Idea for custom fitted foam pad for HMD

Has anyone in the community thought about creating custom fitted foam pads by using photogrammetry and foam 3D printing? I would think that even a not-so-great scan of a face would produce a pad that is more closely fitted to any one particular face compared to the standard pads. The geometry of this custom pad could be easily calculated by trimming the volume of space between the HMD placed at an optimal distance from the face and the 3D surface of the face.

This could be offered as a service where people would submit multiple photos from various angles to be assembled into a 3D head/face scan. Upon approval of the 3D geometry, the 3D printed foam would be printed for the customer (after a down-payment). Considering that VRCover sells their “dumb” pads for as much as they do, I’d bet people would spend significantly more for a super comfortable, fitted alternative. I know I would.

The main question here is around the 3D printing of foam. The last link I provided seems to indicate it’s doable.



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Very interesting idea. I have seen a xb kinect 360 & xb1 used as a 3d scanner. :beers::sunglasses::+1::sparkles:

I would imagine with a 3d scan of the face & hmd face mask profile would work great.

With 3d printing the memory foam could have channels as @aesopfabled was discussing. If you can use a dual filament one could have the channels printed in tpu maybe?

The main problem with this is that we would need to know where the best eye position and viewing angle would be in order to properly shape the foam. At the moment we don’t know either.

Maybe different templates could be made for various IPD’s and viewing angles.

That is basically what people are doing right now.

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Yes, but using makeshift methods like using foam tape. Heck, if a nicer all-in-solution could be found rather than my makeshift way… I would jump at it! I would also purchase several other variants for when people may visit me that have a different IPD than myself and could easily swap a single customized foam system.

Varying IPD doesn’t have any effect on what foam you will need. It is all about face shape and eye depth.

Your eyes should be at the focus point of the lens and perpendicular to the screens. Unless you know where that spot is you can’t print out a custom foam that you will fit you. You just hobble together some foam until your head matches up to the headset. Not something you can prepare every variant for.

Your best bet would probably be a combination of:

  • A thin piece of foam for the more common face types (for viewing angle)
  • Several thin foam spacers (for eye depth)

If you could find some way to attach/remove them such that they could be reused, then you might be able to do what you suggesting.

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I don’t think I agree with that. Those of with low IPD’s like me for example all seem to have a very similar complaints about the Pimax and the fix appears to be the same… move the HMD a little further away from the nose and either tilt the HMD up or down very little.

And again, if I could by a couple of different variants that would be a much better solution than your idea of using “thin foam” and experimenting with guests. Believe me… it’s not so easy just adding foam and foam spaces here and there when multiple people wish to use the HMD. I know this as fact!

But that was exactly the way I took OP suggestion… the foam just like it is now, is easily removed from the velcro attachment it has now on the HMD. With foam tape and spacers… it’s not easy and that’s why I like asampal’s idea.

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There is also faceshape to consider.

Inflatable bladders in foam with spandex maybe.

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It is possible & likely those with similar ipd to yours may have similar face contours.

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My gut feeling about this type of pad is that even if not quite right, it would be significantly if not way better than a generic, constant-thickness pad made to fit a very wide range of facial structures. For example, with my very deep-set eyes, the pads on the HMDs I tried at the Toronto meetup all allowed light to leak from the sides due to the way they fit me. I’ll probably have to use quite a bit more pressure than I’d like, to compensate for the relatively poor fit.

Also, on this type of pad, just as with the standard pad, you could add small shims here and there to get an even better fit. The point is you can start with something that’s a lot closer to what you really need.

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I agree… I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many people with low IPD that I’ve chatted with have the same issue about the hurt the Pimax HMD has on the ridge of the nose… i’ve effectively called us low IPD’ers …“the Pimax low ipd pinch club”.

We’ve been having weird weather in upstate NY… one morning it’s -10 degrees and the next day it’s 70 degrees. My car has heated and air-conditioned seats with a type of material similar to that is used with VR cover. Couldn’t help but wonder… why not have those HMD cushions air-conditioned and/or heated as needed like my car? Just a thought… but I would settle just for something more comfortable and without need to use all the foam tape I require today on my Pimax hmd.

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There is a thread where a Chinese? Backer was or is experimenting with an idea like that with injection tubes? In the foam at least for cooling.

Asfor the nose space perhaps a 3dprinted modified mask could increase nose space.

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How about if I propose something to get things going?

For an initial attempt it would be good to have the HMD scanned with a 3D scanner to get the most accurate representation for one side of the pad. For the face, the person with the 3D scanner could scan his face (or another person’s) and maybe take a series of photos of the same face from which I would photogrammetrically create a model. We could compare this to the 3D scanned one and get an idea about how well this idea could work in practice.

Using these models, I could do the CAD work to create the pad (if the person scanning doesn’t know how to do this, or doesn’t have the time).

After this, we could source some filament and a printer to make the first version of the pad.

Anyone in the community have a Pimax HMD and access to a 3D scanner?

I have successfully recreated objects using top/front/side pictures and intersecting the extruded objects so that what’s left is a close match, with the Pimax shape this should be possible. I have also scanned(and printed) a miniature bust of myself using a K2(was curious to see how well it worked). I tried the Pimax at a backer meeting(mine arrives tomorrow), and was getting light leaks at the edges and thought "why aren’t there any foam covers that vary in thickness.
I wasn’t aware there was memory foam filament, however the price makes it hard to justify the purchase. Would it be possible to print a contoured gasket that fits under the foam and attach it to the contoured plastic below(or possibly make this piece entirely)?

The face mask can be removed & likely scanned & modified & new variation printed in tpu

That’s a very good idea. :+1: I think this would be quite feasible.

Use standard filament to 3D print a “filler layer” (gasket) to be inserted between the headset and the foam pad. Using the 3D data from the Pimax headset model and the scanned face, determine the various distances to be filled, then subtract from that distance, the thickness of the foam pad times a “compression factor” based on how much the foam compresses when pressed against a face; try something like * 0.7. If there’s additional Velcro that will be used, that should also be accounted for (and make the printed “filler” part thinner). I would suggest designing the “filler” 3D model in 2 or 4 pieces, to accommodate smaller 3D printer beds.

I have an out-of-town friend who has a 3D printer. I’ll be visiting him in April. If Pimax or a backer can provide the headset model, I might be able to try this out. Unfortunately, even if I have my 8K by April, I won’t be taking the Pimax with me (due to luggage restrictions).

That means I won’t be able to do a test fit, so it would be ideal if some others can attempt this and report on their results. Any volunteers? :slight_smile:

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Have you done a quick estimate for something the size of the pad we’re talking about? I’d be willing to pay maybe $100 CAD for a pad.

The filament goes for between $35-$40 per 250g based on this page:

How much does a regular foam pad weigh? I’d guess this would be roughly the same, assuming a similar density.

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I will test this out and try to make a CAD file of the piece the foam attaches to(name?), if no one has done so. I think the drawback with this method would be when others use the hmd the switch to stock isn’t as easy as a printed foam to stock foam swap.

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