The Lynx Cat Is a 3D-Printable, Open Source Mouse, Trackball, Joystick, or Keyboard Alternative

Designed as a highly-flexible input device with up to 25 buttons, the Lynx Cat is Arduino-driven and open source.

Gareth Halfacree
a month agoHW101 / 3D Printing

Maker Stanislaw "Ape Devil" Kirpicnikow has shown off an open source 3D-printed input device, powered by an Arduino, with which he's hoping to offer a highly-customizable alternative to traditional mice, joysticks, trackballs, and even keyboards: the Lynx Cat.

"I wanna create a real flexible system, so everyone one can set up it as needed with lots of different modules," Kirpicnikow explains. "Doesn't matter [if you are] left-handed or right-handed or one-handed. [I use it for] modeling (Blender), I wanted to have something more comfortable for the shortcuts."

The Lynx Cat aims to be the last input device you'll ever need, and it's 3D-printable. (📹: Lynx Workshop)

As well as being fully-functional as a mouse, the Cat is designed to offer a wide range of inputs: Four on each finger except the pinky, which gets three, and 10 reachable with the thumb for a total of 25 buttons — with layers and macros extending the input capabilities near-infinitely beyond what is physically possible.

That's only the Cat's first form, though: an alternative design replaces the mouse functionality with a trackball — while retaining the maximum number of possible input controls. A third variant uses a thumb-stick joystick for gaming or modeling projects where a continuous input is preferred.

"Imagine one of this device in each hand," Kirpicnikow explains of his vision for the project. "So there is no switching between devices [and] less movements of the hands."

Kirpicnikow is hoping to turn the Lynx Cat into a commercial product, but has also released it under an open source license for all to enjoy — model files, 3D print files, and source code all included. "[I want] to make it so awesome that it pays my rent and food," he explains. "Bread is also open source, so to say, but there are bakers that make money. That's how I see it."

Full project details, alongside source files published under the reciprocal GNU General Public License 3, are available on the Lynx Workshop website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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