48 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2017 8:12 AM by Doug Seibel

    Those of you using a 3D mouse...

    Kevin Andrews

      I have never used one of these 3DConnexion (or any other option) before - but have heard that those who try it - love it

       

      So, I am wondering, which one do you have, how has it helped you and would you recommend it?

        • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
          Christian Chu

          I have space pilot Pro at work and Space Pilot at home and space navigator for my laptop - Love all

          if you search over the forum, you'd find all kind of comments and I don't want to repeat all - With 3D mouse, I just feel that I hold  a 3D object in my hand to view it

          • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
            Dan Pihlaja

            I have a 3DConnexion SpaceExplorer here at work.  It has been discontinued, but it still works great.

             

            I definitely recommend one.   When I was first introduced to the SpaceBall (the precursor to the 3DMouse), I was really skeptical.  And then I touched one and the part flew off the screen.  Even more skeptical.

             

            Then the company I worked for bought a bunch of them and one was placed on my desk.  So I started using it and playing with it.  I Was able to program the buttons to do almost anything!   And the time it took to get used to the sensitivity of the ball was very short.

             

            Now, it is a little hard for me to manipulate the model without one (I can still do it....its just not natural to me).

             

            I LOVE that I can map the buttons and add little macros.

            I can't stand the 3d Mouse that is only a puck with 2 buttons......I need the wrist rest and the extra functionality of the buttons.

            • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
              Glenn Schroeder

              I have the Space Navigator.  If it ever dies and my company wouldn't replace it I'd pay for the new one myself (they wouldn't do that, but that's beside the point).  So yes, I'd recommend it.  There's a little learning curve, but the speed is adjustable, so you can start with it slow and speed it up as you get more comfortable with it.  Just imagine that you're using the Mouse to reach into your screen and move the model.  If you pull the Mouse toward you it zooms in, if you twist the Mouse clockwise the model rotates clockwise, etc.

               

              And it's not just for SolidWorks.  It's very handy for navigating across and zooming in and out on pdf's (although sometimes it takes several clicks to move its focus off the pdf and back to SW).

              • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                Doug Seibel

                I've tried the SpaceMouse Pro & the SpacePilot Pro (the older one, not the one with the little color screen).  Both suffered from the same problem, they did not have enough keys conveniently placed to effectively replace the ones I am constantly using on the keyboard.  As a result, my hand was constantly having to move from the "mouse" to the keyboard, thereby reducing my efficiency and physical comfort.  Their current "flagship" model, the SpaceMouse Enterprise, looks like it may work for me...but until they offer me a "try it free for 30 days", I won't be trying it.

                 

                For it to be of any use to me, it needs to allow me to have the following keyboard shortcuts on the spacemouse and positioned for very easy use:

                Ctrl-Tab

                Ctrl-q

                Alt-a

                Alt-z

                s (shortcut key)

                r (recent documents)

                Ctrl-c

                Ctrl-v

                Shift

                Tab

                These are keys & key combinations that I am constantly using.  If I have to move my hand from the spacemouse to the keyboard in order to initiate those various functions, then the spacemouse ends up becoming detrimental instead of beneficial.

                  • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                    Dan Pihlaja

                    Doug Seibel wrote:

                     

                    I've tried the SpaceMouse Pro & the SpacePilot Pro (the older one, not the one with the little color screen). Both suffered from the same problem, they did not have enough keys conveniently placed to effectively replace the ones I am constantly using on the keyboard. As a result, my hand was constantly having to move from the "mouse" to the keyboard, thereby reducing my efficiency and physical comfort. Their current "flagship" model, the SpaceMouse Enterprise, looks like it may work for me...but until they offer me a "try it free for 30 days", I won't be trying it.

                     

                    For it to be of any use to me, it needs to allow me to have the following keyboard shortcuts on the spacemouse and positioned for very easy use:

                    Ctrl-Tab

                    Ctrl-q

                    Alt-a

                    Alt-z

                    s (shortcut key)

                    r (recent documents)

                    Ctrl-c

                    Ctrl-v

                    Shift

                    Tab

                    These are keys & key combinations that I am constantly using. If I have to move my hand from the spacemouse to the keyboard in order to initiate those various functions, then the spacemouse ends up becoming detrimental instead of beneficial.

                     

                    These can very easily be added Doug.  You can create little Macros (which are just button combinations) for each button.  PLUS, the 3DConnexion mice have an ability which is very similar to Mouse Gestures, in which you are essentially turning one button into 4 different buttons.   On mine, there are 10 buttons that are very easy to reach without moving my hand.   There are 5 more that are a bit more of a stretch.

                    Potentially, you can add the mouse gesture thing to each of the them, and that essentially gives you almost 40 different combinations of things that you can add.

