magnifying loupe will be very small (about an inch or so away). The focal length is therefore about an inch. Your eye will also need to be very close to the loupe.
If you are looking at fine print with a 2x hand-held magnifying glass, the magnifying glass will need be several inches away (roughly 6 to 8 inches) from the fine print to bring it into optimal focus. The focal length in this example is 6 to 8 inches.
If you are not using a magnifier at its correct focal length, the object you are viewing will appear out of focus, distorted, or upside down when trying to view it through the magnifying glass. 
•Relationship of Lens Size to Magnification•
Please keep in mind, as the lens size (diameter) of the magnifier lens increases, the magnification power of the magnifier decreases. As the lens size of the magnifier lens decreases, the magnification power of the magnifier increases. This is a result of the amount of curvature in the magnifier (lens). Magnification power is a result of the amount of curvature in the magnifier lens. As the lens size increases, the amount of curvature in the lens decreases, resulting in lower magnification power of the lens. As the lens size decreases, the amount of curvature in the lens increases, resulting in higher magnification power of the lens. This is why higher magnification lenses are generally smaller in size than lower magnification lenses.

Step 9: About Magnets

Using Magnets
CAUTION: Messing with powerful magnets near your iPhone can alter the calibration of the sensor!
In researching this article, we experimented with a number of powerful magnets near the phone. While the compass can re-calibrate itself, it is possible to mess it up. In our case, it seems that we might have slightly magnetized some component inside the phone.
While the compass still seems to work reasonably well, it doesn’t show the same overall field strength when we twist the phone around in different directions. This relatively new iPhone did agree with itself before we starting experimenting. There are a number of stainless steel shields inside an iPhone that might have been very slightly magnetized by the passing magnets. Hopefully they will demagnetize over time.
Avoid getting powerful magnets too close to your smartphone, or risk messing with your own compass calibration. Anything closer than a few inches is stronger than that sensor can measure anyway.
More about magnets

Step 10: Google Announcement

Picture of Google Announcement

Google has announced a new version of Cardboard, its virtual reality viewer. The latest Cardboard design will fit larger phones, up to 6 inches, and it's gotten rid of the magnet controller, replacing it with a cardboard button that will work with every phone. It also takes fewer steps to assemble. Just as importantly, Google has launched its Cardboard virtual reality app on iOS. The new app will let iPhone users explore city environments, use a virtual kaleidoscope, and view 3D objects from a museum collection. Until now, the official Cardboard app was available only on Android, where it has been downloaded over a million times. For developers that have created their own Cardboard-compatible apps, the software development kit also supports iOS.

*Google Cardboard is a virtual reality (VR) platform developed by Google for use with a fold-out cardboard mount for a mobile phone. It is intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR and VR applications.It was created by David Coz and Damien Henry, Google engineers.
•After initially only supporting Android, Google announced iOS support for the Unity plugin in May 2015 at the Google I/O 2015 conference.Third-party apps with Cardboard support are available on the Google Play store and App Store for iOS.
•Everything about Google Cardboard VR

Step 11: Result

Picture of Result

Recycling things up is a good habit.,you are a big help to mother nature plus you're creating new things out of old.,And thats all of it.,The result of building this project is fullfilling.,I enjoyed using the virtualization at no cost.Hoping you enjoyed reading it.,a heart or a vote will be highly appreciated.,Thank you !


PranayK11 (author)2017-05-24

Here you can see how to make glass lenses at home

alberts97 (author)2017-04-03

no words awsome

rodski (author)2016-10-20

Yes-i tested it and it works on large screen smart phones.

rodski (author)2016-10-20

as long as you used the biconvex lenses in the binoculars-i think it will work.

ashu1pa (author)2016-10-19

Is it work with 6 inch display

SpandanB3 (author)2016-10-13

Will binocular lenses work as long as the focal lengths remain within range?

