The Statial is an experiment in 3D printing for distribution. I am trying to see if I could use the abilities of 3D printing to make something that would usually be complex and incredibly expensive to produces for a lower cost on the development side.
I am curious to see if something that would usually take a large financial investment and equally large cross disciplinary teams (product designers, engineers, manufacturing specialists, assembly personal, etc.) to create could be done by a single person using 3D printing.
Don't know the answer to those yet but it is exciting to see what will happen for sure.
3D printing offers some amazing potential for making new things but the idea for selling 3D printed objects as finished products is still kinda new. Like any new ecosystem there are things that you can do and things that you can't. At the moment, you can create very complex physical mechanics but you can not print electronics in a single go. The surface quality quality of prints is also not on par with smooth injection molded plastics you find on most products.
As a result, I had to find something to combine the Statial 3D print with that had all the electronic components of a mouse as well as a smooth base that would slide easily on surfaces (aka an existing mouse).
As pointed out, to have a working Statial mouse you will need some DIY skills to make it happen.
If you are interested in a mouse that has customizable ergonomic features that really are not available anywhere else then you would like the Statial. If you are into taking things apart to make newer and better things than you would also like it. If you never take things apart because you are slightly worried that you will break them then you may also want to give this a run (it is pretty strait forward and gives you a great "I just made something that works!" feeling). If you are into the future of 3D printing than you should also definitely buy the Statial.
Either way, be sure to check out the Assembly Video so you know what you are getting into.
Yes. Right now when new things get made they are traditionally developed in relative secret and then commercially sold. This strategy makes a whole lot of sense: investments are made in Research and development of design mock-ups and working prototypes. Once a design is finalized further investments are made in tooling, distribution networks, advertising and such. The product is then sold and these investments are (hopefully) recouped with profit so you can do it all again.
In essence there is a very clear separation of internal development and sell-able product from the consumer point of view.
One of the things I was curious about is if 3D printing could potentially change this system. Basically my question is; can you monetize your development process effectively enough by utilizing new technology to make it financially sensible to disclose what you are doing as you are doing it?
Or to put it another way, is there any consumer interest in selling an idea as it is being developed?
The Statial was made to integrate with a mouse body as perfectly as possible for the best possible ergonomics. Although most mice look the same, when you inspect the closer you realize that the components (switches for the buttons), attachment points (screws for attaching the base to the top) and overall widths and lengths are different. If I were to make the Statial fit multiple mouse bodies it would need be larger and not as precisely built to fit the different base options. I decided that I would rather make the Statial fit on a single mouse very well than on multiple bodies not so well.
I am not in any way affiliated or have ever been employed by Logitech or any mouse manufacturer.
I went through a bunch of potential source mice for creating the Statial in both wired and wireless models from a large cross section of makes. In the end, the base mouse had to be easy to take apart and have all of the parts (PCB, wheel and assembly components) made off of the base of the mouse body so the Statial could attach over it. The m100 fit this bill better than any other available mouse at the price point so it was used. (see the development FAQ for more on this)
The Statial appears to work with all currently available models of the M100.
On a side note, I have also seen 3rd party vendors say they are selling the Logitech M100 but will in fact send you a "B100" mouse. The B100 appears to be the less expensive OEM version of the M100. It has slight cosmetic differences (black instead of dark gray housing and different labeling) with the M100 also coming in more consumer friendly packaging where as the B100 will come in a basic box.
Aside from those differences they seem to use the exact same tooling and and hardware and can both be used with the Statial 3D print.
As far as usability goes, I used various versions of the Statial to make this site and all of the printable models available on this site which adds up to almost a year now so it is pretty solid. Come to think of it, I have actually used early versions of the mouse (mainly the Statial3-6) to make the current version of the mouse (Statial) which puts it into both reliable and Inceptionesq territory.
You should read the Development FAQ too!