3D manipulator for both hands

3D Connexion has brought out a low cost navigation device that makes 3D modelling more intuitive and quicker

The ‘SpaceNavigator’ allows the user to move 3D models around with the left hand, and use the conventional mouse to click tools and draw with the right. The promotional literature points out that it allows easier panning and zooming of graphics – we enjoyed using it to navigate round some of the fantastic graphic images of Mars that are freely downloadable from Nasa sites – and the latest version of Google Earth.
Where it really comes into its own is when used with a 3D CAD package. Sketchup 6 is the free package to try it out on, and after a few minutes, it becomes natural to hold the model being worked on with the left hand while working on it with the right.
Recommended retail prices are £39 (including VAT) for the Personal Edition or £69 (plus VAT) for the standard edition – which comes with a commercial user licence.
The devices has a six degrees of freedom optical sensor and can be used to pan right and left and up and down, tilt, spin, roll and zoom in and out. It also has two programmable buttons on the sides and works with all the usual 3D CAD and visualisation packages.

Tom Shelley

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