Improve efficiency with a 3d Mouse

I have had a 3d mouse for a while, I tried it a few times and couldn’t manage to get used to it, so it ended up being stored quite a few times but kept getting back to action in hopes of getting used to it.

At the time, I primarily worked with Sketchup for 3d stuff and was efficient working, zooming, panning and orbiting with a regular mouse so the 3d mouse didn’t make sense for me. I was aware of the macros you can customize but didn’t feel worth it to have that. Since I use shortcuts for as many tools as I can, having to keep typing and returning to the 3d mouse felt odd.

This year, I returned to work with Revit and started to use Navisworks, so I tried it on Revit and still felt odd, couldn’t get to feel natural. Out of curiosity, I tried it on Navisworks and it fit right in place. For me Navisworks has an odd navigation with the walk mode, maybe because I’m used to work with orbiting so it felt weird (before using the 3d mouse) and I still need to orbit in Navisworks when using a regular mouse.

Once I started to use the 3d mouse in walk mode it felt natural, it took me a bit of time to get used to this, but now I can navigate really smoothly and accurately. Finally my 3d mouse is getting action, after all this time!.

On top of being easier to navigate, with my 3d mouse I have all the shortcuts I need to increase my efficiency while doing my review to the 3d model.

For example, I can use one of the options I configured for the buttons on the side of my 3d mouse to “annotate”, no need to go to the tool bar to select it, I click another option in the mouse and I can measure, and other similar shortcuts that I’m able to activate really quickly. I did have to edit the shortcuts file for Navisworks for a couple of them, but that may be covered in a different post. I also have some smart actions configured on my MX ergo for the times when I don’t need the 3d mouse.

After seeing the advantages of using it for Navisworks, I went back to Revit and started to tweak it to remove the oddness of the navigation. You can’t change the navigation mode unless you are in 3D perspective, on orthographic you can only work with object mode. To work around this, I inverted all the options and now it feels more like walking than orbiting a 3d object. I still haven’t gotten used to it but there’s been a huge improvement since the early days when I bought the mouse a few years back!.

I have a basic 3dconnexion mouse and now I’m thinking on getting a higher end one to improve even more.


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