How Using a 3D Mouse Can Improve the Design Process

    Posted by Antonio Pascucci on Nov 28, 2012 7:41:00 AM

    3D mouseAs design and manufacturing software / hardware continue to advance the capabilities for CAD engineers more than ever before, how do you know what will benefit you the most? When it comes to motion control, standard mice and trackballs can get the job done, but 3D mice are specifically designed to enhance just that—three-dimensional design.

    3D mice can tackle some of CAD engineers’ top troubles when it comes to the design process. Following are four benefits that show how a 3D mouse clears both the hands and mind of distractions, for an almost-effortless CAD work-flow.

    1. Smoothes Movement

    3D mice allow you to intuitively position 3D content or camera views while simultaneously using the standard mouse to select, create and edit. The most noteworthy characteristic of a 3D mouse is the ability to pan, zoom and rotate in one fluid motion, decreasing standard mouse movements and clicks. This claim-to-fame (at least here at 3Dconnexion) is known as “six degrees of freedom” or “6DoF.”

    2. Minimizes Discomfort

    3D CAD-specific jobs require significant time commitments working in and with related applications and tools, and thus demand a high level of navigation and commands. A 3D mouse is used in conjunction with other mainstream tools like standard mice or trackballs, tablets and keyboards— depending on what a user prefers—to distribute the workload across both hands, significantly enhacing comfort and reducing the risk of RSI.

    In fact, a study by VSI Risk Management and Ergonomics reports that “using a two-handed working style with a 3D motion controller was shown to substantially reduce pain, both in the first month, and yet further after six months” in CAD applications.

    3. Decreases Errors

    With simple, smooth and comfortable movements, 3D mouse users find it easier to inspect their 3D content more closely, thereby picking up on errors and improving design quality. With smooth and intuitive 6DoF navigation, designers can quickly assimilate the device into daily activity, comfortably increasing object manipulation for more precise analysis.

    CAD design engineers surveyed by the Technology Assessment Group saw a noticeable or significant improvement in product designs (85%) when using a 3D mouse, and thought, as a result of using one, they could noticeably or significantly improve detection of errors (84%).

    4. Increases Productivity

    We all appreciate some uninterrupted time while working, which can be difficult with the many distractions in a typical workplace. It may seem counterintuitive as a way to fight diversions, but for 3D CAD, adding an additional input device is definitely a better set-up, offering quicker model navigation and a streamlined work process.

    Coupling a standard mouse and 3D mouse, increases the number of streams through which a user can drive a CAD application, resulting in average productivity gains of 21% for CAD design engineers, and a smarter, faster workflow.

    Bonus: A Smart Investment

    Not only can 3D mice enhance the design process, but they’ll also pay off in the long run. In the end, all of the benefits above add up to a faster product-to-market process. Introducing the right 3D mouse to your routine is a win-win scenario—quick, comfortable and accurate design, at a price that will show you return-on-investment in no time.

    Want another reason to use a 3Dconnexion mouse? Find out how quickly the investment in a 3D mouse is recovered, and the cost savings over three years with our 3D Mouse Payback Calculator.

    Do you use a 3D mouse for CAD processes? How has it improved your workflow?

    Beat Pain and Strain in CAD With This Guide

    Aches and pains at the desktop are not normal and can lead to long-term repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). It also disrupts your productivity, creativity and even your career! The CAD Comfort Manual is a complete guide to address and prevent pain and strain from prolonged CAD work. Download it today to start working more comfortably in CAD.

    click here to download: http://info.3dconnexion.com/comfort-in-cad

    Photo credit: OptimumARC-3D

    Tags: Design, 3D Mice, Productivity, Comfort & Ergonomics