Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review of 3D Connexion Space Explorers

The results are in. Last April, we started a trial of 3D Connexion devices in several of our offices - specifically the Space Explorer model. It seems as if the feedback is split down the middle. It seems people either love 'em or hate 'em. We found in our testing that changing the factory defaults for the different axes was absolutely critical. Specifically, disabling the roll axis seemed to be of benefit to a number of designers. We used it in Sketchup, Bonzai, Rhino, 3ds Max Design and of course Revit.

We've come to the conclusion that while for some it can be of benefit, it would be hard to justify placing one on everyone's desk. We also felt it would be of particular benefit while doing live presentations of models in Sketchup/Revit to interested parties as it provides a much smoother navigation as opposed to the usual keyboard/mouse method. One thing a few designers liked was the beta driver software found on their dev site (version 3DX10). Its nice to be able to control pan/zoom in Photoshop and scroll in other documents. Lastly, we tested on both PC and Mac platforms and things seemed stable. One thing we didn't get into though, was assigning macro's to buttons since we didn't have the "Pro" mouse. I can see some potential for that, however it will have to wait.

I'd like to give a big thank you to 3D Connexion for allowing us to demo these devices to prove their worth. We will definitely be investing in these in the near future.


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