This tutorial shows how to break open a USB Mouse and modify the electronics to reposition them anywhere you like, to your ergonomic satisfaction! It is more advanced than earlier tutorials and builds on techniques such as working with Plastic (ABS). It has a dedicated section of Foam Techniques if you are new to this and also some Basic Electronic tips as well.
The goal of the project is to demonstrate a way to create working prototypes that help the designer/user to fully explore the form/function aspects of a product. Much of these skills can be applied to other projects and combines with other materials. Although not a substitue for CAD or proper Electronic design, findings through quick ‘skecth-modelling’ like this will result in a better design brief, so that more complex processes build on a solid foundation.
A quick overview of the main parts of the tutorial.
Examination of components of a typical wireless and corded USB Mouse.
Use a small LED-light to shine through the PCB to see the tracks.
Cutting the PCB to separate the Jog Wheel from the Optical Sensor.
Scratch Off PCB Coating
How to prepare the PCB tracking to be soldered onto.
Solder On Wires
Tricks for how to solder onto a PCB tack.
Modify Plastic Shell
How to cut, slice, saw – and nibble your case to the right shape.
All functional parts of the mouse on wires [tethers] – for free positioning.
Using some of the case for functions.
Evaluate Form and Function
Reviewing the design and how you intend it to function.
Foam sculpting using various tools – and how to make improvised tools.
Build Function Into Form
After the function – how to give appropriate form.
Prepare for the electronics.
Using some ABS plastic to define certain details.
Glue-Gun to fix two halves together.
First Surface Filler
First (water-based) filler layer.
Defining the basic form.
Second Surface Filler
Car Body Filler for strength.
Could be painted once finished.
Discussion about design intent and feature curves.
Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect in any way those of the companies to which I am affiliated. The work shown here (or any advice given) is done so in good faith, but you attempt this entirely at your own risk and I accept no responsibility or liability for anything that results from it. (Sorry to be a drag, but you know how it is these days - people will sue for coffee being hot).