Valve launched Index, the high-quality PC VR headset, just a few days ago. As an enthusiast-level device, we likened it to a DSLR camera in out full review, setting itself apart from the easier to use, but more consumer-oriented Rift S (the point and shoot in our camera analogy). Now, Valve has released CAD files of the entire Index system so hardware tinkerers and pros can start creating parts for Index.

Valve released CAD components today of all three primary products in the Valve Index VR system (controller, headset, and base station).

It’s hosted in a GitHub repository, which includes:

  • High resolution STP files to model with Low resolution STL files to quickly view and explore
  • Dimensioned drawings of relevant geometry
  • A few example accessories to get you started

One of the most enticing options for hardware devs is invariably the ‘Frunk’, the extensible USB 3 type A port capable of 1A@5V located on the front of the headset. The Frunk can hypothetically host a number of user-built devices, such as things as ‘simple’ as LED displays or as complicated as, well, we don’t know. Valve has left it up to the community to figure out what best fits in the Frunk.

Photo by Road to VR

For makers looking to attach electronic creations on the outside of the headset, Valve suggests using 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,” the company says.

If the Frunk isn’t in use, Valve says that makers can put practically anything on the four magnetic visor attach points, letting you create stranger and more futuristic visors for the Index headset.

Image courtesy Valve

We thought the default face gasket was very comfortable, if not too absorbent in our full review, although the CAD files also include models for the Index face gasket. Since it’s also held in by magnets, you should be able to create any angle of surface to accommodate a larger range of face sizes, and also more sweat resistant gaskets.

SEE ALSO
Valve Index Review – The Enthusiast's Choice

Valve is keen on kickstarting a hardware community with Index, and although the headset’s audio solution is the best in class, the company also included a way to remove them so devs can add whatever they want. Simply remove the headphones (more like head stereos) with a T6 Torx driver to reveal the pogo pins that carry the audio signal. They aren’t designed for heavy loads, so keep it in mind when designing, Valve warns. It’s a pretty dicey operations though, so consult Valve first for the specifics before trying to remove and add new audio solutions to Index.

The Index controllers (ex-Knuckles) have been hotly awaited since dev kits were sent out in 2017. Valve has also included an accessory example called a ‘Booster’, which is essentially a shell that wraps around the grip portion of the Index Controller to make longer play sessions more comfortable for larger-handed users.

Image courtesy Valve

Valve says the Booster model also serves as a reference design for markers who want to create a mechanically mounted accessory that doesn’t directly interfere with or occlude any of the optical tracking sensors, finger sensors, or input controls.

“This is valuable because any given controller design must trade-off between tool vs hand presence, and an accessory allows a user to quickly adapt it to any number of applications,” Valve says.

Lastly, Valve says the SteamVR 2.0 basestations include a standard camera thread size of 1/4″-20. Many off-the-shelf devices should already fit, so the possibilities for mounting are ample to say the least.

Valve’s CAD models are listed under a Creative Commons license, although if you want to physically sell any of your creations, you’ll have to contact Valve first at. steamvrbiz@valvesoftware.com.

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If you’re still waiting on Valve Index to arrive, check out our in-depth review to find out just what makes Index tick.

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  • Thunk

    Maybe someone can design a front fan to deal with the design fault of it getting very warm in front, a problem which negates all of the Index’s selling points around comfort.

    • Evol Love

      I’ve played multiple, multiple hour sessions and yet to consider this an issue that negates any of the selling points.. now the glare of the lenses on the other hand….

      • Thunk

        Yeah, right. More like you have to keep telling yourself that because you know the Index isn’t worth $1000 with all its problems.

        • Rob H

          Looks like someone’s upset their mommy isn’t going to be getting them this for Christmas this year :(

          • Thunk

            Looks like someone doesn’t have a wife, family, or actual life responsibilities.

          • Rob H

            Looks like someone completely missed the point.

          • Thunk

            Says the person who literally missed the point of my post and made a false assumption about me. For the record, someone making a valid criticism of a product that isn’t objectively worth its current asking price doesn’t instantly mean that person is just hating, or that they’re too young to afford it.

