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Just been reminded of my SpacePilot I had some years back but never been used much. I thought I’d break it out for the new workstation again. First thing was to install the new application and driver and immediately I noticed there were huge improvements to its integration with 3D softwares. It is easier to map controls and the interface seemed a lot friendlier.
If you are wondering what this thing is or have not used one before, it’s a controller to manipulate in 3D space. Basically the knob controls all axis including roll, zoom, pan and rotation in XYZ axis.
This particular one has a screen display which allows individual key/command mapped to the corresponding num keys 1 – 6. All are customisable for each software including cycling though configuration presets. This means you can have more than 6 commands. The other keys on the left works exactly like the keyboard, which means you don’t need to go back on forth between 2 devices.
The SpacePilot would automatically recognise which application you are working on and map the hotkeys correspondingly.
On the right, this unique set of keys are mapped for orthographic screen, which means the T = Top, L = Left view and so on. It allows quick navigation to a particular view. Of course this can be assigned for other functions.
Although this particular model has been a few years old, it still does the job perfectly. However the newer models are sleeker and more ergonomic in the overall shape and button placement. The Spacepilot Pro (see image below) has a coloured LED screen and more options to map more keys. Also it can display your emails, RSS feeds, outlook. However it won’t do your cooking.
Btw if you are wondering, it does not game either. But it would do Google Earth, Maya, 3DMax, Softimage, Photoshop and other CAD/CAM applications. It is not cheap either but it is a different experience and would improve workflow once you get used to it.
There are more information, current models and specs on the link. http://www.3dconnexion.co.uk/