Last Friday, 28th June, consumers around the world began receiving their Valve Index headsets the pre-orders of which had sold out within minutes. But the company isn’t purely interested in producing virtual reality (VR) headsets with high fidelity, Valve wants to foster a community to expand the device’s potential. To that end, Valve has announced the release of CAD files for all three primary components in the Valve Index system.
Released under a Creative Commons License, the files allow modders to design additional attachments or other peripherals for the headset, controller and base station units. The files a lot of modders will likely be interested in relate to the ‘Frunk’, the recessed gap at the front of the headset under the translucent visor.
This gap was designed specifically for additional attachments, with a USB 3 type A port capable of 1A@5V located on the inside to power whatever designers dream up. Details include the above image which represents the volume that a design can occupy without occluding cameras or sensors.
Valve notes in a statement: “If your creation attaches elsewhere, we recommend routing the USB cable directly out the side towards the eye-relief adjustment knob in order to minimize the chance of occlusion. We strongly recommend against removing the frunk plastic, as it can impact your sensor calibration and will void a warranty you may otherwise enjoy. Anything that requires a T5 or smaller is not user serviceable.”
Users can customise the visor without fear of occlusion as no sensors or cameras look “through” the translucent visor (attach stickers if you so wish). There are even files to create your own face gasket which attaches by magnets for easy removal and replacement.
As mentioned, the CAD files are for all three products, so the controllers are also moddable. Due to the fact that every input of the controller has capacitive sensing: the thumbstick, trackbutton, trigger, grip, and buttons, Valve does recommend keeping these surfaces clear. Valve has included a “Booster” accessory example for the Index Controller. This is a shell that wraps around the grip portion of the controller, great for people bigger hands and longer thumbs.
All the files are hosted on a GitHub repository located here. This feature:
- High-resolution STP files to model with
- Low-resolution STL files to quickly view and explore
- Dimensioned drawings of relevant geometry
Do be aware that if you design anything using these files and want to sell the product you need to get in contact with Valve at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further updates on Valve Index, keep reading VRFocus.