Mad Catz R.A.T.1 - FDM Friendly Starting Frame

by sketchpunk, published

Mad Catz R.A.T.1 - FDM Friendly Starting Frame by sketchpunk Jan 8, 2016
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Got myself the MadCatz R.A.T.1 primary since the selling point was that you can customize it with 3D printing. Once I got it and downloaded the new palm rests stl I quickly realized that that they never engineered this for FDM Printers. Even the basic frame that comes with the mouse is impossible to recreate with an FDM printer, trust me, I tried...wasted a day on that attempt.

So plan B, Create a new frame that can be easily printed. Boy, what a pain in the butt that was. So many odd angles and such, even with all the measuring, tracing, etc I did, it took quite a bit of trial and error to get this to fit right.

So here you have it. A very simple starting frame to begin any custom 3d Printing designs you want for the mouse. With this complete, now I can begin designing a custom mouse for myself.

I have the rat cyborg 9, love how it looks and how I can customize its shape a bit. So I'm taking that look as a starting point for the rat1. Even want to have a way to add weight to the mouse, rat1 is very very light and I want my mouse to have a bit more heft to it.

All in all, It was a bumpy first 3 days but now I'm excited about what I can try to make with this thing. I'll post the full custom mouse as a remix to this frame, Probably the new frame I make will be more to you're liking. Even going to order myself some transparent Green pla for the frame, hope it'll look as good as I see it in my head.

Happy Printing.

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i know this doesnt belong here but since madcatz is now officially dead and their website is 90% down. does anyone have the software setup/ drivers for the rat 1?

Hey bro! What a dissapoint, I got this mouse today wondering how many designs could it be on the net, and well, this is the only one and it's unfinished.

hahaha I wanted a kind of body or plate to let me rest the whole hand but it's impossible to find...

I hope some day you have some time to give this project! =P

It is possible to print them on an FDM, as this picture proves: https://twitter.com/madcatz/status/685203562805116928 (found it on the mad catz twitter profile). Your model is a great design, tho I don't know where can the future modules be attached. The original frame could be propably printed with a tiny bit of support material, or printed in halves and acetone welded together.

You did a really good job and you should be proud :3

Can you please provide a step or iges? really want to use this but struggling with STL

converted the stl back to a step file in inventor for you and maybe others.
here you go:
http://www (dot) xup (dot) in/dl,10161731/base.stp/
thingiverse wont let me post comments with links in it, so put in the dots ;)

I emailed them about this and they said they'd release the 'base' part in 3d format soon as that is the most important part. Thanks for sharing this geometry, it's hard to get and will be useful for mods in the meantime.

Could you guys please post a link in here when the downloadable CAD files are released?

@deuel18 http://www.madcatz.com/downloads/#
Scroll down a bit and it is in the center of the screen.

i stopped dev on my mouse design using this base awhile ago when i got the same response from them. i hope its released soon, i rather modify the original to be honest. if you check out their twitter, there is some photos of a few new palm rest design. my only worry is that some parts of the Chassis isnt very fdm friendly, so wondering if the delay has more to do with a redesign so it can be able to print at home.

So, I actually tried to 3d scan the frame part of it, and found it to not be FDM friendly, but solved that by adding a flat face on the front of it, and printing it standing on-end. That worked, but my geometry didn't come out too well and it didn't fit. I'm impressed yours fits so well.

I hope they release the geometry (what's the point otherwise? we can't even fdm print the palm-rest), because I too would rather work off of the original.

Can you pl ask share the 3D scan?

thanks... took quite a bit of trial and error to get something that fits well. \

For the front, I tried making it but it doesn't work so I tried doing the sides without the top bridge. That kinda worked but the spacing is too thin so its easy to break. But having it even at half the height, it kinda connected well enough to at least lock the mouse module to the new Chassis. Can't remember what other problems I had, but I eventually abandoned that idea and make the front grip onto the mouse cord to help lock it in place.

I can't wait for the chassis to get released. I want to recreate my Rat 9 mouse, with many of the features like adjustable sides and palm rest along with a weight system to change how heavy it is. The only thing I wish I can do is added more buttons to this mouse. I wish there was lil ports to plug in extra buttons.

Right, you and I are thinking along the same lines. I want to add a system for stacking pennies inside the mouse for weight adjustment, and may just incorporate a short aluminum extrusion into the mouse system to re-create the adjustability of the other higher-end RAT mice.

What program are you using to design? Maybe we can collaborate a little bit?

The lack of buttons is the downside in my opinion, that's the one thing I likely cannot change. The little tab button in front of the mouse wheel is rather useless, but maybe it could be relocated to be a thumb-button? Far fetched.

I'm using Freecad. I blogged about it a bit with pictures. The idea is to create skeleton frame with 4 long screws. Between the 4 screws I was going to have either a screw or bolt that I can put as many washers I want for weight. For the weight system, I want to be able to pull it out easily, add/remove a few, then reinsert it back from the back. Similar to the rat9.

With the 4 screw frame, I should be able to attach things on both sides and above. Using small nuts to tighten everything in place. You can see another project I'm working on that uses the same idea of making a skeleton with screws and standoffs.

Side note, I just got some new round standoffs today and they're freakin awesome because they are through hole which I didn't know it was. It adds a whole mess of flexability to adjusting how long I want something. Like a 35mm stand off with a 40mm screw. Need to screw it in at least 4mm, so I have a max length of 70mm. But if for some reason I want to change the length I just screw into the stand off some more. Think the range would be like 40 to 70mm that the mouse or my camera rig can adjust. But if I need more space, I just get a longer screw :)


Hello there,

I also bought a rat1 few months ago with the intention to customize the heck out of this mouse. Same as you two I was pretty disappointed about the "3d printable files" mad catz provided, and lost a lot of interest in this project. But thanks to you and your provided FDM friendly frame (I found it through your amazon review) the ambition started again. Maybe you are interested in some kind of community project? I would love to start modelling with your base frame and to exchange progress of our works with you sketchpunk & SuperSolid_3D. Would love to hear from you guys about this. The approch with screws is a really neat idea! And adding pennys as weight is awesome too.
I am hugely disappotined that mad catz, after announcing to release the frame iles montsha go, still did not provide any of the data. This makes things pretty difficult.
I am currently working on some extensions of the FMD friendly frame to extend the starting point for customization. I am using Inventor & Fusion 360, but would love to share files in different formats to allow access with differnt programs as freecad or whatsoever. I hope I could gather you a bit to not loose the interest in this thing, would be awesome to realise this as an community project.


Glad to hear that the frame sparked interest in the mouse for you again. About the community thing, would be great to have one built up but I personally don't have the time to do something like that myself. Besides, "Community" building works best when you have at least a mostly done thing to get people interested and participating. So for now you can use this thread to communicate with anyone of us to bounce ideas off.

Guess let me tell you how far I've gone. I manage to make a basic extendable frame using screws but after playing with it I learned its not really the best approach. After a lot of thought the next direction I would go is to make a complete bottom plate that you build vertically from. Look at some high end mice like the Rat9, it has a complete metal frame at the bottom. Another reason I think 3d printing a plate part might be best is \if you have glass or a specific tap on your build platform, you can create a very smooth mirror like finish at the bottom which would make the mouse move much more smoothly (one of the issues of my version 2) across a surface, especially a mouse pad.

Another plan was to use 4mm screw spheres and magnets to build the side and top rests. This way they can flex based on where you want your hand and fingers and allows you to pop the parts off easily and make them swoppable if you have different parts that you want to interchange. I already got these parts and it might be a fun way to build the mouse, definitely unique.