DIY HACK – Build a Six-Axis 3D Controller (3D mouse)

Check out this awesome 3D mouse you can build using some creative hacks!

I’ve been exploring 3D graphics using VVVV. One of the things you quickly learn when working in 3D is that doing anything with a 2D mouse is a pain. Particularly I found I was spending a lot of time shuffling the camera position which involves a tricky combination of keystrokes and mouse movements. I wanted to get a camera control that would allow me to fly the camera smoothly in 3D space.

Looking for “3D Mice” in Google found a variety of more-or-less ugly and expensive commercial options, but also this project linked off Slashdot. Humm I thought, how hard could that be to copy.

The basic principle of Three Blind Mice is to run three threads round three rollers from old mechanical mice. By using the mouse reports to calculate the length of the extended thread this allows the position where all the threads join to be calculated. First job was to interface the mice to a PC. I am using old Microsoft Itellimice. The “z” axis on these mice which measures the position of the wheel is very low resolution and not suitable for this application. So, you need two mice to get the three axis of measurement required.

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One Response to DIY HACK – Build a Six-Axis 3D Controller (3D mouse)

  1. girrrrrrr2 says:

    cool… can this be made to work with autocad???

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