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Revit 2012 and the SpacePilot PRO
For two weeks, I tested this device in all possible Revit scenarios and I'd like to share with you my experience with it. I originally posted this article at
(Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to 3Dconnexion. I wasn't asked to write this review nor was I compensated for it.)
Will Revit users fly with this device?
The SpacePilot™ PRO _ a product review by Michael Anonuevo
One of the new features of Revit Architecture 2012 is its support for 3Dconnexion devices. As a Revit beta tester, I was aware of this feature before this version was released. However, prior commitments prevented me from taking a look into it until last month. Anyway, here are my findings:

The first thing I did was visit 3Dconnexion's website to learn about their products. In the internet, I read a lot of articles and reviews concerning their product line. Apparently, they have been around since 2001. Their products are popular in the manufacturing industry as navigation tools in CAD/CAM modeling and simulation applications. In the film industry, they are used for navigation and visualization with popular animation software such as Maya, Alias, Blender, etc. Although Autodesk is officially supporting 3Dconnexion's products, I couldn't find any information on how they are being used in Revit. A lot of product reviews by design engineers have affirmed their usefulness though. Nonetheless, I was a little bit skeptical. The regular mouse, after all, does a good job as a navigation tool in Revit. My thought then was to get hold of a unit and test it.

Not knowing anything about 3Dconnexion's navigation devices, I contacted them. I sent an email with my credentials and asked if I could evaluate and review their SpaceNavigator. Within a few days, I was contacted and informed that the company was sending me the SpacePilot PRO. This is 3Dconnexion's top of the line model.

For Revit Architecture 2012 users, this article is about my experience with the SpacePilot PRO in the two weeks that I put it to various tests. Aside from Revit, I also tested the device with Autodesk Inventor 2011, Photoshop CS5, and Google Earth. I've included a few photos and video clips to help you make a decision if you're contemplating on buying one. I will probably write a follow-up article after I use the device extensively for a few months.

Unpacking the Box

I was surprised when I received the SpacePilot PRO. The package was contained in a 15" x 13" x 7" carton mailing box! I'm like, how big could this mouse be? Well, after taking it out of its box, it was bigger than what I thought it would be! Take a look (see fig. 1):

Figure 1
LDC Families Available from
Before I launched this website, I modeled a whole bunch of classic furniture designed by famous architects. Back in 2009, I needed challenging families to practice Revit with and so I chose this classic furniture category. This spawned the series of highly detailed Revit families that led to the creation of
Anyway, Revitcity has been a part of my Revit growth. I've downloaded a lot of families from this site and used them for various projects. And so as a way of giving back, I've donated these classic furniture series as free downloads. I want to thank Mr. Charled Reed for uploading the families for me. He is one of the great moderators at Please download them to see a glimpse of my early modeling techniques. Thanks.
Please click the images to get to the links.
Barrel Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright
Hill House Chiar by Rennie Mackintosh
LC2 by Le Corbusier
Mart Stam Chair by Mart Stam
MR Chaise Lounge by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe    
Revit Architecture 2012 Enhanced Visualization
In the April 2011 issue of AUGIWorld, I wrote a two-page article on one of the several enhancements added to the new Revit Architecture 2012 release (pages 32-33). In the article, I summarized the new visual enhancements introduced by Autodesk. There is also a Youtube link where you can view the possible combination of views that can be derived from the new visual styles. You can downlaod a PDF copy of the issue at: