cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

3D Connexions 3D Mice

SOLVED
Newbie

3D Connexions 3D Mice

Has anyone any experience with using a 3D mouse such as 3DConnexions "SpaceMouse Pro" or "SpaceExplorer" in Creo Parametric?

Is it a valuable tool in this application, or a too-expensive-and-not-much-use device?

Thanks

Creo Newby

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

I insisted on getting the lightweight Space Navigator. It is $100 and very basic with 2 buttons. I do use this a lot for orienting the model and it does save me time. I spend a lot of time doing this when evaluating designs so it was very easy to justify. I have used 3D mice for about 15 years.

What I don't like is that it is not a true 3D input device. Seriously, why is this not a real 3D device for gaming and other native 3D programs? 3D Connexion doesn't seem to be working with a unified architecture.

With the extensive use of the CTRL/ALT/SHIFT buttons in Creo, the left hand is becoming quite busy. I haven't tried but I would think that programming ALT and CTRL on the Space Nav would be helpful.

I can't justify all the buttons of the more expensive versions. I remember having to "develop" tablet layouts in a past life... and this had to be done for nearly every new version. Like mapkeys, it is a pain to loose all that effort.

Last, I contacted 3D-Connexion about their Space Nav and Space Nav for Notebooks. I bought the heavier Space Nav only because I had experience with it and the fact that the extra weight really is an advantage. I got the same sense from the rep I was corresponding with.

Hope that helps.

View solution in original post

9 REPLIES 9

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

Sadly only use i found for it is Google Earth... Maybe someone else has better expirience.

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

Hi Murray...

I've used these devices in their various incarnations for years. While they were a bit more useful when Pro/ENGINEER first came out and your options for pan, zoom, and spin were limited, they're still very useful today.

The simplest "puck" models are only about $40-$50. These don't provide all the buttons and display options... but they do allow you to orient your 3D model. You'd typically operate the 3D mouse with one hand while keeping the other on your regular mouse for selecting commands and picking objects on the screen.

While you can certainly work without one, many people find it very convenient to use the 3D mouse for CAD work. It takes a few days to really get used to it... but stick with it and I think you'll see the benefits.

It's kind of like an electric razor. On every Norelco razor there's a sticker that says "TRY ME FOR 10 DAYS". Why? Because they know for the first few days it doesn't seem as fast as a blade... nor does it seem to work as well! Yet if you stick with it, after those 10 days you'll be amazed at how smooth the shave can be- and how much less irritation the electric shaver causes over a blade. The 3D mouse is like an electric razor... you need to give it 10 days to really sink in and become an extension of yourself (like a regular mouse is).

The more expensive 3D controllers like the Space Pilot (or whatever the new version is called) can also be helpful... there are usually a ton of programmable buttons. Typically this is where I start to fall off the wagon though... I program the buttons but don't often use them. Some buttons are convenient- like the ones to automatically switch to a Top, Front, Side, or Back view but others are just extraneous. While I do prefer the larger controllers over the smaller "puck" models, I mostly prefer them for the stability. They don't tend to scoot across the desk because they're anchored by the weight of your wrist. The puck starts out stable but over time the "feet" on the bottom of the device start to wear down this can cause it to slide a bit.

Hope that helps...

-Brian

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

The 3D mice work well for some programs - and they sure make an impression sitting there on your desk when someone is looking over your shoulder. But in my experience they are not a means of significant productivity gains in Creo. Productivity in Creo is all about reducing the keystrokes you need to get YOUR work done... and one of the best ways to do that is with customized macros/mapkeys. Then get yourself a mouse with lots of programable keys - such as a Razer Naga with its 17 programmable buttons. On mine, every key is a mapkey in Creo - 1 turns datum planes on/off - 2-Axis, 3-Points... 10 is Front View, 11-Top, 12-Left, 8-Default. I have a keyboard mapkey SCV to Save Custom View - then every time I hit VC - View Custom on the keyboard, or #9 on my mouse, I immediately return to that view. I Even programmed the Forward - Backward buttons on the mouse to do Sheet-Forward and Sheet-Back while drawing. There are some 3D mice that have lots of buttons as well. Having the necessary mapkey buttons on your primary pointing device will reap multitudes of productivity gains while the 3D mouse sits dormant 90 percent of the time. Both the 3D mouse and a programmable multi-button mouse will take some time to learn to use proficiently, but a correctly programmed multi-button mouse will be the most productive and do more to impress whoever is looking over your shoulder as things happen on the screen while you barely move your hand.

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

There's some recommendations in this thread that might help you out

Which 3 button mouse do you recommend?

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

I insisted on getting the lightweight Space Navigator. It is $100 and very basic with 2 buttons. I do use this a lot for orienting the model and it does save me time. I spend a lot of time doing this when evaluating designs so it was very easy to justify. I have used 3D mice for about 15 years.

What I don't like is that it is not a true 3D input device. Seriously, why is this not a real 3D device for gaming and other native 3D programs? 3D Connexion doesn't seem to be working with a unified architecture.

With the extensive use of the CTRL/ALT/SHIFT buttons in Creo, the left hand is becoming quite busy. I haven't tried but I would think that programming ALT and CTRL on the Space Nav would be helpful.

I can't justify all the buttons of the more expensive versions. I remember having to "develop" tablet layouts in a past life... and this had to be done for nearly every new version. Like mapkeys, it is a pain to loose all that effort.

Last, I contacted 3D-Connexion about their Space Nav and Space Nav for Notebooks. I bought the heavier Space Nav only because I had experience with it and the fact that the extra weight really is an advantage. I got the same sense from the rep I was corresponding with.

Hope that helps.

View solution in original post

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

Thanks Brian,

Your answer is encouraging. I originally bought the SpaceMouse Pro for my VectorWorks Designer Software. Sadly the implementation of the device inside VectorWorks leaves much to be desired. It does not have the full 3D manipulation functionality one sees in the 3DConnexions Viewer demo (on their "Training" tab).

I'm about to learn Creo and was concerned that similar issues might exist in Creo. I need to off-load some duties from my mouse hand and arm, doc says.

Highlighted

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

Hi Murray ...

I have one of the smallest and turns out to be because we always side with the left hand too much time just to go to the keyboard.

Now sometimes when we are only viewing or thinking while turning a part ok

But it's like the friend says Brian takes time to get used to it.

Regards

Pedro Santos

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

Hi Aaron,

Your reply is very interesting, thank you. For me though, I need to off-load duties from my mouse hand, and share some of it with my left. In this regard, my choice of the SpaceMouse Pro might yet give me the best of both worlds - I have the left hand doing model manipulation, and 15 programmable buttons to use. Now I just have to start learning Creo, and figuring out what, for me, are the best uses for those fancy buttons!

Thanks again for your response.

Re: 3D Connexions 3D Mice

Hi Pedro,

Thanks for your help.

I look forward to using the device in Creo - it sounds like it will be useful.

Kind regards Murray