Modelling Challenge: 3D Mouse
Heard of a 3D mouse? One that stays stationary on a table but has 6 degrees of freedom? Know what one looks like? Find out more about modelling one in SOLIDWORKS here.
We’ve been using these smart 3 Dimensional mice around the SolidSolutions’ offices recently (Thanks to our friends over at 3DConnexion) as a way to navigate easily around the SOLIDWORKS modelling environment. One of the challenges of picking up any new technology is mastering how to use it effectively and efficiently and the 3D mouse is a perfect example of this. As a testament to the utility of my SpaceMouse Wireless, I decided to brush up on my modelling skills by using this mouse to replicate itself inside SOLIDWORKS – here’s how I did it.
Initially I took approximate dimensions from the mouse I had in front of me and separated it down into its 3 main components to make the modelling stage clearer.
- The brushed aluminium base
- The gloss black plastic housing
- The soft plastic control knob
1. I started with the integrated surfacing tools inside SOLIDWORKS to create the metal base of the mouse using a simple lofted feature profile. I used sketches to constrain the side profiles of the base using the guide curve options.
2. A similar lofted profile was used to create the housing that would locate the control knob. Using a combination of surfacing and feature tools I was able to create a curved surface profile then thicken the housing to form a solid part. Cut extrudes and additional extrusions were used to create holes and subsequent buttons.
| 3. The control knob was created using a combination of surfaces which were combined using the knit command, merged together to form a solid and then modified to extrude the grip ridges. |
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Using the 3D mouse to pan around and view the geometry resulted in a more efficient way to make modifications whilst designing the model.
A combination of in context, top down assembly modelling techniques was used to create all the buttons and inserts were added using the existing geometry to ensure perfect fit. The USB port was a part downloaded from SOLIDWORKS 3D Content Central and imported into the assembly.
The final step was to add in some LED appearances, mapped materials, as well as original decals taken from technical documentation to add to the sense of realism – then render the model in PhotoView 360.
Using only a few surfacing/feature tools, my SpaceMouse for workspace navigation and downloadable content available at 3D Content Central I was able to easily replicate this model.
Total Editing Time: Approx. 3.5 hours
Total Parts/Bodies: 7/12
Assembly File Size (Zipped): 9.71 MB
By Sameer Qureshi
Solid Solutions Management Ltd