3Dconnexion SpacePilot And SpaceBall

Does anyone have any experience using these devices? I've seen
them for a couple of years now but never had experience and am
considering a purchase of the newest one, SpacePilot. Now the
thing is, its a lot different design to the SpaceBall and i was
wondering if anyone has experience with it enough to suggest its
the better design, or not. :) Or any other information one may be
able to provide me from there experiences.
Cheers! :)
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The Spaceballs were originally designed and built by a company called "Spacetek"
The Spacemouse-Spacepuck-etc,, were designed and built by a German division of Logitech (Logicad I think). 3D connexion was formed when Logitech bought Spacetek.
I've had both and the construction, reliabilty, drivers, feel and function, of the Logicad based products is far superior to the Spaceball based stuff.
I don't have first hand knowledge of the Space Pilot, but if it follows the rest of the Logicad based products, It's probably pretty good.
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I just returned a Spacepilot today after having it for a 30 day evaluation. Functionally, it moves your model the same as a Spaceball. The difference is in the LCD panel that can be programmed for different applications, like function keys. The Spacepilot can also detect which program you are running and switch the functions for each program. We run Pro/E and UG and the designer who had it for most of the test period really liked the way he could use the function keys in the different programs. He has been working on an engine upgrade and so he has been using both programs everyday. He had a Spaceball 5000USB, so he was used to using his left hand to manipulate the model while selecting the menus with his mouse. I just got a new workstation and I haven't moved my Spaceball over and I keep reaching for it when I want to spin the CAD model to get a better view.
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Ben Loosli
I am hooked. On large assemblies it is almost indespensible to have the ability to orient the part with the spaceball while rotating the view with the mouse. It also helps when navigating the feature manager both in the FM pane and the flyout. Context switches when the mouse is moved over those areas.
And the Spaceball works with DesignStar, NE Nastran/FEMAP, CFDesigner as well as SW.
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I have been using a SpacePilot since the beginning of June and wrote a review of what I found. Go to the link above, read that, and then come back with any specific questions you think of.
Overall, I like it. As others have pointed out, it's quite handy for rolling the model around and studying it. I really like the quick zoom because you can get to an area quickly. However, I am also quite big on hotkeys (no surprise to the regulars here...) and find that there are times that the num pad hotkeys are quicker in getting to a known spot.
So, go take a look and then let's talk.
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Wayne Tiffany
I've been using a Spacemouse plus for a couple of years, now I couldn't work without one.
The other day I was at a clients reviewing a model on one of their PC's. Without the Spacemouse it was like having my left arm cut off! I had to ask one of the engineers there which icon was used for mating!
I would like to upgrade to the Space Pilot at some stage, having the LCD screen would be an advantage. That advantage would be significantly more when learning to use the Space pilot. I have memorised what all the mapped keys do in PARTS ASSEMBLIES and DRAWINGS, but it did take a while.
If I recall correctly my first week with the Spacemouse I thought it was a complete waste of money, it was so difficult to break the habits of clicking on icons, controlling the damn thing and using shortcut keys (I still tend to need quite a few shortcut keys).
Buy it, if you don't like it I'll buy it off you on Ebay --- at a discounted price of course.
John Layne
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John Layne
Got a space pilot about 3 weeks ago after using a loaned spaceball 5000 prior to that. The space pilot feels a lot more intuative and easier to use (the space ball seemed a bit "stiff"...). I wouldn't get it if I was only using Solidworks - never had a problem with the UI / navigating in 3D with the mouse, but it's a great boon if you use a heap of different 3D packages. It feels robust enough to put up with a decent amount of abuse and didn't seem to have any problems integrating with the different programs I use. I'm in the process of moving to VX (at this point a large bolt of lightning appears :)) and it's a godsend there as their 3D navigating is crap compared to Solidworks. If you've got the bucks, go for it, you won't regret it, but I wouldn't call it an "essential" for Solidworks. Cheers Deri
HoffY wrote:
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Deri Jones
I have been using the Spaceball 5000 with VX 11, SW, and Geomagic. A month or so ago I gave the Spaceball to a co-worker that is doing more CAD than I right now. I really miss the Spaceball. I was thinking of getting the Space Pilot for myself :) Thanks for the info, it looks like a GO!
Deri, are you using VX 11 yet? If not, I highly recommend it.
Deri J> Got a space pilot about 3 weeks ago after using a loaned spaceball 5000
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Still on V10 for a bit longer I think - had training the start of this week and the reseller's hanging on to V11 until they're sure there's no nasty bugs.... but it looks pretty good from the demo they showed me. We'll see how it goes - so far it looks like I should be able to chew through stuff a good bit faster than with SW, but until I've produced a full set of cutting files for my first boat with it, I'm holding my breath. Space Pilot is also very nice for Maya 3D stuff - no more having to hit the ALT key to rotate...yay! Cheers Deri haul> I have been using the Spaceball 5000 with VX 11, SW, and Geomagic. A
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Deri Jones
I use VX for their parametric surfacing capabilities, I believe Maya is not parametric but it has been a while since we have used that at our company. I have no experience with cnc in VX. I just spoke with one of VX's cnc tech guys (I missed his name, sorry) but he would be able to recommend to you when to switch over. He seemed to have a pretty deep cnc background. He said, for me at least, it is best to be using VX 11.21.
Best of luck, haulin79 VX 11.21 SW 2004 SP5 Geomagic Studio 8.0 AMD X2 on my wish list :)
Deri J> Still on V10 for a bit longer I think - had training the start of this
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Thanks! I use Maya for creating pretty pictures (the other half of the business is doing architectural visualisation work for architects etc). I'm moving to VX as it seems to handle working with imported IGES data and creating geometry from intersections better than Solidworks, it's pretty repetitive stuff I do - I output to DXF format 2D files for plasma cutting and leave the cutting companies deal with the CNC side of stuff, I had enough of that in my last company with dealing with nesting and CNC coding. Just had one plasma cutting company ask if it's OK for them to re draw all the components for a job, as they can't import either DXF or DWG format to their CNC software......300 odd parts (all different) with hardly a straight line in sight and lots of complex splines.....maybe not!
haul> I use VX for their parametric surfacing capabilities, I believe Maya is
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Deri Jones

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