I think one of the things I find most appealing about laser cutters, 3D printers, and the rise of micro-fabrication, is the ability to fix things in better ways. The art is fun, don’t get me wrong, but the utility of creating a Thing for a specific purpose, that’s how I justify these crazy tools.
For a decade now, the centerpiece of my office has been a giant black custom-configured Anthro computer bench (I’ve ordered parts to make another smaller cart to hold the , I’ll post pics if it works out). The mouse tray that swings out of the keyboard came with a little oval mouse pad. The mouse continually fell to the floor. Eventually, I wore through the fabric of the pad, and could never find another pad to fit the spot quite right.
For the last ~5 years, I’ve been alternately cutting up self-adhesive 3M mousepads and repairing the ledge with Suguru. The results aren’t pretty, but they’re functional.
A couple days ago, the suguru broke loose again…and I realized I had the tooling for a better fix. I traced the mousepad on to paper, scanned it in, (bed scan wasn’t quite to spec and my flatbed scanner cast too many shadows), inkscaped a curve around the outline, did a couple tries on paper/cardboard to fine tune the sizing, and today, I cut out and assembled this upgraded version:
Thick acrylic lip glued on the base, and a laser cut medium leather mouse pad, cut to a perfect fit!
I’m really happy with how it came out. Much better than the scissors-and-hand-molded version I had before, plus I have the file saved if I need to try again. I don’t think I’ll be etching anything in the pad, but I’m making a batch of the vinegar and steel wool dye to tint it black like the rest of this monster desk.