I use a Spacemouse, which is identical in concept and differs only by having a puck-like shape instead of a shpere. The spaceball is more confortable, but I can put my spacemouse in my laptop bag more easily. I have 10 keys, which, combined with a modifier, allow me to set 20 mapkeys to the spacemouse so I don't move my hand away. That said, I still enter them on my keyboard in many cases. I hate working without it now. To each his own, and I enter numbers with my "mouse" hand anyway, so the spacemouse has zero-influence in that.
I have found it very useful for manipulating the model while selecting with the mouse. For example, you're trying to select edges to round and they're on all sides of the part. So twist the part around with the non-mouse hand using the Spaceball and select using the mouse as you rotate, pan and zoom.
And yes, as some else said, there are times when your mouse movement of the part is blocked, like when you enter the print dialog box, but the Spaceball will still pan and zoom your drawing.
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Can someone explain what a space ball does for me using proe? If is really all that and a bag of chips, how do I input numbers etc?
I use the space traveler from 3Dconnexion and would be lost without it. The biggest plus for me is the non need to keep the left index finger permanently in the region of the shift/control keys. Manipulation of the model is easy but there is a learning curve which is only appreciated when a non space person uses it and sends the model off into the ether. Try letting your Supervisor or Manager move it about and they'll have a whole new idea of your worth! FWIW I used to use the larger balls that were bigger than the palm of your hand but the traveler is light and fingertip controllable. I am unaware if this is further indication of emasculation!
I have used on for years and think it is great. It cuts down on mouse travel. I can be moving the mouse pointer to where I want to select as I rotate the model. Most of my display mapkeys programmed to the buttons, as well as CTRL and SHIFT. This wayI can select how I need to if my left hand is positioned on the keyboard or space ball.
It does take some getting used to, give it time if you get one.
Now if only I could find some programmable foot pedal I could increase my efficiency even more!!!
Scott, Good analogy, very accurate. After using one for over a year now, I hate to say that it doesn't get used all that often. It is extremely useful when zoomed in, doing fine orientation tasks, and general viewing of the model. The issue, as brought up by Jeff's response, is not having a third hand. If you have extensive mapkeys, using the spaceball becomes an exercise in shifting your hand back and forth between the keyboard and the spaceball. I, for one, can execute most mapkeys with one hand, not looking at the keyboard. Having to switch from the spaceball to the keyboard, necessitates looking down at the keyboard to position my hand. I can't quite get that "Pro/E home row" orientation without peeking. I lose a seemingly small amount of productivity. Multiply that by the number of mapkeys used in a day, and you have a significant loss of time. If you are one of "those" who don't use mapkeys, then a spaceball may well be very beneficial. Personally, my hand is always on the mouse unless typing a note. Why not use it for the majority of orientation and manipulation, and use the other hand for mapkeys? Only the individual users can really determine if a spaceball will help their productivity - or hurt it. And Jeff, I have "Spaceballs" on DVD. I agree with your statement. Regards, Jim Jan Scott Myers29 wrote:With the same hand you've always used, it's not like its glued to the darn thing.
The best analogy I have heard is "set a blank piece of paper on a desk, now start to draw a box or circle on it without using your other hand to hold the paper".........
Thats what the spaceball is for.
Terry Thomas wrote: Can someone explain what a space ball does for me using proe? If is really all that and a bag of chips, how do I input numbers etc?