On the Revit front, having 3D mouse support for the 2012 versions of Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP was a top user request. For Revit Architecture users, while working on massing models and conceptual designs, the 3D mouse allows them to navigate quickly and easily. As Froi Lomotan, director of advanced software technology for 3DConnexion, said, architects “can modify designs and quickly review how it fits within the surrounding environment. Architects have said a 3D mouse allows them to focus more on the design instead of interacting with the application’s user interface.” On the other hand, Revit Structure and MEP users, see value in 3D mice because working in 3D makes it easier to see if beams and pipes are positioned correctly, in which “a 3D mouse simplifies this review process, allowing engineers to detect design flaws earlier,” said Lomotan. And making sure not to leave out 2D Revit users, Lomotan said 2D users can also see benefits because 3D mice can pan and zoom in elevations, sheets and plan views.
3D mouse support in Autodesk Revit 2012.
In order to offer this functionality, Lomotan said 3Dconnexion and Autodesk have a collaborative relationship, and additionally, “we were able to work closely with over 60 select Revit beta customers to ensure the solution was functional, easy to use, and complemented each user's workflow.”
This close-nit relationship that 3Dconnexion and Autodesk have can be seen in the integration. For example, as Lomotan described, “depending on the Revit view that is active, the 3D mouse navigation mode automatically adjusts to the most appropriate setting for the given view. A perspective view automatically enables ‘walk mode’ navigation while a 3D modeling view switches to ‘object mode.’”
On the Navisworks side, model integration, review and analysis in Navisworks will now all be able to be done with 3Dconnexion 3D mice. Panning, zooming and rotating can all be done simultaneously in Navisworks, and because 3Dconnexion saw a lot of interest from Navisworks users wanting 3D mice support, the 3Dconnexion team saw it was important to have 3D mouse support. “These products are very often part of a suite of applications that architects, designers and engineers use. Providing a consistent navigation experience across the various software solutions helps streamline the creative process,” said Lomotan.
And perhaps most exciting is how Revit and Navisworks users can extend the use of 3D mice into the rest of their computer-use workflows. Through the 3DxWare10 interface, keyboard strokes and traditional mouse movements are assigned to the 3D mouse. As 3Dconnexion literature described, with 3DxWare10, you can tilt the control cap to scroll a web page, twist the cap to listen to your favorite song on iTunes, or use the six axes to have maximum control of you helicopter in an online game session. And as a bonus, the user chooses how to pair the six axes with the up to 31 function keys. “Our customers have been asking for this capability for some time and we are happy to be able to finally provide it. Being able to use the 3D sensor cap in practically any application greatly empowers the user,” said Lomotan.
It’s safe to say that 3Dconnexion has been busy this year: they have not only released 3D mouse support for Autodesk Revit 2012, Navisworks 2012, AutoCAD 2012, Showcase 2012, and Google SketchUp8, but they have also released a new beta version driver platform called 3DxWare10 for the 3D mouse to be used in any application like Microsoft Office, internet browsers, media players and games.