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 clubrevit.com.
(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):