3Dconnexion unveils latest 3D mouse
By Design Engineering StaffCAD/CAM/CAE 3Dconnexion computer hardware
SpaceMouse Pro ditches fancy peripherals in favor of better ergonomics
Las Vegas – At Autodesk University, 3Dconnexion unveiled its latest 3D mouse, the SpaceMouse Pro. Similar in look and form factor to the company’s SpacePilot Pro, the new 3D mouse includes 3Dconnexion’s hallmark six-degrees-of-freedom control knob and ergonomic design but doesn’t include the SpacePilot’s small “app” screen and many of its small buttons.
The focus on simplifying the button layout should help deliver on one of the 3D mouse’s potential benefits, namely that their use cuts down on the amount of time users spend glancing at a keyboard. The SpaceMouse’s fewer but easier-to-locate buttons are not only larger than on previous models but each button has a unique shape. In addition, beveled edges also make it easier for a pinky or thumb to clearly distinguish one button from another.
Button functions include the standard five QuickView keys to change a model’s orientation to any of 12 views (top, right, front, 90-degree rotation, etc) and the Keyboard Modifier keys that replace hunting for Control, Shift, Alt, Esc, etc. In place of the SpacePilot’s small screen, the SpaceMouse features four large configurable function keys to call frequently used application commands coupled with on-screen feedback on key assignment.
Beyond the hardware, 3Dconnexion’s real advantage may be its software. The company’s mice support hundreds of 3D and 2D applications including all the major and minor CAD packages. In addition, all of its 3D mice, through its cross-platform (Windows, OSX, Linux) driver software, automatically change button configuration to suit the active application.