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

Step 1: Hardware and stuff

It's not the cheapest Instructable as it is based on a 3 axis accelerometer + compass sensor.

Stuff you'll need:

* A mouse - a used one is better (only because it's used and cheaper), any mouse should do. You do need to have some space to house the sensors and some extra wires, so don't go for extra slim / extra tiny mice.

* Compass Module with Tilt Compensation - HMC634 - This is the 3 axis sensor, bought at SpurkFun for ~$149

* Logic Level Converter - A MUST! Since the Arduino is 5V and the 3 axis sensor is 3.3V, you need one of those to convert the 5V into 3.3V. It has a  big name, but only cost $1.95 at SpurkFun.

* Large Optical Detector / Phototransistor - This is a simple optical sensor, used in this project to detect when the mouse is being lifted off the work surface. Bought at SpurkFun for $2.25
If you don't have enough space to house this one inside your chosen mouse, you can use this one, smaller and cheaper.

* One (1) LED - never mind the color, ultra bright will work better.

* 2 Resistors - One (1) x 100Ω and One (1) x 100KΩ (For the optical sensor)

* Arduino board - DA! I used the Diecimila model. A newer Duemilanove is avalilable at SpurkFun for about $29.95 (Should work too) + Arduino software installed.

* Processing software installed.

* The project's source code (Don't worry, you'll get to download it in a sec.)

Some hot glue (to fix things in place)
A couple of tiny screws.
About 10cm of a 6mm (Dia.) wooden anchor.
Some extra wires.
Soldering iron.
Something to cut the plastic with, I used a cutting knife and a file (FOR shaping).

("Ok, don't hate me for this step, English is my 2nd language, if I got this one wrong, I'm sorry, I'm sure you'll understand what I'm taking about in a sec. when you'll see it in pictures")
nice work.maybe you can use a software named Virtools for solving the 3d show.Arduino+Virtools.
you also could use a wii-remote!
Pretty cool!&nbsp;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'.<br /> <br /> 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.<br /> <br /> Great build!<br />
<em><strong>Thanks</strong></em><br /> <br /> I'll be the first to admit I didn't use it long enough to feel any fatigue issues.<br /> <br /> 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.)<br /> <br /> Plus, practical point of view aside - it was a cool and fun project to build :)<br />

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