          • Rob H

            Whooooosh!

          • gothicvillas

            You remind me a guy who once tried to convince me Dacia Duster is better than Land Rover. He never admitted that his opinion was strongly connected to the size of his wallet. For me, 1000 dollars was the exact price I am happy to part for a headset so it was a no brainer for me. You have to ask yourself one question, suppose Index with the controllers and base stations was priced the same as Rift S. Which one would you pick?

          • Thunk

            Obviously I would pick the Index; that’s the irony of your reply, you’re literally missing my point, that the Index isn’t objectively worth its current $1000 asking price with all its problems, but if it were cheaper, it would be a no brainer. At the end of the day, it’s all about value for money, and the small improvements the Index has over the Rift S isn’t worth the extra $600.

          • Bornblaz3d

            I was completely on for getting one and now I won’t be at all until they iron out most of the issues. The control stick is a big one and people are breaking the triggers with a minor drop on carpet, these things need to be designed better. I want to hear all of the great things but I keep hearing a lot of bad.

        • Evol Love

          I’m an adult without money issues, I already had base stations so I didn’t spend the full $1000 but regardless I prefer high quality VR over cheap sub-par VR. While I do have some issues with decisions valve made on the Index mostly just the lenses. Overall no one who has actually had the chance to try one out can argue this is the highest quality consumer HMD available and that comes at a premium cost. For those budget minded not desiring the best available the Rift S is a decent choice.

          • Thunk

            I would agree with you if it actually were a high quality VR headset, but it’s not, and doesn’t feel like it’s worth its price, or worth paying $600 more than a Rift S for. The poor contrast LCD panels, the horrible amount of glare, the very small sweet spot, the FoV not being a large increase from the Vive, the front of it overheating, the poor placement of the Analog sticks on the Index controllers; these are all widely documented problems with the Index right now.

          • Evol Love

            While obviously, I wish it was better than it is. It’s still the best over-all consumer HMD available and the price doesn’t offend me.

          • Thunk

            Not only do I wish it was better, I wish it wasn’t worse than the cheaper headsets in many areas.

          • A

            For someone who has never even used the headset you sure enjoy parroting what you read on the internet as if it was fact.

          • Thunk

            Firstly, reviews aren’t facts, they’re subjective. Furthermore, reviews are largely there to serve the purpose as a customer buying guide, so that people don’t needlessly waste their money in the first place.

            Also does your $280 Valve Index controllers currently have the defective click on the analog sticks? Or am I just merely parroting Internet reviews as fact?

          • Rob H

            You’re trying really hard to make it seem like you’ve actually tried it for yourself :)

          • Jeppe

            Some of your earlier comments make it seem like you didn’t even buy it, so I’m not sure you are in a position to deny the claims of the people that actually have it if you don’t even have first hand experience.

          • Thunk

            I never said I did buy it. Why would anyone with common sense blindly buy a $1000 headset without doing any research on it? Everything I’ve said so far comes from dozens of online reviews I’ve seen, but that doesn’t make my points any less valid whether I own the headset or not. You don’t have to buy something to be critical of it.

            For example, I’ve read about the problems with the analogs on the Index controllers, which appears to be a hardware design fault and can’t be fixed through software.

            By your logic, I should just ignore the information I’ve read about the controllers and just blindly buy them.

            It’s like saying, gamers shouldn’t criticise EA games and shitty practices based on what they’ve read online, because they haven’t bought EA’s games.

          • Simon Graham

            The LCD panels aren’t as bad as being “poor contrast” but they are brighter on the blacks so that it’s noticeable. The glare yes..it’s not good :( The very small sweet spot though? Definitely not, this is vastly improved on any other headset that I’ve tried before. If you have an issue with this, the fitting probably needs adjusted. The FOV is better but it also has it’s issues (the black semi circles on the sides are very noticeable, as is the pressure on the eyebrow bridge, but overheating yes. I honestly don’t think the quality of the headset is anything to shout about ( the components and plastics feel cheap ) but the design is quite good.