                     

                    I have one macro that is called "Orient & Save".  When I hit that button the following key combination occurs: CTRL 7, CTRL B, CTRL S

                     

                    CTRL 7 = Iso view

                    CTRL B = Update

                    CTRL S = Save.

                  • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                    Martin Tofts

                    One of the most annoying part, and I must admit the only annoying part, of the 3DConnexion puck (I have the SpaceMouse Pro), is the centering of the assy/model.

                     

                    It's not the center of the screen. It's random, and can just make everything shoot off the screen at random points. It did it with Inventor, so I guess it's down to the mouse software.

                     

                    Everything is brilliant. Quick keys, easier (by miles) navigation... it's just the only flaw is a massive massive annoyance...

                      • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                        Austin Broeker

                        I know exactly what you're talking about... I can't count the number of times I've been zoomed in on something, then tried to rotate it slightly just to have it fly off into space. Mine does seem to be in the center of the screen though - it just happens when the center is picking up a surface that's far away.

                          • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                            Glenn Schroeder

                            Austin Broeker wrote:

                             

                            I know exactly what you're talking about... I can't count the number of times I've been zoomed in on something, then tried to rotate it slightly just to have it fly off into space. Mine does seem to be in the center of the screen though - it just happens when the center is picking up a surface that's far away.

                             

                            The same thing still happens to me, especially in large Assemblies.  I have one of the buttons programmed to the F-key, which centers my model or page on the monitor.

                        • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                          David Matula

                          The mouse is great....if only I would try to use it more....bet I would like it more or hate it....gotten so used to doing what I do with just the mouse and keyboard that I tend to forget that it is there.....till I get ready to inspect a final assembly then it is great for rolling and moving things around...

                          • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                            Austin Broeker

                            Foreword - I just want to state that I am not affiliated with 3DConnexion in any way, I just really like my 3D mouse and I haven't had any experience with another distributor, so you'll have to forgive my bias.

                             

                            My experience

                            I was first introduced to 3D mice at an internship years ago - they had a SpaceExplorer (precursor to the SpaceMouse Pro) at every workstation. It seemed frivolous and unnecessary at first, but holy cow was I wrong... It took a couple weeks to really get the hang of it, but it increased my modeling speed by at least 5x, no joke. I ended up loving it so much that I bought a SpaceNavigator for myself at home. Fast-forward to now, I use an old SpacePilot (precursor to the SpaceMouse Enterprise) at work and continue to love it. I'm the only one at work that has a 3D mouse, and recently I've been trying to convince management to buy one for everyone else.

                             

                            Do I recommend getting a 3D mouse?

                            Absolutely. I know the claims about it increasing your productivity just seems like marketing hype, but it really is true (at least to an extent). Rotating, panning, and zooming becomes much faster and easier; ironically, this is especially helpful in a 2D environment. Where the 3D mouse really shines, though, is when mating components in an assembly - you can quickly move the model around with one hand while the other hand selects the objects to mate. Not to mention, using a 3D mouse to manipulate a model/drawing feels a lot more intuitive - I can get the exact view I'm looking for without a second thought, which is especially helpful during presentations. Having extra buttons for shortcuts is a bonus as well, but it's not what really makes the difference. That being said, if you get one, I highly recommend at least getting one with dedicated ESC, SHIFT, CTRL, and ALT buttons, or one with enough buttons that you can map them yourself - the less your hand has to leave the 3D mouse to use the keyboard, the better.

                             

                            Which one to choose?

                            Again, I'm only familiar with 3DConnexion products, so that's all I'm able to give recommendations on, but I'm sure there are other distributors and products out there that you could look into:

                             

                            If you want the most potential productivity and money is no object, I'd go with the SpaceMouse Enterprise - it has plenty of configurable buttons that you can use for command shortcuts and all sorts of bells and whistles. Personally, I would recommend the SpaceMouse Pro - it doesn't have a screen or as many buttons, but it's cheaper and it still has all the important stuff, along with enough configurable buttons to get you by (honestly, the one that I use now has 6 buttons and I only use 3 of them - the rest are awkward to reach, and I don't even use the screen).

                             

                            If you really want to go the cheaper route, then the SpaceNavigator is decent, but it's cheaper for a reason - I would only recommend this for occasional use. It doesn't have a wrist rest to help hold it in place, so it can end up sliding around when you use it (I guess you could just glue some plywood to the bottom of it if you wanted). It also only has 2 buttons... total. The ones that I mentioned above have configurable buttons in addition to ESC, SHIFT, CTRL, ALT, and standard view buttons. With only 2 available buttons, that means you will moving your hand back and forth between the 3D mouse and keyboard a lot. Don't even bother looking at the version for notebooks, even if you plan on traveling - it's not really any more portable than the standard Navigator, but it's half the weight, which means it will slide around a desk even easier (using this on top of your leg does not work well... I've tried).

                             

                            You can also try finding an older, used model on places like Amazon, but I've found that they're still not as cheap as one would expect. Plus, the older models run the risk of not being compatible with newer drivers.

