Almost Professional VR Goggles - Very Cheap (less Then 10$)

Few months ago I was looking for some models to print VR goggles (opendive and similar) beacuse cardboard is not good enough for me. I just wanted something more "professional" and cheap. None of models i find was satisfying for me - to big, to small, to ugly, not compact enough, etc. So i decided to design and print my own goggles, and eliminate this problems. In this instructable , I'll show You how to do quite decent Virtual Reality Headset. It cost me something about 10$ or even less (without smartphone). It is first beta version - i dont have all photos from making it. Now im working on second version with photos wit all steps. The best part of it, is lenses. I surprised how great they are (and so cheap).


1. In main body I add a separating wall between left and right eye to prevent cross-viewing.

2. Distance of lens from eye and screen - I made very simple mechanism, you can adjust lenses for each eye independently. So even if you have a weak astigmatism you can adjust it to use it without your glasses

Distance between lenses is not important in my case - lenses diameter is big enough to cover almost all space in main body.


1. Covering edges with some kind of foam for a more comfortable fit.


  • 3d printer
  • screwdriver
  • knife
  • spray paint - optional


  • - filament for 3d printer (PLA or ABS)
  • - some rubber band (about 100 cm -measured unstretched flat) - it cost about 0,50$ for 1m black color.
  • - velcro band (about 20 cm) - it cost about 1$ for 1m black color.
  • - magnifying glass (4 or 6, depends on diameter of lenses - my was 5x glass lenses, and it cost 0,75 $ in local store)
  • - some nuts and bolts.(i think it was m3 - 23mm long)


You need lenses from magnifying glass, so you have to disassembly it. You can use screwdriver or knife. In my case it was very soft plastic and easy to take off using only screwdriver. In fact i was surprised that was so easy and fast. Another surprised was that the lenses are so good quality and made from glass not plastic.

I take out 6 lenses (6 x 0,75 $) and mount into lens holder for 3 on each eye. You can use different lenses, but then you have to change lens holder diameter. These are something about 45 mm diameter.

I was trying different diameter lenses (smaller and bigger than this) and for me this is the best configuration and field of view is enough to see everything on 5 inch screen smartphone, and it looks really good.

Generally i think that the best lenses diameter for this kind of goggles should be between 45-55mm. You can have good field of view, and its not necessary to adjust distance between lenses.

Step 2: STEP 2 - PRINTS

You have to print all parts:

  • - main vr goggles body (mainbody.stl)
  • - lenses holder - you have to prepare it for your lenses diameter, my was something about 4,5 cm.
  • - rubber band buckles (buckle_left_right.stl - print it 2x, and buckle_up.stl, head_rubber_band_back.stl - it connects two rubber bands on the back of head)
  • - knob - (knob.stl) for adjust distance of lense from eyes and screen.

(I cant find all files, so I add it later)


I printed main body from yellow PLA. I used black matt spray to paint it inside. I think it helps with better visual effect - it blocks light. I used painting tape to protect outside of main body.

Buckles for rubber band was printed with black ABS, and lenses holder with grey ABS. But i think it should be black, as a main body inside to prevent light flares. But it was first test version so i left it with grey color. After print you have to asseble lenses holder and lenses together, use a m3 threads and nuts. Assembled lenses you should insert into special guides inside the main goggles body and use printed knob to keep it in place. Later you can adjust with knobs distance from screen (knobs are placed in bottom side to adjust lense with thumbs). Knob is designed to be tight in hole for minimizing gaps. It prevent infalling to much light. In knob, there is a space for fitting m3 nut. It moves lensholder bottom thread in special guides (in mainbody) to adjust lens distance from eyes

You have to cut rubber band to connect it with buckles. I cut it to 40 cm and 60 cm long parts. Longer from side to side and shorter from top to back. It helps to keep stability of all headset. In the back you should use "head_rubber_band_back.stl" to connect rubber bands, but i think it should be thicker in next version.

On the front side of main body there are holes to mount velcro bands, to hold smartphone. I cut 20 cm for each side, it holds smartphone very good, and you can easily change position if something is wrong.


