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3D modeling mice types and opinion

3D modeling mice types and opinion

(OP)
Hi all,

I've recently started to play with the idea of purchasing a 3D mouse to further improve my modeling performance.
However, when i searched for possible products i found only 2 companies, SpaceControl and 3Dconnexion, with the Blackline and Spacemouse respectively.

So my question is, are there any other similar products and what are you'r thoughts about them?

Thanks!

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

Hello,

I use the 3DConnexion Space Mouse Pro with Solid Edge ST9 and am very happy with it. When navigating around in a CAD model, it allows seamless movement and eliminates a lot of button pushing. I probably don't use all the shortcut buttons on the Space Mouse Pro to their full advantage, but even so, it provides a great improvement in efficiency.


Kyle

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

(OP)
Thanks for the info!

I have a couple more question, like what is the learning curve with this product.
This question might sound weird, but how often do you move you'r hands from the SpaceMouse and optic mouse to the keyboard to type in a dimension for example, or to switch between models (like in SolidWorks using Ctrl+TAB).

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

I used to use a spaceball all the time with a conventional mouse but since the CAD programs have all gone to some version of control keys and mouse buttons to enable spinning, zooming and panning it mostly sits unused to the left of my keyboard. Not sure that a spacemouse brings much to the table.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

I started using the 3dconnexion spacenavigator a few years ago after years of using only the keyboard and a variety of mice and track balls. Honestly I would never go back to being without, it greatly improves my efficiency and is far more comfortable to use. I still go to the keyboard for text field inputs but being able to control the model independently of mouse position allows more to be done with the mouse, faster and more ergonomically. I wouldn't say there is much of a learning curve to use any of the spacemice I've used. You will probably figure out the basic mechanics of it within a few minutes and be comfortable within a day or two, probably take longer to get the shortcut buttons programmed and mouse sensitivity adjusted to your liking. I cant speak for others but 3dconnexion has a pretty good tutorial application that explain the basics pretty well.

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

Using control keys and mouse buttons is exactly what made me switch to a spacemouse. I spent many years twirling around in 3D space the old fashioned way, and as such, my hands are left pretty sensitive to RSI-like fatigue/pain. Spacemouse is absolutely the answer to that.

For 2D CAD applications like your typical Autocad, I'm usually 99% keyboard input, shortcuts, macros, etc. Little mouse input other than clickpoints.

For most any 3D modeling, I use the spacemouse for all navigation and the standard mouse for command clicking. My left hand will bounce between the spacemouse and the keyboard as required. Numerical input would be the hand on the standard mouse going to the keyboard numpad. I would think having a Spacemouse with numpad built in would eliminate the right hand (strong hand / standard mouse, for me) going to the keybaord entirely, for me.

Yes one hand still has to hit the keyboard from time to time, typing notes, entering numbers, etc. It's honestly seamless and not intrusive to me. However, the tiring middle-mouse-click-and-drag for panning or orbitting is eliminated and the Spacemouse is worth its weight in gold for that alone. No more shift+left-click-and-drag or even worse, the dreaded MMB+RMB and drag... the endless middle scrollwheeling for zooms... what a chore.

I only wish I switched to the Spacemouse years ago, rather than waiting until about 1-2 years ago.

I can't compare it to the newer contender, the "SpaceControl" but the 3DConnexion is absolutely golden. It has a good weight to it, excellent 6dof input, and respectable button mapping that can set software-specific.

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

For a brief (and admittedly out-of-date) history of the so-called '3D Mouse', go to the link below and scroll down to near the end. Note along the way you'll see some of the devices used to control the 3D display of CAD systems prior to the introduction of the current technology:

http://www.plmworld.org/index.php?mo=cm&op=ld&...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

Nice link John. That must have been written some time ago as 3DConnexion doesn't even have a driver any more for "This is latest model of the Spaceball, the series 4000".

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

Yea, I stopped updating it about 2002 (if you want to see the entire 'Museum' just click-on the 'UG/NX Museum' link in my signature). I've still got a lot of material that should be posted but...

That being said, there has been talk about establishing an actual physical museum, at least at our Cypress, CA R&D facility, and there's been the suggestion that I be the Honorary Curator. When I retired, I put all of my historical material in a storage closet in anticipation that this might come to pass.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

Spent a lot of time with a tablet, overlay, and a 4-button mouse. Can't say I miss it. Now I spend the majority of my time working in Altium, so just another CAD package... I wonder if 3DConnexion has anything for that package...

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

It's not 3DConnections that has to really do anything, it's the software vendor who has the responsibility to make their applications 3D enabled.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

3dconnexion devices like the space navigator/space pilot,etc... are fantastic..
They may take a week or so to get used to them but then you will be amazed at how much faster you can model stuff..
I have the 3d device (older Space Pilot for me at work and navigator at home) in my left hand and mouse in the right and I just take my hand off the mouse to get to the keyboard keypad for number entry..
Then I setup the buttons on the 3d device for common hotkeys/shortcuts..

I literally cannot do CAD without one now as I feel like a slow turtle without it..

Pick up a space navigator for $100 and never look back..
http://www.3dconnexion.com/products/spacemouse/spa...

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

(OP)
Thanks to all of you, I found the comments really helpful, and the link was an interesting read.
I get the impresion that the majority of you (users) finding the 3d mouse very helpful, basically that is what I was expecting.

But if so many users are pleased with this kind of product, and besides making things easier it also increases productivity.
Where are all the other products/companies (as I mentioned I found only 2) it feels like it's a specialty niche tool.

RE: 3D modeling mice types and opinion

The issue is, at least in my opinion, that these have turned into commodity items being sold with razor-thin margins and there's really not much that can be done to differentiate one 3D controller from another. BTW, there used to more companies in this segment but like other high-tech segments, once the innovative products have proven themselves the next step is often consolidation, which took place in the 3D controller industry several years ago. And for the record, the first so-called SpaceBall cost over $1,500 (and these were late 1980's dollars), required an external power supply as well as custom drivers developed for each specific application by the software vendors themselves, and was manufactured by a small Australian company that eventually merged with an American company, which was eventually acquired by Logitech, which was then spun-off as 3Dconnexion.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

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