34 Replies Latest reply on Oct 27, 2008 3:48 PM by Wayne Tiffany

    dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007

    Bill Van Der Plaats
      I borrowed a space pilot from the user group I am from and tried it out for 2 months so far.

      At first I thought it was a cool tool you could zoom and rotate and pan at the same time.

      It took a little getting used to it and I thought it was helpful and you could have 8 shortcut keys programmed that helped too.

      Then I installed sw2007 and yes it worked with 2007 but in 2007 normal with out a 3-d controller when you center click and rotate it rotates around the cursor.

      On the other hand, the space pilot still acts like 2006 and rotates on center axis on the part. (unless you click a point that you want it to rotate around which I thought was not good because I was trying to reduce clicks not increase clicks.)

      In conclusion I don't think the space pilot is worth the $500 it cost when you could just buy a gamers pad that has the arrow keys ,n52 which cost $40, and has 15 shortcut buttons.

      My vars will disagree and have been using them on laptops for years now. I stopped by their place and told them what I thought of the space pilot and they said I didn't try it out long enough. So I told him to open a part and show me what it can do. He then opened a part and started zooming and panning and rotating. I told him to measure the width by rotating and ctrl clicking 2 faces. It took him a while to get it positioned but he got it. Then I did the same thing using the mouse only and it took half the time and it was more precise.

      If you plan to get a 3d controller try it out first personally I think everyone would be better off taking the $500 one cost and throwing it into the computer for more performance.

      It has a long learning curve and once you get there you are still slower than the free mouse that comes with your computer.

      (also if you are wondering Yes i had the newest driver installed)
        • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
          Jeff Mirisola
          I'm sorry, Bill, but I have to disagree with you. I've been using a SpacePilot for over a year now and love it. Yes, I am using 2007. I can't imagine not having one.
          Also, the SpacePilots are only $399 now, 3Dconnexion dropped the price on them.
            • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
              Bill Van Der Plaats
              Have you tried to rotate a large assembly that is where the new functionality of rotate around curser trumps the 3d connextion controller.

              And yeah you probably like the short cuts of your left hand but in my opinion I can get the same functionality but better with a gamers' pad for $40 than 3d connextion controller.

              I was very excited at the concept of the 3d controller but I tried it out and I am glad I tried it before I purchased it because it does not help as much as it should of.

              Using 2006 yes the 3-d controller is better than the mouse but 2007 just renders the 3-d controller useless in my opinion.

              My set up I use is a 5 button mouse with the 2 thumbs buttons being zoom to area and zoom out. My mouse also has tilt to horizontal pan but I do not use that. in reality I barely ever pan to do anything.

              Why do you like 3-d connextion controller?

              Do you click faces as you rotate\pan\zoom assemblies?

              In my opinion it's a cool toy but has no authentic advantage over a simple shortcut gamers' pad!
                • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                  Jeff Mirisola
                  It's all the other functionality that I really enjoy. Having 6 programmable buttons per program and, in the case of SW, per function (sldprt, sldasm, slddrw) is immensely helpful and has definitely improved my performance. Rotating with the controller hasn't been an issue for me, but I don't work in overly large assemblies.

                  For what it's worth, I just received 3DConnexion's latest offerings to try out and review. It'll be a couple of weeks before I post my review(s), but perhaps one of them might suit your needs.
                • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                  Gerald Davis
                  I completely agree with Jeff.

                  My Space Traveler is one of the best tools I've ever added to my workstation (other than dual monitors).

                  Perhaps Bill can do as much with his gamer's pad, but I admire the quality and precision of the 3dConnexion stuff. My Traveler is now over 2 years old and still in perfect condition. It has worked well with 2005, 2006, and 2007.

                  When I visit a client's site and run an eDrawings presentation, the Space Traveler is infinitely superior (compared to the mouse) in rotating and zooming the model.

                  Within SolidWorks, being able to position the model and still interact with modal dialogs (using the mouse and keyboard) is a stress reliever. Without it, you sometimes have to cancel the dialog, position the model, and then restart the dialog.

                  I use it a lot with other programs, too. Pretty handy for zooming and rotating in Adobe.

                  Speaking of stress, I sometimes just tumble the model that I'm looking at just for fun and inspiration. It makes the work more like fun. It certainly wows people who watch me work. More than a few have asked if they can try it.

                  First reaction is always "ick"; too hard to use without practice. That's why I get paid the medium bucks - I practiced for half an hour to develop mastery.
                • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                  Jeff Mirisola
                  For what it's worth, I posted my review of the SpaceNavigator in my blog today. You can read it here.
                  • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                    I use the SpaceTraveler and love it. I tried the Space Ball years ago, but it never caught on for me using AutoCAD back then. Now in SW I find it indispensable and frees up a lot of movement with my mouse hand.

                    I am having some problems with the Button Mapping in SW2007SP2.1 where it seems to be resetting my buttons. I'll open up a drawing or assembly and have different buttons mapped to the controller than I want or used to. Also, I export my settings to a file typically, and when I import this file, it's not loading it at all.

                    Anyone else seen funky behavior yet in these? I'm on the newest 3dConnexion driver & software.
                      • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                        Steve Calvert
                        Yes, my button mapping seems to go away sometimes, too.
                          • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                            Michael Kramer
                            I also find it hard to do SW without a 3D navigator. I own a SpaceBall 4000 and currently use a SpacePilot. I love the sensitivity of the SpacePilot but I am still unsure which one I prefer ergonomicly. Some of the buttons on the Spacepilot are basicly useless compaired to the Spaceball where I used all the buttons.

                            The only downfall that I have experienced is it losing my button mapping like Matt and Steve have mentioned. I hope 3D Connexion hears us and steps up to the plate.

                            SW 2006 sp 5.1
                            SpacePilot Driver Version: 2. 9. 3
                              • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                                Jeff Mirisola
                                I haven't experienced the the button mapping issue...yet. I hope that I don't.

                                Michael, why do you say that some of the buttons on the SpacePilot are basically useless? I use every one of them...
                                  • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                                    Michael Kramer
                                    Jeff, your lucky that you haven't eperienced the button mapping issue. It doesnt happen often but when it does it is very annoying.

                                    For my "useless" buttons on my SpacePilot I guess it stems from using the SpaceBall first. I hold the "puck" between my thumb and index finger and never let go of it making it very difficult to use buttons 3-6. I do however use all the other and have yet to get the total use of the different button configurations in like a part model. The other thing that I would like to see on the SpacePilot would be some key indicators. For one or two of the buttons like the h and f keys on the keyboard. And if I dont have a 3D motion device my hand is always next to the keyboard reaching for it.
                            • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                              Jared Smith

                              Bill Van Der Plaats wrote:


                              ... the space pilot still acts like 2006 and rotates on center axis on the part. (unless you click a point that you want it to rotate around which I thought was not good because I was trying to reduce clicks not increase clicks.)

                              I just got a spacepilot about two weeks ago and haven't had that problem (I'm using SW07 SP2.) I no longer have pain in my right index finger, wrist, and forearm, although some of that might be due to being forced to use better posture to keep a hand on the pilot.

                              Thus far it hasn't lost the button mapping but I agree that buttons 3-6 aren't as easy to access as they could be. I also wish that they would enable me to scroll and assign shortcuts in other common windows programs (Word, Excel, IE, firefox, etc.)
                              • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                                I have space navigator

                                I hate it I am returning, it only has two buttons, and is absurdly difficult to rotate especially when trying to roates a long tube when it only rotates about the origin, what a waste. I thought the cheap modle would help relieve mouse stress, but it only made it worse.

                                Good bye and good ridance to an awful pos.

                                • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                                  Dale Dunn
                                  I think I have to agree with the original poster. That is, it's certainly not worth the cost of the top end model. Better programmability can be had on other devices for a lot less cash.

