Picture of 3D AIR mouse | Arduino + Processing
3D AIR mouse | Arduino + Processing

I'm an Industrial design student, and last year as part of a course called "Technology as RAW materiel" I built this project as my final work.

I work most of the time with SolidWorks, a CAD software for design and engenering. Rotating a solid body on the screen is done using the middle mouse button. I was looking for something more intuitive.

This is how I ended up doing the 3D air mouse, where the actual rotation of an object is done by moving the mouse in mid air on all 3 axis - the same way you would rotate the object if you held it in your hand.

I used the Arduino, a couple of sensors and a Processing sketch.

- As of now, this is only a demonstration of the concept, as there is no actual plug-in to work with SolidWork (but of course, feel free to write one if you know how :)

- Since all the hardware wasn't mine, the actual 3D mouse is long gone, and I'm using some photos and a video to try and make some sense in all this, and to give you some idea if you want to try and build one yourself...

Enjoy it... (It's my first Instructable)

Here's the a video demo of the finished project

nice work.maybe you can use a software named Virtools for solving the 3d show.Arduino+Virtools.
max9115 years ago
you also could use a wii-remote!
mikeasaurus5 years ago
Pretty cool! I remember the first time I ever saw any metion of this was while watching the movie Lawnmower Man, they guy used an 'air mouse'.

Any fatigue issues with having your hand elevated and using the mouse? Or is it designed for more of a specific application, then back to 2D.

Great build!
etgalim (author)  mikeasaurus5 years ago

I'll be the first to admit I didn't use it long enough to feel any fatigue issues.

The way I see it, this was designed for CAD software (SolidWorks in my case), where a lot of the action is still in 2D (The actual modeling, dimensions, selecting features etc.) and 3D-model-rotation is only a small part of the work (Changing views etc.)

Plus, practical point of view aside - it was a cool and fun project to build :)