3Dconnexion is a name long associated with the 3D design world: From its roots as part of the Logitech group, through its merge with Labtec (anyone still rocking a SpaceBall?), it has focussed on providing 3D motion control using its SpaceMouse products.
These gave your non-dominant hand control over your 3D model with a varying range of shortcut keys and other wizardry. But what about the dominant hand? Surely it could cook something up that gave us a professional, CAD focussed tool, for 3D design work to replace the common or garden mouse?
A few years ago, this challenge was answered with the release of the CadMouse, which on the surface of it, a pretty standard looking device, but one which brought back the third mouse button separate from the scroll wheel.
This gave you more precise, more customisability (one of 3Dconnexion’ strongest assets is its driver software and customisability). Of course, 3Dconnexion’s legendary build quality came as standard, but If there was a downside, it was that cable.
So a couple of years later, we got the CADMouse Wireless – basically the same product, but smaller, battery powered and connected to your workstation via the ever present universal dongle (shared with the SpaceMouse), cable or Bluetooth.
Fast forward to now, we’ve seen today’s launch of the inevitable CADMouse Wireless Pro. This brings together the form factor of the wiress CADMouse (which is ideal for those looking for a large device) and the portability and cable free nature of the CADMouse Wireless.
“CadMouse Pro Wireless is another step in the evolution of our toolkit for CAD professionals,” says Antonio Pascucci, CEO of 3Dconnexion.
“We wanted to provide an extremely durable, highly ergonomic full-sized mouse for the modern workstation. It’s a mouse that will go wherever you need it, with an exceptionally long battery life. It was designed with the kind of ergonomics and button layout that will allow its user to work pain free for extended CAD sessions. It feels natural to use and is the perfect counterpart to our SpaceMouse line of 3D mice.”
We’ve been using a preproduction unit for a couple of months now and it has very quickly become a firm favourite, displacing the CadMouse Wireless to the second computer.
While mouse size isn’t purely about accommodating larger hands (that’s poor ergonomic thinking), I have found it very comfortable to use over long periods. I’ve not got into the customisation aspects too much yet, but I do have a few options mapped in in both general OS and a few CAD applications (the two thumb buttons are excellent for this).
3Dconnexion are quoting up to three months running of its micro USB charged lithium polymer battery – based on 8 hours per day, 5 days per week use. Our experience backs this up and we’re certainly charging it less than an equivalent Logitech MX.
CadMouse Pro Wireless is priced at $119/£99 and comes with a soft shell carry case for those road warriors out there.