Announcing Cadalyst All-Star Award Winners,Part 7: SpaceExplorer, SpaceNavigator

11 Jun, 2007 By: Cadalyst Staff

Today's spotlight shines on 3Dconnexion's SpaceExplorer and SpaceNavigator 3D navigation devices.

Cadalyst All-Star awards honor the best of the best -- the most outstanding among all software and hardware products that earned Highly Recommended ratings from Cadalyst Labs in the past six months. Four software systems and five hardware products earned the latest Cadalyst All-Star awards, announced in the June 2007 of Cadalyst magazine. Today's spotlight shines on 3Dconnexion's SpaceExplorer and SpaceNavigator 3D navigation devices.

In giving a Highly Recommended rating to 3Dconnexion's SpaceExplorer and SpaceNavigator, Cadalyst reviewer Mike Hudspeth noted that it doesn't matter which one of these devices you get; it'll be one of your best purchases.

If you model in 3D, you need to rotate, pan and zoom -- a lot. Most programs provide methods for this: middle-mouse-drag, on-screen controls or even your computer's arrow keys. But none are very intuitive or easy to control.

The SpaceExplorer and SpaceNavigator motion-control devices are brand-new models from 3Dconnexion. The Space-Pilot ($399) is the top-of-the-line product with an LCD screen and tons of customizable buttons that change their functions depending on what you're doing. The SpaceExplorer ($299) is next, with no LCD and fewer buttons. The SpaceNavigator is an entry-level product. SpaceNavigator is slightly bigger than the SpaceTraveler and about twice as heavy. It looks and feels more substantial, even though it's less expensive.

The SpaceExplorer is for those who want to optimize the modeling experience. It has a nicely ergonomic design with 15 buttons for Escape, Control, Alt, Plus, Minus, Fit, Panel and functions that users can program. You can easily reach all of them and, more importantly, you can see all of them. The SpaceExplorer connects to your computer in two ways: either USB (for Windows) or serial port (for UNIX and Linux).

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff