Hand-Built Metal Mouse Is Beautifully Engraved

Computer mice, like computers themselves, used to be built almost solely in hideous beige designs. These days, things are a bit more stylish, but they’re still largely following a simple plastic formula. [Uri Tuchman] decided to build a fancy metal engraved computer mouse for a little more style on the desktop.

The build starts by gutting a simple three-button scroll mouse, as there’s really no sense in reinventing the wheel where the electronics is concerned. The PCB inside is pulled out and assembled on a brass baseplate, along with standoffs and supports for the mouse wheel as needed. It’s paired with a hefty brass enclosure with a nice gentle slope to sit well in the hand. Or, as well as it can, given the square  metal edges of the finished product.

The build is full of fun details, like [Uri] trying to form a hex shaft by hand, and the work that goes into the engraving is similarly impressive. In any case, it’s a build that would pair wonderfully with a proper steampunk keyboard. Alternatively, if you hate the idea of having to do all that engraving by hand, think about building your own CNC machine. Video after the break.

Thanks to [DainBramage] for the tip!

19 thoughts on “Hand-Built Metal Mouse Is Beautifully Engraved

  1. This is almost exactly the same shape as my first mouse. It was made from the beige plastic referenced. Instead of a ball or laser, it had two wheels on the bottom and worked amazingly well. It was a two button serial mouse, used with my 286, and the shape was almost identical to this. As a result, while this mouse does look nice, it looks outdated and obsolete due to the similiarities. It looks like something that should be in a museum, rather than on a desktop controlling a computer. Overall, I like the idea, but I feel the execution could be done better.

    That said, I love the idea of users owning their aesthetic, and if this is what someone wants, they definitely should make it and use it regardless of what I think. One of the things I appreciate about the 1800s/steampunk aesthetic is that it doesn’t abandon aesthetic for ease of design and construction. 1800s appliances often have artistic aspects, without losing utility. Modern appliances look like they belong in hospitals, with their utilitarian, clinical aesthetic. Even the stuff designed to be “fancy” are lazy. I have a desktop computer I built myself for machine learning. I needed lots of fans to cool the video cards during long neural network training sessions, so I ended up getting a gaming case (because anything less doesn’t have enough fan mounts). The case has an industrial aesthetic, with a glass panel on the side so you can see the raw electronics. Since when was inner workings of appliances the peak of aesthetic beauty? Especially when circuit boards are made purely with function in mind, without any concern for beauty. Sure, it might be nice for gamers to show off the hardware in their rig, but it’s far easier and more meaningful using whatever utility is build into the operating system to show hardware data. And if you want to show off the minute details, CPU-Z provides more data than you could ever get merely looking through a case at the components.

    One day, if I ever have time, I’ll build a computer case from scratch, that will actually be beautiful, rather than lazily trying to pull beauty from components where none exists, by adding windows to the case. And while I may not like the aesthetic of this mouse due to its similarity to lazy 1980s utilitarian mouse designs, I have a great deal of respect for the effort put into adding beauty to something that is still generally made today with lazy, utilitarian design.

  2. It’s a Steempunk delight but unless your hands are shaped like Benders then I think it belongs more in the art category instead of the functional category.

    Food for thought tough, copper is very antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral so moulding a thin copper sheet over a mouse would make it rather hygienic.

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