I downloaded free apps from google play. You can find them by searching "VR".

some of the apps I tested:


- tuscany dive

- jurrasic dino vr

- vr volcano flythrough.

For more comfortable using this headset, you can use wirelles keyboard (bluetooth), wireless mouse (bluetooth) or even ps3 pad (i dont know it will be works on smartphones other than sony).



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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I see we don't have a lens holder in the printable .stl file list; so I'm presuming you haven't found it yet; I'm a little unclear on exactly what this entails, and I could design one myself. So, it should be able to hold 4 or 6 lenses, 2 or 3 per side, I see how they're held together, a small interior ridge for them to ride in. I'm not sure how they're mounted inside the goggle though. I see three screws set at 120° around the lens, is this right? Is the knob used to adjust focus? The size of course would be determined by the size lens I could find. I'm not sure what size you got; but, that would help. I noticed that cardboard uses some very tiny lenses and gets a fairly wide field of view (how important is the lens size in this design?)

    I'll go ahead and design one, if you don't have the time, and see where we should go from there; it shouldn't take very long, once I have the parameters. I should probably go ahead and print the items I have, I'm sure that would help too, unless you think a mod to the googles would be needed based on the lens holders, but it looks like only the lens holders need individual design. Perhaps a base design with inserts to allow for different size lenses?

    Let me know your thoughts on this..


    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    OK, I see the slot on the goggle the lens holder rides in, and the adjustment screw, and that does look sturdy enough to hold the lens. Are the lenses you got from you local store plastic; if not, than I'll just say you're lucky to have a store that sells them so cheap, the glass one's here cost a bit more, like $5; I've not seen plastic ones.

    So, I think I have enough to design; I just need to find lenses to check out the design after I print it. Sigh, that will be a hold up.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    You going to be able to find those files any time soon? I started to do this project; but, realized after I started that the files are missing. I had already forgotten that you said you couldn't find them yet. Thanks, can't wait to try it. Well.... um, I guess I can wait. But, it looks like a lot of files are missing.

    6 replies

    Yes, im looking for them and preparing the new ones, so i just uploaded main body file and soon the rest of them (lens holder files)

    OK, I've been able to split the main body into two pieces, so they can be printed. Do you think it would hurt the function if I placed four screw holes around on the inside and used four small screws and nuts, or double holes to use small cable ties to bind the Left and Right half together? I could ensure they're at extreme edges for stability, and placement so it wouldn't obscure vision. I'm thinking that with the way the lens' work, the parameters are such the binding or screws wouldn't interfere with seeing.

    Each half fits nicely on my printing bed now, with some supports. The front center and on top, what looks like a strap holder was split, and so the center of the three sections is divided in half. I might be able to put it on one side, so the middle window is connected; but, I'm thinking it wouldn't matter much if the use of it was lost. In case I'm not clear about which part, there are three of them, one on each side, and one on the top. The top one has been divided in half. Of course, bolting it together will also bring it together but the center section would lose some stability if needed.

    I think You can bind left and right half with some small screws with flat heads.

    It shouldnt be problem for adjusting mechanism. In my version there is some space between lens holder and center separating wall. (around 5mm on each side).

    If you use strong rubber band You dont need this top center buckle holder. But your head might hurt a little;).

    OK, based on that, I'll have to wait until you post your lens holder .stl, that way I can check clearance. I'm not sure what you mean by using rubber bands; but, not having all the parts, it's hard to realize. I think the center buckle will be usable even with the split.
    I use a C-PAP, and I think and old strap set, with a top center strap, and two sides can be used or modified to work with this.

    Looking forward to finishing this... thank you for your help. Are you having to remake the lens holders, or have you found the files and just need to post them? If you had an image, perhaps I could help?

    Awesome! I hope they fit on my 100mm x 100mm bed. (sigh) probably not; if so, I'll find a way to split it in half, and add a way they can snap together. I can only go 117mm in Z; so there's always hope with that.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Really cool! It would be awesome if you could upload your files so that others can print your VR Goggles.

    1 reply