GoogleCardboardProject: Part 1, how to build your own cardboard

hero-homeI have started another DIY project to build a Google VR CardBoard and use it in a way I will present you later. You can follow all the project with #GoogleCardboardProject

My goals are:

  1. Build a VR Google Cardboard by myself,
  2. Test all the available apps that uses this viewer to see the possibilities,
  3. Develop a new application for my special use I will discuss later (meaning learning how to develop this app, using Google CardBoard SDK and ev. Unity)

I will share with you all the different steps and lessons learned of this project in a serie of blog’s posts called VR CardBoard Project.
The first post, you are reading it now, is about building the VR cardboard by itself.

If you want to play it easy, you can buy one for less than 20€ on the Google VR website (I even so one at 3€ on Amazon), but franckly, that’s no fun!

Building the cardboard

I am building the Google CardBoard V2.1 of 07/20/2015

First steps

First collect the files @ Google CardBoard website HERE.

So let first start with the Bill of Material:

  • Google VR Cardboard files
  • Printed cardboard body
  • Glue stick and glue gun if you may have one
  • Scissor / Box cutter / X-Acto knife
  • E-flute corrugated board or whatever cardboard you may have
  • Lenses
  • Ruler
  • Scratch, rubber band

Build it!

Print the drawing at the 1:1 scale on paper. I preferred to use the dxf files as printing the files at the correct scale is much easier, independently of the paper size of your printer. So take care with the PDF, which is 1:4 scaled with a strange (for an European guy) paper size.

20160830_183507The first thing we’ll need to do is to glue the drawings onto your cardboard.  I used the multi-purpose glue (no a good choice as it may cause problems later. Be sure you glue it correctly and generously to avoid separation later in the process).
Google prefers you to use E-flute corrugated cardboard because it’s thin but any thin and relatively stiff cardboard should work. I have personally used an IKEA furniture cardboard which worked perfectly. If you want to do it the Pro way, take care to the direction of Corrugation (frankly I didn’t). Read the Google material which is really complete (at least at the first glance) when dealing with building the VR headset the Pro way.

Glued drawings on the IKEA cardboard

Then use the scissors, box cutter or X-acto knife (I recommend Box cutter and X-acto knife to avoid bending the corrugation of the cardboard. Take care as those tools can be armful) to follow the templates lines and cut your Google CardBoard. You can use the ruler for straight lines.20160831_120851-web 20160831_121404-web 20160831_131544-web

Now you are ready to build your Google cardboard.


You should use the Google instructions (in the folder you downloaded at first) to fold your cardboard sheets and build your Google Cardboard. Use the ruler to ensure an easy and quality folding. Don’t forget to include your lenses (if your lenses have on flat side, put this one in front of your eyes, if your lenses are double convex put it any senses).

Got issues to fold it correctly? I did too. Unfortunately Google didn’t get access to DIY instructions as they were aiming at manufacturers. I found 2 interesting videos on the net to explain you how to fold correctly your cardboard!

Take care, the first steps are what Google calls the « hammer »: a litlle pyramid which will be a button for your viewer (very important to « click » when encessary). You need to put a conductive tape from the outer part of the pyramid to the little hole facing upward on the top of your cardboard. Again, Google instructions are really unclear for that point.

Use the velcro (Google Offical) or glue (I have tried this one as shown on the second video, it eases the process a lot) to maintain the Google CardBoard during the folding and building process. Unfortunately the provided material doesn’t clearly show where to put the velcro but according to some V2 I saw on the web the « holes » on the sides and on the top of the cardboard could be the place to put velcro  and not actual holes. (Let a comment if you have more info about it). I have put velcro only on the top to maintain the « phone holder » closed.20160916_203835Prepare your rubber band as it will help to maintain your smartphone into the Google Cardboard.

We are at this step done.

Let’s download the apps you want on your smartphone to enjoy your viewer.

I still have 2 issues I hope to solve later. My phone is a Samsung galaxy S7 (not edge) and when I put it into the cardboard, interactions between the cardboard and the screen or buttons are changing the set-up… Not funny.

In the next post I will share with you my first discoveries about what you can do, first hand, with this tool.

Please share with me your lessons learned or feedback regarding this article.

Thanks for reading!



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