          • Thunk

            Yeah, the noticeable semicircles around the sides, when you push the lenses closer, was another thing I heard, and basically to mitigate them you essentially had to lower the FoV. Thanks for the measured reply and keeping it non-toxic.

          • Bornblaz3d

            There is no way this thing is “the best” yet. They need to iron out the kinks. I have been through many Vive systems because of shoddy craftsmanship, there is no way I am doing it again with another brand.

          • Jarilo

            Damn dude, I still have a working perfectly original Vive and I put that thing through it’s paces. Talking about 400+ hours of sweat Sparc and more. WTF you doing to yours?

        • Popin

          Man you must be writhing in envy with how much you are trying to dilute yourself into believing there are massive design flaws with the Index. The Index is hands down the best VR system on the market.

          • Thunk

            Lol, using the word “dilute” instead of delude again. Moron.

    • Any USB laptop fan with flexible neck should works, easy and cheap

      • Jarilo

        He can’t try that as a solution, he doesn’t actually own it.

    • Jarilo

      This index hater troll again. lmao

      • Ratm

        He is right hating it, are you trying to sell yours and he is killing the price?
        Not yet? give it a week..
        The spot is designed for a cooling solution,if someone use a 3080ti and get those 144hz this machine will not last a year.

        • Jarilo

          No, I’m trying to buy one but could only get the controllers at the moment. Dumbass trolls stick together I see.

          • Ratm

            And you know its good from reviews and not the specs?And we are the trolls? I only see 10 other trols around here trying to sell.

          • Thunk

            Criticism != hating. I don’t think the Index is worth its current asking price with all its problems and disappointing design choices, that’s all.

            A lot of people agree with me that the headset is a step back in many ways, and doesn’t feel like a true second gen headset, but more of a 1.5.

            Also, the main selling point of the Index is the new Index controllers, (which are also too expensive at $290) and they appear to have a hardware defect with their analog sticks not clicking properly.

          • Jarilo

            1.5 , they say that about every headset. People agree my ass.

          • Thunk

            Okay, well continue to be triggered by multifarious opinions that all say the same thing about the regressive god rays and glare, shitty LCD contrast black levels that’s objectively inferior to OLED panels, and knuckles, which literally having a design fault, and aren’t clicking down when the analog stick is moved outside of neutral position.

          • Thunk

            I’ve literally seen a review where the guy said he felt less immersed in the night time of Skyrim on his Valve Index, compared to his original Vive, because of the low contrast LCD black levels compared to the richer black levels of the Vive’s previous OLED panels. It’s a regression, dude. You’re just being delusional to justify your purchase/ future purchase/ whatever.

          • Jarilo

            Dude, I’m not the one who is triggered here. I only have the Knuckles, I don’t have an Index. It’s like you have a point to prove on every Index article, so look in the mirror.

          • Thunk

            You are the definition of triggered. Your feelings are getting in the way of basic facts and objective criticism.

          • Jarilo

            Haha, anyone who reads the comments in order knows that’s bull shit, I mean shit, you even replied to yourself in here. lmfao

          • Thunk

            Lol, you’re literally obsessively reading the comments, but pretending you’re not triggered. Facts over feelings, get over it. You blew $290 on that controller, and now every time that analog stick fails on you, you’re gonna cast your mind back every time on me and my comments, and you’re gonna be like, “Fuck, he was right. But I don’t want to admit it…” XD

          • Jarilo

            Damn, there you go again proving how triggered I am with your walls of text. I’ll let you know when my controllers fail me, I love them so far. lmao

          • Thunk

            Damn, if that’s a wall of text to you, you must be pretty fucking illiterate, lol.

          • Jarilo

            Yea yea, keep crying bitch tits.

          • Thunk

            Says the guy literally triggered and crying over facts, lol.

    • Jeppe

      The heat isn’t a fault. It’s a feature.
      It’s a design choice that’s present in the Vive too and which serves the important purpose of making sure the lenses don’t fog up during long or active sessions.

