Virtual Reality is back and the Freefly VR allows your smartphone (subject to specification) to be the driving force to enter the world of VR. No computer or external devices are needed! Simply place your smartphone into the Freefly VR, lock it in and you are good to go.
This is LUMA's flagship design and we are really proud of the product we have designed and we hope to bring VR to the masses. This project pushed our assembly and moulding knowledge as well as new skills acquired in lens design, adhesion, UI design, and Android applications.
It has also been a challenge to design a product that is easily adjustable to fit the wide array of smartphones, but also allow a one-click access to the phone screen for easy navigation.
When we started the project back in 2013 the performance of smartphones was not up to scratch, so the Freefly was initially a tablet sized device. The world of mobile technology moves quickly however and we were able to adapt the device to work with newer, smaller phones, turning the Freefly into the lightweight device it is today. You can see how far we've come from our very first design!
3D Printing proved an invaluable asset in developing the Freefly VR. Being able to make changes that could be reviewed within days vastly increased the speed of the process and allowed us to test precisely how the product would perform in the real world. The method of securing a phone had the most time under scrutiny as this is a critical aspect of the device.
Although 3D Printing was an invaluable tool, there were still a lot of adjustments we had to make after the plastic injection moulding was completed. Travelling to our manufacturing partners in China allowed us to work through any issues that we found far quicker and more effectively than by email. This trip helped push the project very close to its close, with only a few material decisions to be made once we returned.
We couldn't have produced this product with the help and support from colleagues, friends and family. LUMA would like to thank Nick Allen, Chris McGee, Jonathan Tustain, Grant Fraser, Sam Janzen and Matt Passmore in particular for the help and the following companies. Cheers guys!
3DPRINTUK provided us with over ten iterations of the Freefly. These were used as early concepts and then later on during production to tweak final issues. All the white prototypes you can see on this page were printed out of a nylon powder that is sintered with a laser using 3DPRINUK's EOS printing machinery.