Vikas kumar 56 (author)2016-08-29

will a pair of 75mm magnifying lenses work?

titustan (author)Vikas kumar 562016-10-05

All lenses, in theory, should work. Depending on the curvature of the lenses and the material its made of, you'll just need to adjust lens-to-screen distance and inter-lens distance until it gets comfy.. I used a pair small reading lenses (not glasses) with weak magnification. My lens-to-screen distance was pretty big (~50+ mm hahaha) but it cost me a dollar's worth. :D

GWPoulos (author)2015-07-23

Why cant you just use a pair of cheap reading glasses for the lenses? Something around +2 diopters, depending on your eyesight and the distance between your eyes and the screen.

joshuac119 (author)GWPoulos2016-03-13

You need to have a focal distance of ~45mm according to the technical drawings distributed by Google. There is a very low amount of tolerance that the human eye can handle in this situation
( its approximately 1.5 - 2.2mm)
+2 diopters, if i had to guess, are around 300-450mm focal point. In lame man's terms... it aint gonna work

HarleyM9 (author)joshuac1192016-03-16

What diopters and focal point distance do I need for an 8.4 screen? Also, when using Google's calibration tool, much of my screen is letterboxed making it effectively much smaller than 8.4 inches.

davea0511 (author)HarleyM92016-09-30

The official google cardboard has a diopter of around 22-27. Diopters add in parrallel, or in otherwords you'd need ten 2 Diopter lenses to get a 22 diopter strength lens.

rodski (author)joshuac1192016-03-13

First,this DIY Lens for Google VR indeed worked.Did you tried it?.,i suggest you try it first before guessing a comment here.And 300 to 400 focal point is too far to make it work.,you just have to follow the cardboard guide placement where you suppose to put your lenses in to make it work.That i assure you it will.Actually i made two now using this method-and made another two cardboard VR and used two pairs of true biconvex lenses (2 lenses (25mm)from an old binoculars and 2 lenses using 50mm magnifying glass) and they all worked great.I suggest you make one and comment back here.

Builders Shed (author)GWPoulos2015-07-24

Your eyes will broke

rodski (author)2016-08-31

@Vikas kumar 56
Yes,you can use your 75mm lenses,but i can imagine how big your VR would be.,I suggest you look for smaller lenses,you can get lenses on telescope toys.i made one using macdonald happy meal telescope toy that had two 25 mm lenses.

Fathomlis (author)2016-08-14

Great instructable! Will be posting some photo's if I make it...

Fathomlis (author)2016-08-14

Can I use super glue, or maybe some other glue?

Fathomlis (author)Fathomlis2016-08-14

Sorry, didn't read the the steps right... never mind.

PanD7 (author)2016-07-27

I finally made my own vr, but...I have double vision and sometimes its blurry...I'm using my iphone 5s...what did I do wrong?

rodski (author)PanD72016-07-27

I suggest you use new empty plastic bottle cut in 25mm,and follow the steps.And use purified water to fill those home made lenses you made.,Double vision occurs when both lenses arent properly in correct focal distance with your phone screen.

PanD7 (author)rodski2016-08-01

It's ok now, thanks. I went to Viewer Profile Generator to make my own qr code settings for my phone. Double vision is gone but the lenses are still blurry, I will have to make new set of lenses again per your advise if I have free time. :)

rodski (author)2016-07-09

Once you get the exact lenses "focal distance" you can use any phone size you want.,Bigger lenses are better than the standard lens size used in GCVR.

rodski (author)2016-07-09

you have to modify the google vr cardboard to fit your 50mm lenses on it.,and put it on a flat surface to get the correct "Focal Distance" between your lenses & cp screen.(as i made it using E.V.A foam with 45mm lenses on it.

