Pick up the Space Mouse Wireless and you are immediately aware of the solidity of the build. As a piece of design it is attractive, with a heavy brushed metal base and plastic upper section. Importantly the puck part is the same shape and size as others in the range, so if you are thinking about buying one of these to use on the move, it will have the same feel as the wired version. Even the amount of resistance as you manipulate the puck is the same across the board, which means there is very little acclimatising involved.
The Space Mouse comes with a USB cable for data and charging, as well as a tiny USB wireless dongle for cable-free use. The battery life is very good and I only plugged it in after a week – mainly through habit with other devices – but it was still working away.
The form is clean and simple, with just the puck, USB port, power switch and a decent sized button to either side. These buttons fall naturally under your thumb and little finger as you work, and can be programmed to access the commands most useful to you.
In use, the Space Mouse is intuitive and effective, giving far greater freedom of viewport control than any other method. The lift and depress axis is particularly useful once you get to grips with it, and navigating a scene is fast and easy.
As yet not all 3D apps offer full support but development is ongoing, so check with the 3D Connexion website to find out if your chosen app is supported. I tried it with Cinema 4D and Maya, and both worked perfectly well (on Mac and PC).
Space Mouse Wireless
The Space Mouse Wireless offers all the main benefits of its sister products in a convenient package.
- Six-axis navigation
- Customisable buttons
- Not all 3D apps offer full support
Words: Rob Redman
Rob Redman is 3D World’s technical editor and a 3D artist and trainer.
This article originally appeared in 3D World issue 178.