If you want something in life, sometimes you just have to make it. Nobody knows that better than developer Daniël van Belzen. Instead of purchasing a pre-built 3D mouse; he’s opted to create his own from scratch with a little help from our favorite microprocessor, the Raspberry Pi’s RP2040. If you haven’t heard of a 3D mouse before, these are used for manipulating 3D objects in various CAD applications.
This isn’t Belzen’s first Raspberry Pi project and it shows. A quick look through his GitHub history reveals a previous Pi project; that involved the creation of a custom camera GUI called Pi Vision; which adds a selection of control options to the official Raspberry Pi camera module.
According to Belzen, the idea for a custom SpaceMouse had been cooking up for a while but it took some time to sort out the logistics of the design and obtain the necessary hardware. Most of the housing is 3D-printed from designs he made in Fusion 360. The end result is a custom 3D mouse with a joystick and multiple rotary encoders.
Instead of using a full-on Raspberry Pi model, this project is built around Pimoroni’s Tiny 2040 board. This board shares the same RP2040 SoC as the Raspberry Pi Pico but in a much smaller form factor, better-suited for Belzen’s project. the Space Mouse project also includes an SSD1306 OLED display that can be used for all sorts of data output options.