3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless – SolidBox Review

SpaceMouse Pro Wireless

When building the perfect CAD workstation, there’s one ingredient that we practically insist upon; regardless how hard your solid models push your machine. This ingredient is a 3Dconnexion device. These devices range in price and capabilities, yet the entry level SpaceNavigator will elevate your SolidWorks modeling. These products are intuitive to use within SolidWorks, and they enhance your workflow tremendously. We also love the form factors of each 3Dconnexion device, with smooth, clean lines and a high-end feel. Now we have an even more streamlined option, with the introduction of the 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless.

Until now, 3Dconnexion devices were hard wired to your computer through the USB port. This is still the case with other models, but with the introduction of the SpaceMouse Wireless, it’s only a matter of time before the entire product line has a wireless option.

Enter the 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless

SolidWorks Modeling with the 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse WirelessThe 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless still plugs in through any USB port on your workstation, but the annoying length of wire no longer exists. This is accomplished through the use of a USB dongle that transmits a 2.4 GHz signal that communicates with the puck. This signal is powerful enough to use the SpaceMouse Wireless from great distances. During our SolidWorks modeling testing, we were able to use the device from more than 20 feet away from the receiver. The only limiting factor in our test was the size of our lab, and we feel confident that the device would work flawlessly with even greater distances. This makes it the perfect device for the conference room. The 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless can be passed around a fairly large room so your whole team can be involved in the discussion about aspects of an assembly.

So far, the battery life of the SpaceMouse Wireless has impressed the entire SolidBox team. We’ve yet to reach the end of the first full charge. And this is after our test device has seen multiple hours of rigorous use. The 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless uses an internal Lithium-ion polymer battery. This battery recharges by plugging the backup cable into the mini-USB port and plugging the other end into the computer. It’s a simple, elegant solution, and a welcome feature that eliminates the need for a Costco-sized package of AA batteries.
SolidWorks Modeling with the 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless

SolidWorks Modeling with the 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless

The puck portion of the SpaceMouse Wireless falls right in line with 3Dconnexion’s gorgeous designs. The brushed aluminum base is sturdy and feels planted under-hand. Regardless of surface: glass, wood, or wire rack, the SpaceMouse Wireless stays put and never wanders during your SolidWorks modeling. The controls have a nice sensitivity that allows for a light touch, opposed to a death grip. These are all things we’ve come to expect from 3Dconnexion, but worth noting.

Although we don’t have any issues with the SpaceMouse Wireless utilizing a USB dongle, some users may find it annoying. We’d like to see a Bluetooth option in the future to eliminate the need for any physical connection to the computer. However, this is a minor gripe, which gives you an idea about how hard we had to look for flaws in this product.  Our testing period will be ongoing, and we will be sure to report back with any issues we encounter after spending a few more months with the SpaceMouse Wireless.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the SpaceMouse Wireless is an impressive device that takes one more cable out of the equation. It has everything we love about 3Dconnexion’s products with a new twist. If you’ve never tried a 3Dconnexion device, this is an affordable, value-saturated product that we’re sure you’ll love. As with all 3Dconnexion devices, we recommend you spend 2-3 hours forcing yourself to use it in your SolidWorks modeling. As with all new additions to any workflow, there is a “break-old-habits-to-create-new-ones” period for a device utilizing your left hand.

To watch 3Dconnexion’s promotional video for the SpaceMouse Wireless, click here.

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