The Perfect Complement to Your Workplace Station: 3D Mouse From 3Dconnexion

3Dconnexion SpaceMouse in use
Image courtesy of 3Dconnexion

Doing More, Faster

With every iteration of SOLIDWORKS there are new improvements in efficiency. In the last few years there have been great strides made in quicker operations and placing commonly used commands in logical places. Breadcrumbs and mouse gestures ushered in a new era of context-sensitive menus and commands.

However, in the quest for increasing productivity, a surprisingly small percentage of users have considered upgrading the tools they use to interact with the software; many are still using the same three button mouse they had when they started designing. While it may be adequate for office tasks, that mouse is highly inefficient for modeling: enter, the 3D mouse.

What is a 3D Mouse?

A 3D mouse for CAD works as a companion to your regular mouse, not as a replacement. It is held by your other hand, allowing you to use both to navigate your design environment. The 3D mouse allows you to effectively grab your model in free space, rotating it at will with minute movements of the joystick.

With a traditional mouse, if you want to rotate your model and also zoom in, you are required to click the scroll wheel, move the mouse, release the scroll wheel, then roll the scroll wheel to zoom; with a 3D mouse those same results are achieved in one smooth action by rotating the joystick and pulling it up to zoom. Similarly, panning in SOLIDWORKS requires pressing the Ctrl Key with one hand while simultaneously pressing down on the mouse scroll wheel and then using your wrist to move the model.  With a 3D mouse it’s as simple as pushing the joystick to the side.

Improving Efficiency & Ergonomics Further

3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Enterprise
Image courtesy of 3Dconnexion

There are other ways a 3D mouse can improve your workflows.

Each mouse has additional programmable buttons you can use to reduce the number of times you reach for the keyboard. I have the buttons on my 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro set up to save my part, pull up the measurement tool, and a host of other functions; really the only time my left hand leaves it is to type numbers for my dimensions. The buttons also automatically change whether I am working on a part, assembly, or drawing.

Given the amount of time I use it, I’m glad it’s comfortable. The sleek design not only looks good, it keeps the wrist angled properly to relieve tension and damage caused by repetitive tasks. My other hand also receives some relief because I am no longer relying on it to navigate around my part.

Working faster AND being more comfortable? That’s having your cake and eating it too.

Which 3Dconnexion Mouse (or Mice) is Right for You?

Depending on your needs and budget, 3Dconnexion has a solution. They’re also available in wired or cordless models, excluding the SpaceMouse Enterprise. The SpaceMouse Compact is a sleek joystick controller that offers two programmable buttons within a small footprint.

The SpaceMouse Pro has 15 programmable buttons and a soft-coated hand rest for comfort during those long design sessions.

Designed for discerning CAD users, the flagship SpaceMouse Enterprise has a whopping 31 programmable buttons and a color LCD display.

3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless
Image courtesy of 3Dconnexion

As a companion to their 3D mouse offerings, 3Dconnexion created the CadMouse line, which revolutionizes the traditional mouse with ergonomic and functional upgrades. A CadMouse of your choice can be packaged with a SpaceMouse to give you the most comfortable and productive combination available.

Whichever route you choose, 3Dconnexion offers the right mouse for you and the best mouse for SOLIDWORKS.

Interested? Request a Quote!

Contact Us

We’re always available over the phone at 262-790-1080, or, if you don’t have time for a phone call, we take submitted inquiries online.

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Meet the Author

Austen Popejoy

Austen has worked in design, prototype, and production manufacturing and has also been a collegiate lecturer. His work as our CAM Applications Engineer supporting SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks lends well to advancing designing for manufacturing. He is also an Elite Application Engineer (AE). Have a passion for cars? Ask him about our annual Fuel Fest car show!

view all posts by Austen Popejoy

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