Introduction: Mouse (Zalman FG1000) Sugru Grip
Like a lot of gamers I've sought to improve my "L337 5|<1LL5" and reduce fatigue by purchasing a more ergonomic mouse. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of options out there that combine these goals so props to Zalman for this mouse design. Moving the mouse sensor to the front of this elongated mouse design means quicker turns and you can adjust the dpi on the fly (I wish it went back and forth between two settings rather than three but beggars can't be choosers)
So, in short, I like this mouse, so much so that I bought a second one for when the first one fails completely. But, since you're reading this on Instructables, it's clear I found some things to improve. Shall we?
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Step 1: Drawbacks and the Goals to Fix Them
I found that the mouse was a bit too small for my hands and I would get cramps while holding on to it during those long gaming sessions.
Also, people whose hands sweat, totally not me FYI, can cause the existing grips to peel off, leaving open spaces around the buttons.
In the image above you can see the space where the main grip facing the palm has come off; I've cleaned it of what appeared to be just rubber glue holding the grip in place.
So, I needed to modify the mouse in a way that would improve the grip, making it larger and more comfortable and which would also replace the grips that had fallen off.
Step 2: Materials
I didn't want the grip to be so heavy that it would cause even more fatigue to move around so I had to think of something light to mold it out of. I remembered some molding material I'd seen before, it stuck in my mind as it was very light and strong when it dried. (see image above)
I knew that because you could paint it after it dried it likely meant that it was porous and would likely not stand up to moisture. Not that there was any. *cough*
I also figured that it likely wouldn't stick very well to the plastic casing of the mouse for long, if at all, so, I needed to cover it with something that would protect it AND glue it to the mouse.. impossible, I thought.
Then I found out about this stuff called Sugru.. you've probably never heard of it. It's moldable silicon rubber. You can use it in a lot of applications to add/fix/modify just about anything, more importantly, it would be perfect for my project because it would be waterproof, durable and would stick to the mouse.
Here's a link to their website.. at the time they didn't have a US storefront so I had to order from overseas: http://sugru.com/
Ah, and they're on Amazon now too. who knew?
Back then it was a bit expensive to order a large amount and I'd never used it before so I didn't know how heavy it would be or if it would stick to the new grip I'd be making so I only ordered one bag of six 5 gram packets.
Step 3: Creating the Hand Grip
In the first image I added a couple of globs in the rough shape to the mouse in the areas that felt right in my hand. I would add a piece, hold the mouse then add or remove as needed.
The second image shows the clay after I had done a preliminary grip to mold it to my fingers.
The third and fourth image show how the slightly slanted clay would form a support for my entire hand, not just the fingers.
I was also keeping in mind the placement of the buttons and I made sure the clay wouldn't interfere with their operation.
The last image is of the clay when it completed drying. The cracks were likely due to the fact that it had taken me a while to get the grip I wanted so it must have dried a bit more than I thought it had. They could also have been caused by not putting the mouse on its side as it dried, leading the center to droop a bit before it hardened.
I wasn't worried, though as I knew the Sugru would cover it all up.
Oh, and it did stick to the plastic a bit but I could tell that it wouldn't survive an FPS session let alone a lifetime of use.
Step 4: Sugrueat!
Applying the Sugru was really straightforward. I followed the mixing instructions on the package (ended up using four of the packets, I think? was a while ago, sorry)
I then flattened the Sugru as best I could (FYI, wax paper does not work) and applied it like a cover as evenly as I could over the whole surface of the clay. I then put a little extra around the edges to make sure the Sugru "cap" was soundly attached to the surface of the mouse.
After that I put a glove back on and smoothed the Sugru surface. At the time, I didn't know you could get a really smooth surface by using water.. not that I would have managed to avoid getting water in the mouse.
And there you have it! I've been using this mouse with this modification since 2011. The top side buttons have failed and I've worn away the thumb scroll wheel but it's still going strong! The Sugru has held up all this time and the comfortable and personalized grip has reduced my wrist pain.