We created a 3D printed wireless mouse showcase model to display how 3D printing can be used in product design and development.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a showcase model is worth tens of thousands. 3D printing gives product designers, architects, and artists from all over the world tools to materialize their ideas and make their point during presentations and investor meetings. This 3D printed wireless mouse prototype is a perfect example of such applications of rapid prototyping.
Materializing the idea
We choose to design a wireless mouse because the shape, dimensions, and the way it fits into a hand are crucial for this type of equipment to succeed on the market. It also gave us some creative freedom, especially after we decided that our 3D printed wireless mouse should be designed with gamers, their needs, and expectations in mind.
It took us six iterations to improve the initial design as we were looking for the most ergonomic shape. ZMorph multitool 3D printer allowed us to manufacture our prototypes within a few hours after each improvement to the 3D design was made. After refining the shape and finding the right weight, we then switched from time-saving lo-fi settings to the highest ones. Digital fabrication of the high-quality prototype from white ABS took about 12 hours.
Designers and companies no longer have to rely on traditional rapid prototyping techniques, like injection molding. 3D printing often takes less time and is a lot less expensive, since the manufacturing process requires less work and less material is wasted during it. Whether a company should invest in their own 3D printers or outsource these services depends on their individual needs, but in both cases, it can provide significant savings and other benefits.
Showcasing the 3D printed wireless mouse
The good-looking plastic prototype is not everything a designer can achieve with a 3D printed object. With just a few post-production tricks we were able to transform our 3D printed wireless mouse prototype into a beautiful showcase model.
Using sandpaper and car filler we smoothened the surface of the 3D printed wireless mouse, which we then painted with various oil paints used by modelers. This way we reached the level of detail and quality of the best showcase models.
This full-color 3D printed wireless mouse showcase model can be used during product development meetings or displayed in front of investors. It proves that 3D printing can boost product development but also can help you in convincing people to your ideas and result in turning these ideas into reality.