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DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 15 Oct 2019, 17:29
by davkol
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

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 15 Oct 2019, 20:12
by Lbibass
Oh man. This looks nice. Gonna try and build one. oh MAN this looks nice.

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 15 Oct 2019, 20:28
by ZedTheMan
They actually designed an open source trackball, and it's called Ploopy. The name really gets me, that's a bad word.

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 16 Oct 2019, 09:49
by matt3o
wondering how the top surface is so smooth being 3d printed... non-planar extrusion or just very very thin layers?

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 16 Oct 2019, 15:14
by andrewjoy
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.

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 16 Oct 2019, 16:40
by Findecanor
I think the layers are quite visible in the pictures.

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 16 Oct 2019, 16:42
by matt3o
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

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 16 Oct 2019, 18:58
by Archie
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).

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 19 Oct 2019, 13:02
by obfuscated
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. :(

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 19 Oct 2019, 15:45
by davkol
The author recommends starting with these snooker balls. I don't know about compatibility with Elecom DEFT Pro or LCOT balls (44mm).

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 27 Oct 2019, 20:44
by obfuscated
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?

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 30 Oct 2019, 14:25
by Archie
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...

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 31 Oct 2019, 20:34
by obfuscated
Archie: How do you position your hand relative to the trackball? Is it parallel? Do you rest it on the trackball also?

Re: DIY open-source trackball similar to MTE

Posted: 01 Nov 2019, 09:21
by Archie
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.