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    3DxBlog

    What Makes 3D Mice Special, According to the People That Use Them

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Jan 16, 2017 11:30:00 AM

    3Dconnexion’s 3D mice are something special in the world of CAD—we already know that. But, do you? If you’re still considering whether or not to make the purchase, take it from the people who use 3D mice every day, including the SpaceMouse Pro,[1] the SpaceNavigator[2] and more. 

    In a recent survey, we asked some of our customers the following question:

    What would you miss most if you could not use a 3Dconnexion device anymore?

    Their responses show just how much a 3D mouse makes CAD work faster, easier, more comfortable and enjoyable.

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    “I would miss being able to freely manipulate the object on the screen the same way regardless of the software that I am using.” – Troy Ashby

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    “I would miss the immersive two-handed experience, and distributing the work between both hands to relieve strain.” – Jordan Chapman

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    “3D modeling—I'd have to give it up! It offloads my mouse hand so much.” – Red Byer

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    Tags: 3D mouse, 3D design efficiency, Productivity

    Why Engineers Should Not Be Using the Mouse They’re Using Now (Unless it’s a CadMouse)

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Jan 12, 2017 11:30:00 AM


    Millions of engineers, designers and CAD professionals are unnecessarily limiting their potential and don’t even know it.

    We all know the sinking feeling that hits us when we realize there’s not enough time left in the day to accomplish what you set out to do. And who hasn’t felt a little frustrated when struggling to make CAD software do what you want? Worse still, is when you need to complete the task but your hands, arms and shoulders are telling you it’s time for a rest.

    These are facts of life for many CAD professionals. But they don’t have to be. In fact, a lack of general efficiency and discomfort when working are issues caused or greatly exacerbated by a single problem:

    The mouse you’re using.

    We’re not talking about a 3D mouse either.

    We mean the ordinary mouse you use to click and select. You know, the mouse you use to do pretty much everything on your computer. 

    But what could possibly be wrong with your ordinary mouse? After all, you may have even chosen yours specifically.

    Well, that’s precisely it: an ordinary mouse is alright at a lot of things. It may even excel at a few. But it definitely doesn’t excel at prolonged CAD work. Read on to learn why—and the simplest of solutions (which didn’t even exist until just over 12 months ago).

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    Tags: Why I Use a 3D Mouse, 3D CAD, CadMouse

    6 SketchUp Secrets to Design Better and Faster

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Dec 13, 2016 10:38:00 PM

    SketchUp is one of the most popular 3D modeling software packages on the market. And there are always new tools and tips to learn. By installing helpful plugins or extensions, new apps or tools, SketchUp users can reduce production time and create more accurate, realistic designs.

    To help simplify your workflow in SketchUp, we’ve rounded up six secrets that will help you use the software better.

    1. Go Mobile 

    Download SketchUp’s latest Mobile Viewer, V3.0. V3.0 is a downloadable app for iPhone and Android that displays 3D models and performs a handful of commands right from a smartphone or tablet. Users view designs by clicking on files in 3D Warehouse, Dropbox, Trimble Connect or email attachments. In V3.0, users are then able to:

    • Play scene-based animations.
    • Use Section Planes, Edge Styles and Watermarks.
    • Pull measurements with the Tape Measure tool.

    Having mobile access to all SketchUp designs helps you make minor adjustments on the go and keeps your portfolio of work on-hand, no matter where you are.

    Check it out here: SketchUp Mobile Viewer V3.0

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    Tags: 3D CAD, Productivity, SketchUp

    7 Unbeatable Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Engineer

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Dec 5, 2016 9:13:00 AM

    With the holiday season right around the corner, finding the perfect gift for an engineer may not seem like an easy task. Luckily, we’ve gathered seven of this season’s must-have gadgets and tools that are perfect for the engineer in your life.