                            • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                              Christian Chu

                              Here is my very first one (serial connector one)

                              • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                Paul Risley

                                Kevin, we too were looking into 3d mice for our office.

                                 

                                The pros far outweighed the cons(Ie learning curve). In the end we decided to take 1 mouse that was not a 3d mouse for a test drive. It is the logitech MX master 2s. It has a ton of button functionality and once you get it setup for your workflow it is painful not to use it. The main selling point for us was the flexibility. It can be programmed for up to 3 computers and allows for bluetooth connectivity(Works great for our laptops.) Another selling point was it is wireless, and to charge it the port is in the front of the mouse so you can use it if you need to charge it. (The software for programming the buttons is very easy to use)

                                 

                                I have been using it for a little over 2 months now and would not look at swapping it out anytime soon. This isn't taking away from a 3d mouse, but we were able to test drive this mouse for free through our computer repair company. Which made a bonus for us as there was no up front investment.

                                 

                                I am sure no matter which way you go, once the learning curve is overcome the mouse will outperform your expectations.

                                • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                  Dan Pihlaja

                                  Well, there's this:

                                  3dconnexion Roadshow

                                   

                                  And this: Usability Test of 3Dconnexion 3D Mice Versus Keyboard+Mouse in Second Life Undertaken by People with Motor Disabilities …

                                   

                                   

                                  and the PDF attached (although, it was on the 3DConnexion website...so it might be biased....you decide).

                                  • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                    Kevin Andrews

                                    WOW - I wasn't expecting that many responses. A TON of good information.

                                    • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                      Steve Calvert

                                      Hey, they use it in TV shows, it must be good.

                                       

                                      Image result for THE EXPANSE

                                      I use the SpacePilot Pro and have had my left hand on a ball going all the way back to the old 2002.  I think the 3DConnexion guys owe me...

                                       

                                      Steve C

                                      • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                        Jeff Holliday

                                        If you are giving one a try - be sure to give up to 1 week to get used to it. The first 2 or 3 days may "try" your patience. The next couple of days may get better. After about a week, if you think you are starting to like it, get ready to keep it because you will not want to work without it anytime. It is a very good habit to develop.

                                        • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                          Steve Crompton

                                          A big thumbs up from me for the Space Pilot Pro

                                           

                                          Definitely see if you can loan one for 2 weeks minimum. At first they are like trying to juggle jelly, but after a bit of practice you will wonder how you ever managed without them. I needed to get one as I have developed tennis elbow likely as a result of 25 years of pushing a mouse according to my physio. It has helped tremendously with strain on my right arm.

                                           

                                          You still need to use a mouse with your right hand but the space pilot takes I'd say 85% of the mouse work away.

                                           

                                          Thanks

                                           

                                          Steve

                                          • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                            Kevin Andrews

                                            Again - a ton of in depth information. I appreciate everyone's input - even if (and I know it has been) this subject, or similar, has been discussed numerous times.

                                            I have just ordered a new mouse for my work computer (Logitech G602) but I doubt, very seriously, that I can convince my boss that I need one of the 3D additions as well. Hell, I was worried that I would get berated for wanting a +$50 mouse to start with. So, I will more-than-likely be looking at making this purchase out-of-pocket. Mind you, I have only been at this company for 6 weeks so far and I am really not trying to push my boundaries yet.

                                             

                                            Plus, if I make the purchase on my own, I will be able to take it with me IF I were to leave here...So, does anyone have an extra they wanna share? LOL

                                              • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                                Dan Pihlaja

                                                Kevin Andrews wrote:

                                                 

                                                 

                                                I have just ordered a new mouse for my work computer (Logitech G602) but I doubt, very seriously, that I can convince my boss that I need one of the 3D additions as well. Hell, I was worried that I would get berated for wanting a +$50 mouse to start with. So, I will more-than-likely be looking at making this purchase out-of-pocket. Mind you, I have only been at this company for 6 weeks so far and I am really not trying to push my boundaries yet.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                You won't know unless you ask....if he says no, THEN make it out of pocket.   Just send him the link for one.  Also, show him this thread.

                                              • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                                Dave Laban

                                                I was sceptical for a while when one of the other guys in the office had one, but once I tried it for a while when he was on holiday I "got it".

                                                 

                                                Biggest productivity boon for me was setting the zoom direction to be "Up/Down" rather than the default "Forward/Backward" as in my brain that made it feel more analogous to a traditional mouse with an extra axis.

                                                • Re: Those of you using a 3D mouse...
                                                  Maha Nadarasa

                                                  I am not familiar 3D mouse but according to my opinion it is not versatile that mean it is very specific to graphic design only. If you want browse internet on and off while on the graphic design you have to move from 3D mouse to ordinary mouse. In other words you must have two mouse on your table.