PC Mouse Redesign

Explaining the mouse redesign process  for ergonomic purposes.

As a geek who spend all the time in front of the PC, I always paid attention to the mouse  I used, from the ergonomic point of view. starting with a simple Genius to a gaming mouse like Roccat Kone [+]. I’ve tested many of them, and they have in common the tricky habit to break themselves in complicated hours. ( they can smell the fear I guess).
In some of those cases where I had to buy the first one I found, I get a tiny wireless mouse of the Berbatim brand.

Verbatim Bravo
Verbatim Bravo Wireless

It solved the urgent problem, I was able to finish the job, but during the use I felt it very uncomfortable  due to its small size.

That’s why I decided to redesign the mouse focusing my efforts in improve the shape according to my hand.

There are some articles that shows the 3 mainly ways to grab a mouse (as you can see here). I ‘ve been paying attention on how I grab the mouse for some days. The ones that I use the most are the palm and claw way. When I’m relaxed, the palm way, when I’m concentrated/hurried, the claw way for fastest movements.

Mouse grabs
Mouse grabs – Image from SlumpVirus Youtube

Several mouses on the market makes special shapes for the thumb area rather than the ring and pinky fingers. Actually it’s very common to get those fingers stressed up while grabbing small mouses.

Studying the mouse

After a quick disassembly, I decided to  maintain  the internal components and piece scheme, To get the same relation between pieces.

Verbatim Bravo disassembly

Besides the pcb and lens diffuser, I will also put the batteries and receptor holder in similar place.

Modeling internal components

Being a optical mouse, is important to keep the distance from the lens diffuser to the ground plane. The main measurements were on the diffuser and the lower mouse cover and then the pcb holes, scroll placement and so on. The battery contacts are conected by wire so it doesn’t require more atention.

Mouse Verbatim internal components – 2d plans

Mouse Redesign

Having those components in the 3d space I start with some simple surfaces. The first try was taking the shape of the Logitech MX 1100. Which I had the opportunity to test and is very comfortable.

Logitech MX1100
Mouse MX1100 modeling

Then I made other shapes for exploration. Since It is not good practice to settle for the first thing that comes out.

Form Exploration 1
Form Exploration 2

Finally I choose one of the first models above all, to continue with the internal components and the subdivision to get each cover.
Starting with a unique volume could be tricky to solve the internal fit between pieces but that’s the challenge.

mouse redesign
mouse redesign – main shape with partition line
Final model

While in injection mold would be more practical to make my logo  debossed over the surface, in this case I made it embossed to improve the 3d printing definition.

Exploded view

This exploded view illustrates the same piece scheme and assembly  like the original. It also maintain the demoulding of each piece, all of them are simple demoulding except for the lower case which have two slider in the front to lock the upper cover in the assembly.

Mouse – Exploded View
Parallel projection views

3D printing the prototype

In order to improve the material flexibility and thin walls definition, I arranged the pieces in a particular way, resulting in much more waste of support material and a considerable increase of printing time.

Mouse 3d printed

it was worth it, the printed pieces worked as espected, specially the buttons piece which have to flex without breaking.

mouse redesign comparison
Mouses comparison

The assembly was a little tricky due to the print definition but works anyway.

assembled printed mouse
Mouse – finished project
mouse redesign