How to build your own ‘personal’ digital therapy machine with the help of this DIY guide
A DIY virtual reality machine built from scratch.
The $30 DIY project is the brainchild of a user named Matt, who claims to have built a DIY virtual therapy machine from scratch in less than three weeks.
The machine uses a pair of 3D-printed plastic cubes that are essentially virtual assistants.
Users use a smartphone app to scan the images to create a 3D model of the room in which they want to practice, then the 3D cube will scan a scene and provide feedback to help the user visualize what they want the virtual therapist to do.
Matt claims he spent $25 to make the machine and then spent an additional $40 to buy the materials he needed to make it.
He then built the machine using a few basic electronics and components he bought online.
The results were impressive.
According to Matt, the 3-D printed cube is able to simulate the sensations of physical therapy sessions, such as a gentle massage or even a full body massage.
He says the machine can simulate “pain” by projecting a physical image onto a screen.
The software also offers the user a personalized guide for the therapist, giving the user detailed descriptions of each of the therapeutic scenarios they might want to perform.
The 3-d printed cubes are used to simulate sensations of therapy sessions.
The cubes can simulate physical therapy exercises.
Image credit: Matt (CC BY 2.0) The process of creating a virtual therapy session is relatively straightforward, but it does take some getting used to.
You need to make sure the user has a smartphone, and you have to be willing to go out of your way to provide that information.
There are a number of things that make this process difficult: how do you make sure you have enough space?
Matt says he built his 3D printer to hold up to 100 objects and that the printer’s built-in storage has been limited to a single tray, which is small enough to fit the full machine.
To ensure that each of his objects is a part of the session, he had to create an interface that would let users customize the objects in the room.
Matt also had to make a few modifications to his 3-Ds, such that the 3Ds could not rotate on their own.
“I made the first 3D print in three days and then it took me two months to complete the rest of the machine,” he says.
When the machine is complete, the user can access the session by simply looking through the 3DS screen.
It also works with any smartphone, so if you have a 3-DS you can use the 3d-printed cube to print your own virtual therapy sessions from.
Matt’s method is somewhat unorthodox, as it involves making your own VR headset.
Matt says the virtual therapy machines he built are the first that allow users to actually feel the therapy session.
He said that the device works by using two 3D printed cubes that form the virtual space around the therapist.
Users are able to look at the cubes through the virtual reality headset, which uses two 3-inch wide lenses that project a virtual image onto the screen.
“It’s a lot of effort and money to make something this simple, but when you put all of that together it creates something very powerful,” he said.
Matt plans to continue to develop his 3d printer to add more items to the list of items the virtual therapists can interact with.
He plans to eventually add more objects to the virtual room, and then expand the experience with other 3-dimensional objects.
Matt and his team hope that their DIY 3D printing method will allow more people to use virtual therapy as a treatment option.