3Dconnexion: How Using a 3D Mouse Can Improve the Design Process

3Dconnexion 3D Mouse

[Monthly Partner Product Spotlight] 

Originally posted to the 3DxBlog by Antonio Pascucci on November 28, 2012

As design and manufacturing software / hardware continue to advance the capabilities for CAD engineers more than ever before, how do you know what will benefit you the most? When it comes to motion control, standard mice and trackballs can get the job done, but 3D mice are specifically designed to enhance just that—three-dimensional design.

3D Mouse in Use3D mice can tackle some of CAD engineers’ top troubles when it comes to the design process. Following are four benefits that show how a 3D mouse clears both the hands and mind of distractions, for an almost-effortless CAD work-flow.

Smooths Movement

3D mice allow you to intuitively position 3D content or camera views while simultaneously using the standard mouse to select, create and edit. The most noteworthy characteristic of a 3D mouse is the ability to pan, zoom and rotate in one fluid motion, decreasing standard mouse movements and clicks. This claim-to-fame (at least here at 3Dconnexion) is known as “six degrees of freedom” or “6DoF.”

Minimizes Discomfort

3D CAD-specific jobs require significant time commitments working in and with related applications and tools, and thus demand a high level of navigation and commands. A 3D mouse is used in conjunction with other mainstream tools like standard mice or trackballs, tablets and keyboards— depending on what a user prefers—to distribute the workload across both hands, significantly enhancing comfort and reducing the risk of RSI.

In fact, a study by VSI Risk Management and Ergonomics reports that “using a two-handed working style with a 3D motion controller was shown to substantially reduce pain, both in the first month, and yet further after six months” in CAD applications.

Decreases Errors

With simple, smooth and comfortable movements, 3D mouse users find it easier to inspect their 3D content more closely, thereby picking up on errors and improving design quality. With smooth and intuitive 6DoF navigation, designers can quickly assimilate the device into daily activity, comfortably increasing object manipulation for more precise analysis.

CAD design engineers surveyed by the Technology Assessment Group saw a noticeable or significant improvement in product designs (85%) when using a 3D mouse, and thought, as a result of using one, they could noticeably or significantly improve detection of errors (84%).

Increases Productivity

We all appreciate some uninterrupted time while working, which can be difficult with the many distractions in a typical workplace. It may seem counter-intuitive as a way to fight diversions, but for 3D CAD, adding an additional input device is definitely a better set-up, offering quicker model navigation and a streamlined work process.

Coupling a standard mouse and 3D mouse, increases the number of streams through which a user can drive a CAD application, resulting in average productivity gains of 21% for CAD design engineers, and a smarter, faster workflow.

Bonus: A Smart Investment

Not only can 3D mice enhance the design process, but they’ll also pay off in the long run. In the end, all of the benefits above add up to a faster product-to-market process. Introducing the right 3D mouse to your routine is a win-win scenario—quick, comfortable and accurate design, at a price that will show you return-on-investment in no time.

Want another reason to use a 3Dconnexion mouse? Find out how quickly the investment in a 3D mouse is recovered, and the cost savings over three years with our 3D Mouse Payback Calculator.

Do you use a 3D mouse for CAD processes? How has it improved your workflow?


The CAD Comfort Manual

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