Does anyone actually benefit from using a 3D mouse?

Questions and answers about 3Dconnexion devices on Windows.

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Does anyone actually benefit from using a 3D mouse?

Post by jaisonriver » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:54 am

Does anyone here actually benefit from using a 3D mouse? I got a 3DConnexion Wireless Space Mouse a while back and I have to make an active effort to use it with Solidworks. I'll use it for 20 seconds, then ignore it for several days. The main problem is that it's too difficult to control. I can't do single-axis manipulation like I want to. If they had a software feature that allowed to quickly select a single axis at a time and control just that, or that allowed me to control from the object's point of view instead of from my point of view, because that's how I think, that would be great. Any thoughts? Any 3rd party drivers or interfaces I should check out to make it more useful?

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Re: Does anyone actually benefit from using a 3D mouse?

Post by UtaSH » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:16 am

Hi jaisonriver,

you can enable the Dominant mode in the Advanced Settings in the driver panel. This way any navigation results in moving only the axis that you move the strongest.

At this point the view cannot be changed to another than object mode. This ia a feature that only a few other applications provide. I assume that you want the target camera mode. You can test this possibility the 3Dconnexion Viewer. There you can select (in the Advanced Settings) the "Target Camera Mode". Is this what you want?

If yes you can go back to SolidWorks and then try to invert the axes (all? some?) and see if this is the mode you want. You can invert each axis individually in the tab "Speed" in the Advanced Settings.

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Re: Does anyone actually benefit from using a 3D mouse?

Post by ~mstr » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:52 am


Would not want to go back to just using mouse.

Not using Solidworks, but Inventor.

Never even crossed my mind to consider "Single axis manipulation". Rotate the part/assembly to the face I want to see or work on, zoom in/out and I am ready to go.Try rotating until the objects POV is the same as your POV.

I do find that the setting for zoom that 3dconnexion uses out of the box is counter intuitive. Even complete novices are struggling with that. As soon as I change it to pull (zoom in) and push (zoom out) everyone can work with it. Even teenagers.

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Re: Does anyone actually benefit from using a 3D mouse?

Post by drkieffer » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:08 am

jaisonriver wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:54 am
Does anyone here actually benefit from using a 3D mouse?
I would be lost without one. I've been using a 3D motion controller for a couple decades now, starting with a Spaceball 2003. My advice would be to slow the speed down on the device, and practice.
Siemens NX11 with Teamcenter 11
SpaceMosue Enterprise and CADmouse

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Re: Does anyone actually benefit from using a 3D mouse?

Post by dnashj33 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:34 pm

I say all the time that working without one, especially when sculpting or texture painting in 3D Space, it's like working in Photoshop without a Wacom Tablet. Sure you could paint with a mouse in Photoshop, but why would you want to?

The Radial Menus on SpaceMouse Enterprise are golden. I use it mostly in 3DCoat, where there are no radial/marking menus in the app natively. It's literally one of the features I asked the owner about, and now I don't really need it, personally, because of the SpaceMouse Enterprise. I just wish they would allow the name/text of the assigned tool to be shown when using the 8 section menu. That would make the feature even more valuable.

Another saying I have about the Premiere/Flagship models, like the SM Enterprise, is they allow the user to "avoid competing in the Keyboard Finger Gymnastics Games." I don't know how many times I've had to look down away from the viewport/model, at the keyboard and have to contort my fingers in strange ways to hit certain hotkey combinations. Practically no more of that nonsense, if you have a SpaceMouse Enterprise.

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Re: Does anyone actually benefit from using a 3D mouse?

Post by Janoshx » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:03 pm

3D mouse is usually super usefull but if you relearn yourself only to rely on 3d mouse then you can end in situation that if you don't have 3d mouse available you wont be able to navigate fluenty anymore. This is common case if you need to show something to you work mates machine and he doesn't have 3d mouse.

The navigation is usually super easy with 3d mouse even that you can control all axes at the same time. What you have to do is to explore a bit about how you think.

first try to set the sensitivity quite low so your object or scene doesn't just dissappear when you touch the puck

then try to think which way your brain operates. are you thinking that you are controlling the camera in your scene or are you thinking that you are holding the object or scene in your hand that is now on the puck. I can use 3d mouse by only thinking that I am holding the object and rotating, pulling and pushing it via puck. this is usually set as a setting in different 3d apps. I use mainly maya, 3dcoat and Unity and i can set them all behave in the same way.

If your 3D apps 3d mouse plugin or settings does not give this option directly, camera mode vs object mode etc, then you can usually just invert all axes in 3d mouse settings for that specific app.

The dominant axis mode is not usually very handy in the end unless you have a specific need to just rotate by axis.

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