After another project of visual dissection Martha gave the class a project on physical dissection. She told the class to go out and find an object that we didn’t care too much about that had several parts to it. We were then instructed to take the object apart and then make a poster describing how everything worked.
For this project I remembered I had an old computer mouse that I use to use lying around. I also really like computer mice so it seemed like it was the perfect fit.
With my object decided I grabbed a screw driver and started to take it apart. The mouse was pretty easy to disassemble so I decided to try reassembling it and disassembling it again. After doing this about 3 or 4 times I started to write down some of the topics that Martha wanted us to cover. She wanted us to look at function, form, part to whole/inside and outside, hierarchy, order, and sequence of assembly. I wrote out my thoughts on these subjects as I worked and this is what I wrote.
This mouse is meant to be a portable computer mouse for a low price
The form of the mouse is meant to be small enough so it can be easily portable and used on small surfaces. However to compensate for this the mouse cannot fit the full hand of some users but still rests comfortably at the end of the fingers. The sides are meant to contort to the respected fingers and pressure that is being applied. The Left side fits the form of a thumb and is contoured inwards to the mouse to fit the grip of the user. The right side is also contoured to fit the inward pull of the Ring or Pinky finger depending on how the user holds the mouse.
Part to Whole and Inside/Outside
All parts line up with each other from the bottom to the top. The bottom “sled” is made to make the size of the mouse and keeps it straight on the bottom of a surface. The circuit board is made to fit the size of the sled and to accommodate for where all of the parts will be used. It has a hole in the top part of it so the scroll wheel can have enough room to sit in the mouse and there are sensors on the side of it to track the movement. There are three buttons that line up with the LMB MMB and RMB that all receive the feedback for the three buttons when they are depressed by the user. The LMB MMB and RMB are all located in their traditional positions because culturally that is how mice are laid out.
The second half of the mouse is the back end where the battery and USB connector are stored as well as where the hand rests during use. The back half of the circuit board contains the tracking laser and the battery connector. The back of the mouse is made to be ergonomic and comfortable for the user so they can use their mouse comfortably. However due to the fact that the mouse being as small as it is it cannot fully fit the hand of the user and only reaches out to the end of the fingers for some people. The back is removable so easy access is given to the users so they can replace the battery and store the Wireless USB hookup for the mouse.
In the center there is a small plastic rod that reaches down to the circuit board where a R/G LED is. The LED lights up Green when the mouse is turned on and that is displayed through this clear rod to the user to let them know that their mouse has successfully turned on. This LED will display Red when the battery is low so that the user can know when they need to change it out. There is also an ON/OFF switch on the bottom labeled with text saying “OFF” and “ON” of the mouse that will show green when the switch is in the ON position and red when in the OFF position to let the user turn on and off their mouse. There is also a switch on the bottom that ejects the butt plate. Next to the switch are pictures of a USB, a Battery, and an up arrow to let the user know that if they want to reach the USB and Battery they just need to slide this button up.
There is the full shape of the mouse, then depending on the view there is the butt of the mouse or the three mouse buttons. Then there is the removable butt plate that stores the battery and the USB. After that there is the bottom of the mouse that has the sensor and ON/OFF switch. Then there is the inside that contains the circuit board.
The order goes from the outside in starting with the bottom sled that sets the size of the mouse. Then the butt plate and mouse buttons are made that fill the contour of the shape with the sides being filled in after. Lastly the inside pieces like the batter holder, the USB holder, and the circuit board are made to fit the shape of the mouse and the positions of the buttons.
Sequence of Assembly:
The bottom sled would be made first and then the back plate ejection switch and ON/OFF switch because they will be covered by the circuit board that will lay on top of those. After the circuit board had been placed then the middle mouse button could be placed and screwed into the bottom sled. After that the upper mouse is made and the LMB and RMB are placed into the upper mouse with the plastic LED rod and the butt plate. Then the top half and the bottom half can be put together and screwed in. Lastly the USB is placed in the back of the mouse with the battery.
After writing all of my thoughts out I started to work on my poster and take pictures of the disassembled mouse.
After taking all of these photos I then worked on trying to make a poster. She wanted them to be 24×36 page so I had a lot of room to work with which proved to be rather challenging. It was hard to see if the size of the words would be big enough because it is hard to get an accurate read on the print size when working on the computer.
The first iteration was very difficult. I tried many different things but never had anything look too final so that is why the poster says it is the 6th iteration. For it I tried to separate the page into each section that I wanted to talk about and put matching pictures on the right hand side beside the text. However it wasn’t really understood well and it didn’t look very nice in the end so I tried to give it another go. The second poster, iteration 8 didn’t go too well either. I had a hard time figuring out what was too much and what was too little. I couldn’t quite get a feel for it and ended up not being able to find a poster that I liked.