Good News for Modding Community as Valve Index Releases CAD Files for Developers
Valve began shipping its high-end PC-based virtual reality headset Valve Index to enthusiastic users eager to try out its superb specs. However, Valve isn’t just interested in delivering high-specs hardware with high fidelity; it also wants to encourage hardware experts and modders to build their own proprietary accessories for the headset in order to expand the capabilities of the device while at the same time positioning itself as a developer-friendly open-source hardware platform.
Valve has released the CAD components for the Valve Index VR headset to the public which will enable creators to begin modifying the primary components of the headset. The company’s aim is to foster a modder community that will expand the potential of its Valve Index virtual reality headset. The CAD files have been released for all the three primary components which are available in the Valve Index platform.
The CAD components have been released under a Creative Components License and will make it possible for modders to create additional attachments or peripherals for the device, base station units or controllers. Many of the modders are more likely to be interested in the files associated with “Frunk”, which is the recessed gap found at the front of the VR headset beneath the translucent visor.
This gap was designed to accommodate extra attachments and includes a USB 3 Type A port with a rating of 1A@5V which can be found on the inside part. This can be used in powering any device that a future designer can conjure. The image below is part of the details and shows the amount of volume any particular design can take without occluding the sensors or cameras in the device.
In a statement, Valve recommends that for any creation that attaches elsewhere, the USB cable should be routed directly outwards towards the eye-relief adjustment knob as this helps in minimizing the possibility of occlusion. The company strongly advises against getting rid of the frunk plastic as this may affect the sensor calibration and void the device warranty. Anything that will need a T5 or smaller will not be user-serviceable.
It is also possible for users to customize the visor without worrying about occlusion as there are no cameras or sensors “looking through” the translucent visor. Users will even find files which they can use to create their own face gaskets and these easily attach to the magnet, ensuring ease of removal or replacement.
The CAD files that have been released are for all the three components so even the base stations and controllers are moddable.
Every input in the controller has capacitive sensing, including in the trackbutton, thumbstick, grip, trigger and the buttons so it is recommended that these surfaces be kept clear. The “Booster” accessory has also been included for the Index Controller. This refers to the shell wrapping around the grip part of the controller and is ideal for people that have bigger hands and longer thumbs.
The files can all be downloaded from the GitHub repository and include the following:-
- High-resolution STP files for modeling with.
- Low-resolution STL files for quickly viewing and exploring.
- Dimensioned drawings that have the relevant geometry.
Modders that design using these files and who wish to sell their products should get in touch with Valve via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.