This morning, I ordered a variety of 1.5 inch balls to play with from McMaster-Carr. I got a single stainless steel one (almost $15 by itself!), and some plastic ones: White Acetal Resin (Delrin) and one made from Phenolic. I want to see how each does. I figure the stainless steel ball will be nice for flipping the ball across the screen and be silky smooth. The plastic balls should also be nice and give me some materials to experiment with
This afternoon, I spent a little while exploring what the actual trackball support base might look like. I used Alibre Design to create the initial design. Since I bought this CAD system, I've not used it for much, so it makes me happy to be able to use it for something.
To see how this would look in MeshCAM (CAM program), I exported the drawing from Alibre Design to an .STL file and pulled it up into MeshCAM, then promply sliced it into 0.375 inch layers. This would allow me to mill this out of some 0.375 inch Polycarbonate that I already have here that I use for other projects. That's how you make something that is 0.75 inches tall from 0.375 inch material!
MeshCAM Slice 1
MeshCAM Slice 2