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VDK - Virtual Design Kit

Designing sheet metal constructions in Virtual Reality

Virtual Design Kit, better known as VDK, is a design software that allows you to create sheet metal constructions in virtual reality. Your own idea can be brought to life by snapping pieces together to create your own designs. VDK simultaneously generates the flat projection of your design, which serves as the stencil for laser cutting. The stencil of your design, can be sent to a laser cutter for production and then back to you for assembly and to use and enjoy. 

The project was developed in collaboration with the Institute Human-Tech from the School of Engineering Architecture and Fribourg, Switzerland. 


1 year

Virtual Reality

Software Design


Service Design

Tobias Kappeler

Christoph Schneider

Nicolas Dubied

Sebastien Fragniere

Building a Lamp 

Overview of all functions

Current CAD and 3D modelling software require a lot of time and effort to learn and master. VDK lowers this threshold to design and produce a construction. 

VDK can have different implications, depending on the material and the production method. The ability to quickly visualise and proof your ideas to eliminate mistakes at an early stage can save time and resources. VDK bridges between the fields of design, production and construction. 

Step 1: Load piece

Menu 8Portfolio.png

Step 2: Snap pieces together


Overlap and snap


Left: Grab all pieces

Grabbing Outline 1_edit.png

Right: Grab one piece

Flat projection for lasercutting




Laser cutting samples

Through the use of perforated bending edges, the design can be produced flat and folded together to give its shape and form. 

Different material thickness, hole sizes and connection width were tested to ensure stability and strength. 

Lamp Design

As a first use case I decided to focus on the design of lamps, with the light and the according shadow being simulated in the virtual environment. 

Sheet metal Lamps


Physical Kit

To communicate the intention and design method of VDK, I built a physical kit that represents the software. All components from the software can be found inside the kit. The different pieces are explained inside the booklet and the building pieces, can be snapped together to experience the ease of use without having to put on the headset. .


This allowed for easier communication of the project and to reach people who are not familiar with Virtual Reality and its potentials.

User Interface

Menu interaction through laser beam from the controller.

Settings: change interaction settings for left-handed users and save & load your work. 

Tutorial Screen 1edit_edited_edited.png

Hand controller with 3D Icons to communicate each buttons functions. 

Video tutorials in VR to explain the interactions, menu, snapping of pieces and how to record your progress while in VR.

Work in Progress


Project video

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