Home Practice & Makers 3D-printed open-source alternative to the SpaceMouse computer mouse

3D-printed open-source alternative to the SpaceMouse computer mouse

Electrical engineer Colton Baldridge has developed a low-cost open source alternative to the professional 3D mouse “SpaceMouse”. The project, called “OS3M”, offers similar degrees of freedom for three-dimensional input, but is largely 3D printable.

For his work with CAD software, Baldridge wanted the same functions at home as his 150-400 US dollar model at work. As only one manufacturer has a quasi-monopoly on 3D mice with six degrees of freedom, he opted for a self-built open source solution.

At the heart of the OS3M is an individually designed 3D-printed housing with flexible joints for precise control along several axes. According to Baldridge, an in-house development was not only significantly cheaper, but also enabled customized fine-tuning of mechanics and ergonomics using finite element analyses.

In addition to the 3D print files, the project also includes circuit board designs for the required PCB. The OS3M is currently in its third hardware revision and can still be expanded on the software side. The firmware is currently based on examples from the microcontroller manufacturer and only supports the CAD software Solidworks. In addition, a graphical user interface for control and fine adjustment is still pending.

However, the OS3M provides experienced makers with a comprehensive kit for a self-developed 3D input cube – including all design files on platforms GitHub under an open source license. Further details are also published on Hackaday.

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