S--0--S (author)2016-07-09

❤i only have a pair of magnifying lenses with 50mm diameter can i use them with my Samsung S3 ? and if i do what the distance between the screen and the lenses do you think?
thank you in advance..?

lukesacat (author)2016-05-22

eeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr how do i assemble !??!!! i have cut pieces but i have noo idea how to make pls help

MattJ72 (author)lukesacat2016-06-29

about 3/4 of the way down the page are downloadable instructions.

p2002 (author)2015-11-16

Please any one tell me how to see a .zip file on an android smartphone

agarsantosh (author)p20022016-06-26

Xarchive download or es xpoler

MirzaK5 (author)p20022016-05-15

just download z-archive from google play stor

yçatalçam (author)p20022016-01-20

LukaJUMPSinHELP (author)2016-06-16

Guyz i found a way to get the lenses for about a dollar:
These are lenses made for vr and on ebay you can even buy whole kit for couple dollars

26varjad (author)2016-05-26

hmm not the one im looking for :/


MuhavvizB made it! (author)2016-04-17

it is awesome cool very nice but the phone is coming a little outside so can't close the cardborad

Adlan97 (author)2016-04-01

Sir please send me the file to print

rodski (author)Adlan972016-04-01

scissors cut template sent

CreativeNÜlife made it! (author)2016-03-29

It's difficult to cut the shape. but I'm enjoy making it even though I have no magnifying glass to work it .LOL

rodski (author)CreativeNÜlife2016-04-01

Glad that you did it!,

HarleyM9 (author)2016-03-16

What diopters and focal point distance do I need for an 8.4 screen? Also, when using Google's calibration tool, much of my screen is letterboxed making it effectively much smaller than 8.4 inches.

rodski (author)HarleyM92016-03-16

I'm not an optical expert to assist you with that.,but a good tip i suggest is to use a 45 to 50 mm magnifying glass to work with your tablet.,And using the googles cardboard lens holder part-modify it to fit your lens on it.,Have a side by side 3D image sample to work with as sample.Then locked your tablet using masking tape on a flat surface or table.,Use only the 2 lens attached on a frame and Aim your lens on your screen with SideBySide 3D image on it. until you get the correct focal distance between your screen and lens.

MihaiM18 (author)2016-02-17

what if you dont have a seringe?

rodski (author)MihaiM182016-02-17

You mean SYRINGE!.,well it's up to you to decide -buy the real biconvex lenses or buy the syringe?whichever suits you best!,Or think of another way to fill those lenses you just made.Then comment back here!

GuthrieM1 (author)2015-08-11

Is there a way to activate the camera and have fpv of whats happening in front of you, while wearing the enclosure?

NathanP39 (author)GuthrieM12016-01-21

Step 1: Take off GC

Step 2: Let eyes adjust to the light because lighting might be too bright.

Step 3: FPV is complete with interactive controls and realistic physics.

GuthrieM1 (author)NathanP392016-01-21

XD. I was only wondering because it would be cool for something like thermal/night vision or live view vr. But still 69/10 answer would r8 again ;)

rodski (author)GuthrieM12015-08-11

Yes,there is an app for that,you can google it.,activating the camera can be done too!,just put a slot underneath your VR to control your screen.,or if you own a VR with magnets that will work controlling your screen.,i dont use magnets for this project.

rodski (author)2015-11-26

Google CB VR was been updated to v.1.2 ,and i'm using my last DIY VR built 3 months ago-using true 45mm lenses on e.v.a foam.,better than default size on cardboard VR.

socrtwo (author)2015-11-22

I got lenses out of a pair of recent prescription though broken frame eye glasses of mine. I used a Google Cardboard VR viewer that we got from the NY Times 2 weeks ago or so. With just my lenses, the picture was blurry, however when I added the additional original Google Cardboard lenses the VR became crystal clear. The NY Times Google Cardboard materials are very expandable and easily accommodated the extra lense thickness. Of course the cardboard looks quite beat up now but everything is functioning brilliantly.

rodski (author)2015-10-21

@Uk-Draken ,havent tried this.,i suggest you give this a shot-

rodski (author)2015-10-21

@ZeyneP1 that's cool.,you did it.,blurry?,i suggest use a new transparent plastic for the lenses and fill it with purified water.Less bubles means more clarity. :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: Electronics hobbyist and a DIYer and i love doing this stuff.
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