Spacemouse or not?


I’m one of those who refuse to SU without a spacemouse. However… it slows me down. Prior to the SM my left hand where on the keyboard using shortcuts. With the Enterprise SM I am down to macros for hide rest of model, group and explode. As you SM users know, the SM hand does not want to part from it. A bit annoying have to Large-Toolset-Click instead of spacebar-hit.

What are your thoughts on spacemouse or not? Ambivalent? Wish some 3DConnexion SU guru made a SU SpaceMouse?

I’m attaching a picture of my setup. If you haven’t tried sketchupping with a spacemouse, you got to. If you haven’t tried sketchupping with a spacemouse and a [Wacom], you have to… try it. Its awesome!


I tried one for awhile. I found it was faster for me to navigate with the mouse in the conventional way and keep my left hand poised over the keyboard. I use SketchUp on many different computers–four of my own and also when teaching, those of others. It’s easier for me to stick with one method of navigation.


I have the same essential set-up as you, though with the basic Space Navigator vs. the Space Mouse. I use a Wacom tablet with SketchUp, but revert to a mouse for LayOut, as I’ve found the pen to be difficult to use with the gizmo and have the necessary precision.

I originally started using a Wacom tablet about 15 years ago (before I started with SU) as a mouse replacement to address RSI issues.

With SU I find it fast and fluid with 3D mouse in the left hand and pen/tablet in the right. It’s true that the movements to the keyboard impede fluidity somewhat.

I’ve mapped the two buttons to Zoom Extents and Hide Rest of Model so that (mostly) the left hand is managing navigation and context and the right selects and uses tools.

I’ve remapped some shortcuts so that all of my most used tools are a single character, and hold my pen in such a way that it’s easy to hit them and quickly return to the tablet. (On certain operations it’s easier to release the left hand from the 3D mouse to hit the short cut.)

I have wondered whether the Space Mouse (with addition buttons) would add efficiency, but I like the compactness and simplicity of the Navigator. If they simply added two buttons (at NW and SE positions on the rim), then that would be my ideal setup.


I got the SpaceNavigator. Took a while before I commited to buy one. When I had a change to try I struggled with the unfamiliarity of it and the conflict of my keyboard shortcut hand using the spacemouse.

I later, nearly two years later, commited and just bought one. I then spend a weekend dedicated to using it. Forcing myself to become familiar with its movement. I grew to really like it.

However, I use it for specific scenarios. While I actively model I use mouse+keyboard as I find it faster combination. But when I’m getting to the point of picking views, or analysing the model I use the SpaceNavigator. I also found it to be very useful for making tutorials as you can smoothly navigate the model where the regular mouse would make for a jarring experience.

It received it’s place in my toolkit. But as all tools - it doesn’t completely replace another.