                                  For me the largest problem has been the speed of movement. I've seen other say that movement in large assemblies is reported to be a problem, but they don't see the problem. Well, the problem is this: movement speed seems to be linked to the frame rate of the video card. I have a Space Navigator, and I sometimes pick it up trying to zoom faster. In single parts, this never happens, because the zoom is fast enough. In my opinion, this should not be tied to display speed.

                                  I find that I quite often use the MMB for view manipulation first, by long habit, and second, because it is independent of display speed. I've used a 5-button mouse for years, with the ctrl key mapped to the thumb button. I can definitely zoom, pan, and rotate faster with this set-up than I can with the Navigator. The main advantage of the Navigator is the ability to pan and rotate simultaneously to deal with models rotating about a centroid that is off-screen. In 2007, that advantage is almost gone. the only advantage is the ability to control twist and do things simultaneously, at the cost of speed (sensitivity) being tied to video card performance. However, the Navigator flat out rocks in Google Earth, where the mouse controls are not nearly as good as SW.

                                  After all that ranting, I think that the fastest you could possibly get is to use a combination of the Navigator and the mouse for view manipulation, and some cheap programmable device with more than 8 buttons. Oh, and learn to use hotkeys.

                                  I also had trouble with it losing settings. Eventually, I clicked in enough places that the problem went away. I couldn't tell you how I did it. Nice hardware, but the drivers and documentation are weak. Does anyone know what the Star option does in the button configuration? I've been using the Navigator since Christmas (stuck in 05) and I haven't been able to figure it out.

                                  P.S. Please pardon any spelling errors. I haven't figured out how to use the Google toolbar spell checker with the message editor in this new forum, and I'm only going to proof this thing so many times.
                                    • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                                      Agree with you, I decided to keep the Navigator because of Google earth.

                                      As for spelling, use Firefox has built in real time spell checker.

                                      I wish SW had this I already sent in an enhancement request.
                                      • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                                        Jeff Mirisola
                                        While I'd agree that the SpacePilot is pricey (thankfully, my boss paid for it), I'd say that it paid for itself a long time ago.
                                        The SpaceNavigator is an "entry level" controller. Not a lot of bells and whistles. When I reviewed it, I liked its robustness but, after having had the SpacePilot for so long, I missed all my buttons. It did work much like I expected it to.
                                        I'm presently reviewing the SpaceExplorer. I haven't noticed a speed issue, per se. With all of them, they're sluggish when you first open a SW window, but then everything, to me, seems fine. While I'm not quite through with my review of it, I certainly like it more than the Navigator. I'll post a link to my review when it's complete.

                                        If you have the Navigator PE, it only comes with online support. With the SE you get real-time tech support. I forgot to mention that earlier...
                                          • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                                            Dale Dunn
                                            Don't you have SE and PE backwards there?

                                            Anyhow, I've been observing myself to see how I'm using the thing. When the model is light enough, you can't beat the SpaceThingytm for wandering around the model trying to get ideas. I find that my hand is reaching for it instinctively. In heavier files like large assemblies, it's easy to lose patience with it, even though my hand is still reaching for it. Perhaps it's time for a faster video card, since there doesn't seems to be a way to disconnect sensitivity from it.

                                            If someone asked for a recommendation, I think I'd have to give almost reluctant approval. It's easier to learn than to achieve similar speed with just the mouse. I might recommend the Pilot over the Navigator though. Two buttons are a bit limiting when "3Dcontrol" commands cannot be mapped to hotkeys. My main source of reluctance is the software.

                                            Good hardware, excellent concept, weak software implementation.
                                              • dont get 3-d connextion control with sw2007
                                                Jeff Mirisola
                                                I do have them backwards. Every time I see the 'PE', I think personal edition, not professional...

                                                I tested an Astroid 6000 a while back (you can read my review here). While it was invented by the original inventor of the SpaceTraveler, I didn't really like the feel of it. Functionally it was ok. The biggest issue I had was that you could only map the buttons for one thing, for lack of a better term. Where the SpaceXXX can have different mappings per program or based on whether you were in a part, assembly or drawing file, the Astroid didn't have that capability.