Turn Your $10 Dollar Mouse Into A Fancy $10 Dollar Mouse With CNC

We feel it’s healthy to cultivate a general desire for more neat tools. That’s just one of the reasons we like [doublecloverleaf]’s retro PC mouse. It certainly meets the requirement, the first computer mouse was wooden, and the mouse he used as the guts for this is so retro it belongs in the dollar bin at the thrift store.

To begin with, [doublecloverleaf] took a picture of the footprint of his aged, but trustworthy laser mouse. Using the photo in SolidWorks he built a model of the circuit board, and with that digitized, a mouse that suited his aesthetics around it. The final model is available on GrabCAD.

Edit: Woops, looks like we accidentally slandered a great Slovenian community CNC project. Check out the comments for more info. Original text in italics. 

Next came the CNC. It looks like he’s using one of those Chinese 3040 mills that are popular right now. The electronics are no good, but if you luck out you can get a decent set of mechanics out of one. He did a two side milling operation on a wood block, using four small holes to align the gcode before each step, and then milled the bottom out of aluminum. Lastly, he milled the buttons out of aluminum as well, and turned a knurled scroll wheel on his lathe.
The end result looks exceedingly high end, and it would be a hard first guess to assume the internals were equivalent to a $10 Amazon house brand mouse.

[via r/DIY]



20 thoughts on “Turn Your $10 Dollar Mouse Into A Fancy $10 Dollar Mouse With CNC

  1. Hi!

    I’m doublecloverleaf from reddit and I’d like you to know that I’m not using Chinese 3040 mill. The mill I’m using is the most Slovenian machine ever because it’s machanics and electronics were designed here. It was a group project of Slovenian association of elektrical engineers (translated) and we made more than 200 of those machines. You can get a better look at my machine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5rVV4bbPgE


  2. Nice. Reminds me of my Genius GM-6.
    Which, to my surprise, despite being 25 years old and RS232, still works with Linux even through USB adapters :)

    [a bit offtopic rant]
    I find it amusing how modern Windows can randomly mistake anything on a COM port for a mouse. Put a GM-6 on any Windows machine higher than 3.11 (I think) and it won’t work at all. But put a GPS receiver on a COM port (had to setup GPS for my quadcopter) and Windows would be like – “oh hey, something happens on that port – must be a mouse!” and proceeds to throw my cursor everywhere as GPS data comes along :D

    1. I’m not sure that makes sense, I mean COM ports are in use for bluetooth and GPS all the time, and for arduinno and such, and a host of other uses, and I never heard it causing the pointer to go weird
      Perhaps the GPS coincidentally pushed a set of bytes that made itself ID as a mouse or something? Anyway I think there might be some unknown explanation for the described event other than windows treating all COM as a mouse.

      1. This happens if serial device is talking on the physical (?) COM port while Windows boots up. That mechanism allowed it to autodetect most serial mice in the old NT/9x days.
        It’s just kinda weird that this mechanism is still there even in Windows 10, long after serial mice went almost extinct – that’s the Windows I used to mess with my GPS module.

        Late reply, I know…

    2. I’ve seen the same thing with barcode readers – always fun when it happens in a production environment. Our solution was to post a sign warning the operators not to leave parts in front of the scanners if you have to reboot the HMI for any reason. Yay Windows!

      1. I have had this happen at an industrial site with a computer with 12+ serial ports when sometimes one would map as a mouse. There was some registry hacks to make the computer (running windows) not detect for serial mice and load serial mice drivers.

  3. The CNC machine is not a cheapo chinese. It was designed by Andrej, http://www.planet-cnc.com/ who develop and offer fairly priced and good quality CNC controllers. Motor drivers are PoStep60-256 https://www.poscope.com/PoStep60-256 which performs surprisingly well. The parts for machine were prepared as community project run by local non-profit Electronic society group. There were about 80 machines and about half of them is now operational. More info is available only in Slovenian language, sorry: https://s5tech.net/viewforum.php?f=74

    There were other projects made with this machine, e.g. 3 axis gimbal for garmin Virb http://e.pavlin.si/2016/02/04/3-axis-gimbal-for-garmin-virb/

      1. I do apologize my good man and I guess I should clarify my diction a little. You see, there is a curious dialect of english used by the denizens of 4chan which may not make immediate sense unless the reader has partaken in the culture that created the dialect. In this case feeling is shortened to feel, or “that feel when huge hands”. So you see that the use of the word in that dialect is appropriate but not in general english. Now since we tend to treat acronyms as a single word in english nowadays it has become customary to disregard the internal logic of the sentence construction which is even more obvious when short phrases are imported from different languages.

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