3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator, Mac Vs. Win


I have used this older device for years on my Mac. I recently upgraded from SU2019 to SU2021. And yes, you guessed it, the device stopped working. Read all the posts, tried all the work arounds, nothing helped. Contacted 3Dconnexion support, tried several drivers, no help. Finally found an ancient driver, and got it working, sort of. It now stutters, almost worthless.

Back in the day, this device improved my productivity so much, it was the main reason I stuck with SU. To lose the use of this device so suddenly has me thinking of reverting to SU2019, it’s that important.

Out of frustration, I pulled an 8 year old Win laptop out of the closet and installed SU2017. The device worked from the moment I plugged it in (with latest driver). But, this was an old version of Win and SU. I asked a colleague to install it on his new laptop with Win10 and SU2021. Guess what, it worked perfectly, buttery smooth.

I see various posts on Mac Vs. Win, which is better for SU. Other issues such as software installation, extension availability/compatibility, video cards, displays, etc. has me re-asking whether it’s time to re-evaluate transition to SU on Win. And don’t get me wrong, I love the Mac. But, for me, SU productivity is critical. Excluding other software applications, and focusing on SU productivity, it is starting to feel that SU on Win is the better choice. Focusing on just SU, it seems more hardware/software support is provided for Win. More research is warranted before making this expensive, lengthy transition. :thinking:

I have one of those as well, and hadn’t used it on my MacBook Pro, SketchUp 2021, macOS 11.3, for a while. So I gave it ago, after installing the driver from this page:

Had to restart of course, but it works fine. Although the driver was done for Big Sur, it does also seem to work well with SketchUp 2021.

On Wednesdays Aaron does 2-3 hours of live modeling, using his Space Mouse Enterprise all of the time. If you tune in tomorrow you could ask him if he had to do anything special to get it to work. I think that he did have to do something, but for me it worked right away.

I’m also using an old space navigator on my MBP, Big Sur, SketchUp 2021. Beta driver from 3DConnexion. There are still a few bugs that can crash SU, but in general it works fine. A couple of years ago when it was flakey they had me update the firmware. It didn’t make any difference - the bug was in the driver.

Thanks for the responses. I am using Mojave (10.14.6) on an iMac (2015). The 10.7.0 beta driver would not function at all, the device was completely dead. The support folks suggested 10.6.7, which failed. They finally suggested 10.6.5, which is so jumpy, it is unusable.

On the Win systems (XP, 7 and 10), the oldest to newest drivers just work and the device performs flawlessly. I am not a programmer, but there must be some underlying issue that produces the differences in platforms.

It is this type of compatibility issue that ends up disrupting workflows and decreasing productivity. For some SU users, this type of time wasting activity has become the norm and is tolerated. For others, whose livelihood is based upon production deadlines, this becomes intolerable.

And to your point:

In a previous video Aaron’s mouse stopped working. I imagine that Aaron’s access to support resources is much better than mine. His productivity must be much less held hostage than mine. :wink:

Alas, 3DConnexion does not seem to devote much energy to Mac support in general. For example, more than a year after Apple announced that kernel extensions were not going to allowed in Big Sur, they are still struggling to get an alternative working right. SketchUp is just a small part of the situation.

This is really evident in the driver installation on the two platforms. The Win driver is a one button operation and just works. On Mac the plugins get installed in the wrong directory which result in the device not working. Should the user blame SU and/or #DConnexion, who knows. And therein lies the problem.