How building a Google Cardboard opened my eyes

DB12E2B128The power of the « MAKE »

As you know I have build lately a Google CardBoard. The process I have used to build completely opened my eyes on the power of the « MAKE ».

Making is a powerful process

20161009_231014While I planned to build my own Google Cardboard, I realized that even with all the information, data and instructions available, there were still missing things. However building this kind of easy-to-do item make necessary 2 parallel processes that seems at a first sight time consuming but at the end are the most interesting and powerful things of the making process itself:

  • Collecting information, insights and know-how
  • Learning new things, tools and techniques

Those two parts of the overall process are well-known of the makers and DIY people. These are the main knowledge acquisition which one can have when investigating the MAKE process but also of the ones I am part of who are always keen in learning new things and exploring new areas.

Collecting information, insights and know-how

The DIY or/or Make process includes the action of collecting information, harvesting hints and tips to access all the available know-how.
Ways to perform this necessary step are numerous but the most important one is to explore and share, of course on the net but not only:

  • First look at the correct key words for your project,
  • Search over the internet for blogs, products and general info,
  • Don’t forget specialized platforms which have a priori no connexion to your project.
    Example: The Google Cardboard files give you access to the drawings, technical data etc… but no information on how to effectively build it. I looked over the internet with no success until I did my research on YouTube. I also found very interesting info on Vines on this subject.
  • go to the places where you can share your project with experienced doers such as innovation lab, fablab and hackerslab.

Learning something new

Making things includes learning new techniques and tools. from the beginning of this blog and the INNOWEO project I have learned more things than in the previous 5 years. As you start a Make project, including a physical prototype, one really often need to learn techniques that are unknown from other ways to prototype.

  • softwares as vectorial drawing, CAD etc…
  • maker specials such as 3D printing, laser cutting
  • prototyping techniques incl. UX and UI, cardboard techniques, digital prototypes
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Learning something new is certainly the core activity of the Make process. It is one of the most important state-of-mind one should have when travelling this journey.

Super Bonus: The power of Cadboard

Building the Google CardBoard was my first cardboard prototype. I have build many prototypes before, from hardware to software, from B-to-C to B-to B products. However I never used cardboard as a prototype tool. In my material library I had everything from plywood to papers. I have also made lots of digital prototypes incl. some low tech ones. But then I discovered the power of cardboard.

I really encourage you to use cardboard as a prototyping tool for many reasons:

  • it’s cheap and you will never find such an inexpensive material
  • you can find it everywhere and in great quantity
  • it’s workable, with a good pair of scissors, a cutter and a glue gun, you’re done
  • with the good techniques, you can build whatever you want including very complex shapes.

If you know some other good prototyping material, let me know  and leave a comment with your suggestion.

Thank for reading.


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