What’s all the fuss about 3D mice? We decided to ask real engineers, designers and 3D professionals how and why they use 3D mice in their design work.
Jonathan Landeros is a senior applications engineer at KETIV Technologies and an avid 3Dconnexion 3D mouse user. He also blogs at Inventor Tales. We caught up with Jonathan to talk about why he uses a 3D mouse.
How did you first hear about 3Dconnexion 3D mice?
I first heard from 3Dconnexion at Autodesk University in Las Vegas, where I was introduced to the SpaceTraveler—the predecessor to the SpaceNavigator for Notebooks.
What made you want to try using a 3D mouse?
A demonstration of how the 3Dconnexion device worked got me interested in trying it and learning more about it. I still remember hearing that it was “like holding the part in your hand.”
What was it like adopting a 3D mouse?
I had been using it for about a week when I realized how much I had come to rely on it. My laptop crashed and I was forced to borrow another computer for about an hour, which did not have a 3Dconnexion device driver installed. I quickly realized I was "pawing" with my left hand, looking for the missing device!
What kind of 3Dconnexion 3D mouse do you use?
The 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless is the one I use the most.
What software do you use with your 3D mouse?
I primarily use Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Showcase and Autodesk Design Review.
How does a 3D mouse change your experience in 3D software?
Navigation is vastly improved within all the software applications I use. Each application orbits, pans and zooms slightly differently when using the default settings and tools. My 3D mouse allows me to apply navigation movements in the same way across all the platforms I use. It prevents me from having to "relearn" navigation every time I switch software.
How has using a 3D mouse affected your professional life?
I think my 3D mouse improves comfort, but through comfort, improves productivity and efficiency. A more comfortable design experience makes a happier design experience, which makes for a more creative and effective design session. I do think it makes every project I work on go more smoothly, pleasantly and efficiently.
What would you say to someone who has heard of 3D mice, but isn’t sure about purchasing one?
I would tell them they have to give it a try. Working and designing products without one is like hiking in knee-deep snow without snowshoes. Sure, you can do it—but it’s going to be a lot more difficult, a lot more challenging and you’re going to keep losing ground to the guy who invested in the right equipment.
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