If you’re as much of a tech enthusiast as us, you’ve probably noticed that virtual reality is a hot topic of discussion lately. From the medical industry using VR to conduct live virtual surgeries to IKEA using the technology to immerse customers in a fully furnished kitchen. Virtual reality is increasingly being applied in various industries as a tool to tell stories, teach or add a new dimension to products. Alongside big players like Oculus VR and HTC Vive is Vensterworks, a Dutch startup on a mission to make affordable and personalized VR experiences available to anyone at any time.
Vensterworks’ business is focused on creating and selling customized VR glasses, renting out VR glasses and developing personalized VR apps, primarily for businesses; hereby using 3D printing and laser cutting. The idea to explore the field of VR initially came into existence at a Korfball association where Steven and Kevin met. As two software engineers wanting to conquer a position in the world of virtual reality, they quickly realized they needed a mechanical and industrial engineer to design and create their very own VR glasses. That’s when Jiska and Elise jumped on board and completed the dream team.
“Our mission is to give everyone the power to experience mixed reality, anywhere at any time. We believe that mixed reality is a fundamentally mobile experience. 3D printing reduces the time and financial constraints to make our vision reality.”
– Elise Buiter, Mechanical Engineer
Using The Element and Formide
Vensterworks envisioned their glasses to be durable, affordable and personalized to customers’ preferences. Above all, they should be portable. To achieve this, the team started experimenting with 3D printing to rapid prototype their designs and to produce small batches. As they only owned one 3D printer located at their office, teamwork and time management proved to be quite challenging while working remotely. That’s when Steven introduced The Element and Formide to their workflow.
“I backed Printr on Kickstarter and was thus very familiar with the concept of remote monitoring. Before working with The Element, Elise and Jiska would send me their 3D models through email which I subsequently would save on a USB drive for printing. The process took lots of time and energy. Now all I have to do is invite them to my Element so they can queue all necessary components to create one VR glass.”
Now, a year later, Vensterworks has successfully launched an app and two VR glasses, fabricated respectively with the use of 3D printing and laser cutting. Their personal VR app is focused on gift-giving and celebrations. With the low cost productions enabled by 3D printing, the company is able to offer their VR glasses at an affordable price. In line with their vision, they also offer customization of their products and are working hard on creating an app through which customers’ requests are made possible. We’re very inspired by Vensterworks’ story and are curious to see what the future holds for them. Don’t forget to check out their authentic designs.