    1. 3Doodler Create Pen 

    With the 3Doodler Create Pen, CAD professionals and engineers can watch their own drawings and designs instantly come to life. Known as the world’s first 3D printing pen, the 3Doodler allows its users to draw physical 3D structures with the press of a button.

    The 3Doodler Create Pen heats plastic rods internally, melting them down to stick to paper and other surfaces. Once released from the pen, the plastic hardens into a shape and users can draw vertically or horizontally in the air. The pen can be used for any and all 3D design concepts, like art and decoration, maker projects, doodling product models and more.

    Price: $99.99 / €90.66 / £81.74

    Get it here: 3Doodler Create Pen

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    Tags: Creativity, 3D CAD

    6 More SketchUp Extensions You’ll Kick Yourself for Not Having

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 30, 2016 10:30:00 AM

    1. Mirror

    Mirror is a must-have for designers who aren’t looking to recreate objects from scratch but need to mirror groups of them within the same design. Users simply choose which object or objects they want to mirror, then select points within their design to reflect it upon.

    This extension takes the headache out of having to recreate shapes or objects, allowing for a faster workflow.

    Who should use this extension: CAD professionals of all industries.

    Get it here: Mirror

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    Tags: 3D CAD, Productivity, SketchUp

    3 Mental Habits All Engineers Need to Have

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 22, 2016 11:15:00 AM

    Engineering is a notoriously demanding field when it comes to the amount of problem solving and concentration needed. Thankfully, there are a handful of mental habits engineers can incorporate into their thought processes to do better work. These mental habits are proven thinking strategies that are used by some of the world’s smartest people to solve tough challenges and produce superior results. Adding the right ones to your problem solving skills can help you produce better outcomes at work.

    Reverse thinking, managing redundant solutions and implementing a margin of safety are a few examples of mental strategies that help engineers enhance their creative thinking, protect them from overlooking potential problems and develop innovative solutions. 

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    Tags: Engineering, Creativity, Productivity

    4 SOLIDWORKS Tools You Should Be Using

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 16, 2016 10:55:00 AM

    In order to get the most out of your SOLIDWORKS software and improve your efficiency, there are a number of add-ins to give you a boost.

    Add-ins often include helpful shortcuts and processes to eliminate extra steps in your workflow. Many add-ins are already fully integrated with the software platform, though some tools require a simple download or one-time purchase.

    Below, we’ve highlighted four helpful add-ins that can improve your designs in SOLIDWORKS.

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    Tags: 3D CAD, Productivity, SOLIDWORKS

    6 (More) Productivity Tools Engineers Should Be Using

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 8, 2016 9:55:00 AM

    By implementing more efficient design and collaboration tools to boost engineer productivity, companies can save up to $50,000 per month in labor costs. And with the help of such tools, CAD users can improve their designs faster and easier than ever before. Below, we’ve highlighted six of the best productivity tools to save time when working in CAD.

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    Tags: 3D CAD, Productivity, Communication

    6 CAD Videos You Can’t Miss

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Nov 2, 2016 8:19:00 AM

    CAD software has evolved rapidly over time to accelerate the design process, improve efficiency and help engineers innovate. 

    Fortunately, engineers have access to an abundance of online resources that provide CAD techniques and information on changes in technology. Videos serve as engaging and effective resources for those who want to understand CAD software and current trends in engineering as they provide far more than words on paper. 

    Here are six CAD videos providing quick tips, tutorials and testimonials that all engineers should watch.

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    Tags: 3D CAD, CAD Tips and Tricks, Productivity

    3 Professional Development Secrets for Engineers

    Posted by Mark Driscoll on Oct 24, 2016 10:50:00 AM

    As often as the field of engineering changes, it’s equally important that engineers continue to evolve, too. Engaging in professional development practices can keep engineers competitive in the market, as well as improve their work and final product.

    So, how can engineers stay ahead in such a dynamic field? Keep reading to discover how to learn more information faster and better, market your ideas more effectively, and become more creative.

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    Tags: Engineering, CAD Tips and Tricks, Productivity