DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

davkol

15 Oct 2019, 17:29

There's a new DIY trackball project called Ploopy.
  • right-handed shape; 3d-printed chassis, very similar to Microsoft Trackball Explorer
  • hardware: Arduino, PMW3360 sensor, 1.75" ball on roller bearings, 4 buttons + wheel; more in the wiki
  • source files under CERN Open Hardware Licence v1.2 (hardware) and GNU General Public License v3 (firmware)
  • kits available for pre-order (200 CAD)
more info on Reddit

Image

Lbibass

15 Oct 2019, 20:12

Oh man. This looks nice. Gonna try and build one. oh MAN this looks nice.

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ZedTheMan

15 Oct 2019, 20:28

They actually designed an open source trackball, and it's called Ploopy. The name really gets me, that's a bad word.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

16 Oct 2019, 09:49

wondering how the top surface is so smooth being 3d printed... non-planar extrusion or just very very thin layers?

andrewjoy

16 Oct 2019, 15:14

matt3o wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 09:49
wondering how the top surface is so smooth being 3d printed... non-planar extrusion or just very very thin layers?
prob acetone vapour smoothing. OR just simple sanding and painting.

Findecanor

16 Oct 2019, 16:40

I think the layers are quite visible in the pictures.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

16 Oct 2019, 16:42

Findecanor wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 16:40
I think the layers are quite visible in the pictures.
yeah I didn't zoom the picture. it's standard 3d printing, they are quite thin layers anyway

Archie

16 Oct 2019, 18:58

Tremendous project with excellent documentation! IMHO it's not pure MTE clone, but merely a hybrid of MTE and MacAlly Qball, as it uses ball bearings (not roller bearings, as stated on project pages).

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obfuscated

19 Oct 2019, 13:02

Do you have any idea where I could find balls for this thing? I tried searching for 1.75 balls, but it wasn't successful. :(

davkol

19 Oct 2019, 15:45

The author recommends starting with these snooker balls. I don't know about compatibility with Elecom DEFT Pro or LCOT balls (44mm).

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obfuscated

27 Oct 2019, 20:44

OK, I've printed it to test the ergonomics, because I'm planning to make my own trackball design.
And I don't like it. If my hand/palm is parallel to the shell my hand/palm slips of from it. There is no ledge or anything else to stop it from falling. I have to put my hand on an angle, but then the buttons on the left side are too close and are a bit hard to press.

Is this the expected behaviour? Is the original having the same problem?

Archie

30 Oct 2019, 14:25

Hmm, I've never had any discomfort using original MTE. Don't have Ploopy currently, but it seems to be an exact copy according to photos...

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obfuscated

31 Oct 2019, 20:34

Archie: How do you position your hand relative to the trackball? Is it parallel? Do you rest it on the trackball also?

Archie

01 Nov 2019, 09:21

Yes. In fact, I'm just positioning my palm without any thinking about it: it's "auto-adjusted" to the ball & buttons in such a way that they're conveniently accessible. Maybe it depends from the hand size, though.

davkol

26 Nov 2019, 23:04

Now there's a left-handed version too.

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