      • Thunk

        Lol, yes, sweating in your headset is a feature.

        • Jeppe

          That heat doesn’t reach your face.

        • Jarilo

          I’m pretty sure sweating is a human biological feature, and not a headset feature. All headsets have this problem since they try to seclude your face from the world. Troll face.

    • Trip

      Have you ever used a Rift CV1? That got hot enough for me to try cooling solutions. I used my index for 12 hours on Saturday and didn’t notice any heat problem. And small sweet spot? Are you joking? The sweet spot is so huge compared to other consumer VR HMD’s that there effectively isn’t one.

      • Thunk

        Yeah, and how’s those $290 Index controllers? Worth the money with their defective analog sticks which have clicking problems?

        • Popin

          It is ok @Thunk, we all understand you are too poor for the Index and need to dilute yourself into thinking they are defective. The Index Controllers are awesome and work fine, analog sticks and all.

          • Thunk

            Criticism of something not worth its current price != being poor.

            Also, good job fucking up the word “delude”, by using dilute. Your lack of an education doesn’t really scream someone who has a lot of money.

          • Popin

            Since you want to fixate on grammar good job knowing how to use commas. “Also then clearly you’re the one delusional.” is perfect sentence structure. Your lack of an education doesn’t really scream someone who has a lot of money.

    • Jerald Doerr

      You can add fans to the frunk with a little ingenuity and no special tools… The usb will power 1amp at 5 volts.. I did two fans inside the eye section of my OG-Vive but reality set in after I figured out the blades could shatter into the the users eyes…

      • Thunk

        I think it’s sad you even have to add a fan to it in the first place, especially when it’s not for added immersion sake, but because you’re literally sweating in the headset.

        • Jerald Doerr

          Dude… people sweat without a VR HMD on there face with any kind of full-body activity.

          What VR do you have again?

    • Michael Taylor

      If you actually owned the headset you would know that none of the heat is felt inside, so no it doesn’t make it any less comfortable. It gets warm on the outside, big deal. The back of my Dell 144hz 1440p monitor gets pretty warm too, don’t hear people crying about that.

      • Ratm

        No idea what a monitor have to do here, heat travels but if your eyes dont get dry with your index after half hour at 144hz njoy it :)

        • Michael Taylor

          Monitor has plenty of relevance here because the index has 2 of them also running at the same hz. And like I said, lens portion does not get hot, I play for hours and my eyes don’t get dry and it doesn’t heat up my face.

      • Thunk

        Yeah and the Valve Index analog sticks are a little defective, too; don’t hear people crying about that on Reddit either, oh wait…

    • Ratm

      Good advertising can make people blind sometimes, heat maybe or not an issue,probably is but i bet they dont expect people to use it full time at 144hz this year. Specs are specs this a low res lcd screen cant get worse .I think we need to let people who spent money in it,believe whatever they wont an enjoy.

    • Edawg

      We’ve played for hours on end and have had no problems with heat. Either you’re exaggerating or it’s problematic on some units vs others.

      • Thunk

        Am I exaggerating about the analog sticks on the Index controllers having a defective click problem as well?

  • Jarilo

    People gonna make some crazy shit. lol

  • Leonardo Almeida

    a GitHub repository, link, don´t work at now.

    • Jeppe

      The link works now

  • Diavo Jinx, the Jinxy One

    “we likened it to a DSLR camera in out full review”
    Should be “our” not “out”. Common typo.

  • Jerald Doerr

    Nice!!! Nice…. NICE!!!! Just wish I had my CNC…. This little 3D Printer is kind a boring to us and setup for what you get back…. The step/.stp files are money! THANKS!

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  • Jistuce

    I like that “LED messageboard” was apparently Valve’s idea for demonstrating the concept. I’m not the only one that thinks this hollow is perfect for making us all into Daft Punk.

  • oompah

    thumbs up
    Lets hope affordables are available
    soon

  • I am curious to see if this will create a full market of custom accessories (e.g. for ergonomics) or if very few people will exploit this possibility