A 3D mouse doesn’t replace your standard mouse; it partners with it to create a natural, cooperative two-handed work style that reduces muscle strain, speeds up design and improves productivity.
So, don’t worry about your standard mouse: it’s staying put. A 3D mouse is used in your non-dominant hand to navigate 3D content, while you use the standard mouse to point and click. The result is a more balanced and comfortable workflow.
What about keyboard shortcuts? There are 3D mice designed just for heavy keyboard users—the 3Dconnexion SpacePilot Pro and SpaceMouse Pro feature integrated buttons, hand rests and enhanced visual support.
The result? A device that is integral to better design workflows. See what current users have to say about what it feels like to work without one.
So, What’s It Like Working Without a 3D Mouse?
We asked our users what it's like to work in 3D software applications without a 3D mouse.
“...like working with one hand”
Paraphrased from Randy Mabery and Jeffrey Vrana, 3Dconnexion Facebook fans
Of course, you can get by doing many things with one hand, if necessary. But, you’d probably be less productive. The same goes for designing in 3D.
Why do users rely on their 3D mouse? The smooth and intuitive 3D navigation makes it easier to understand your design. And, the two-handed work-style means you use your 2D mouse a lot less, but accomplish a lot more. With only a 2D mouse and keyboard, you can either navigate your model or select commands. With a 3D mouse in one hand and a 2D mouse in the other, you can do both at once, saving valuable time and energy.
Using a 3D mouse engages both hands in a balanced and cooperative manner: Use one hand on the 3D mouse to either position or navigate the model or environment, and use a 2D mouse with the other to select, create or edit your design components.
Dan Miles, vice president of Tata Technologies, has used a 3Dconnexion mouse for more than a decade. He shares, “Professionally, I cannot live without one, as I know it increases productivity and saves hundreds of mouse clicks a day.” (Source)
“...like trying to paint Mona Lisa using a banana.”
M. Petrikas (@MPetrikas), Twitter follower
We’re pretty certain that, no matter how hard he tried, da Vinci couldn’t have created such a masterpiece with a banana. It’s just not the right tool for the job.
When working in 3D software, using only a 2D mouse limits your capabilities; a 3D mouse adds an extra dimension, revolutionizing the way you work, making it so much easier to position your models or views. Bring a 3D mouse into the mix—you’ll be able to combine movements, motions and clicks, enhancing your design process so you can create masterpieces of your own.
Nolan Farmer of Farmer Plastics & Machining is another 3Dconnexion mouse user, and a believer in using the right tools for the job. “Building very complex assemblies and navigating around the 3D work environment gets to be extremely labor intensive with a 2D mouse. But with a 3D mouse, it‘s a piece of cake. It frees me up completely to move around in a way that wasn’t possible before.” (Source)
“...like using speech recognition on my smart phone... horrible.”
Jamie Ditsworth, Facebook fan
We feel your pain, Jamie.
You’ve probably used voice recognition before, whether talking to Siri on your iPhone, or trying to verify an account number to a customer service robot. And, we know all too well that frustrating feeling when you’re not understood.
When you’re designing in 3D, you need seamless communication between your hands, hardware, software and the model you’re working with. A 3D mouse acts as an intermediary, connecting you to your model. Plus, you can program buttons on some models for quick fingertip access to your most commonly used commands.
Whether you’re working on initial sketches or a complicated assembly, the superior navigation of a 3D mouse provides you with high levels of model exploration, which is crucial to avoiding costly design errors.
Designing Without a 3D Mouse Is Just “Not An Option”
Gregg Johnson, Facebook fan
3D mice are used by a diverse range of organizations and individuals to improve 3D software performance and the design process.
No matter what the industry—or 3D hobby—users are finding out that 3D mice are an essential part of their routine, not just another gadget. Make your next design a work of art with the right tool for the job. No bananas allowed.
Do you use a 3D mouse? What’s working without one like for you?
If you'd like to learn more about 3D mice and their unique two-handed work style, check out the following resources:
- What is a 3D Mouse? — Learn how a 3D mouse's six degrees of freedom navigation improves the design process.
- Why is a Two-Handed Work Style Right for Your Design Sessions? — Find out why two hands are better than one when it comes to CAD work.
- 3 Strategies to Adopt a 3Dconnexion 3D Mouse Faster — These tips will have you comfortable with a two-handed work style in no time.
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.