++toys - the 3Dconnexion Space Navigator

I still don't have my 3D printer, but i decided to purchase another piece of gear for FreeCAD. And to my surprise, neither the seller not DHL completely botched it this time, so it arrived today (ordered 2 days ago) and works perfectly.

I think this is the most intuitive input device right after a baseball bat. There is no need to learn how to use it, you just push and twist it and the 3D model on the screen does exactly what you expect. Okay, in the beginning, it's bit like sitting in a 400HP car for the first time, but if you get used to the incredible sensitivity and accuracy of this device, it's just wonderful to work with.

I usually buy such stuff brand new, but i dared to buy a used one for half the price. This thing might be >10 years old according to the exact model number, but it looks and works like new, so i'm happy with it. The open source spacenavd driver on Linux is a bit tricky, mostly due to security features of X11, so i systemctl disabled it and start it manually when i need it. This way, i don't get plenty of error messages in the journal when i use the notebook away from the desk, with this device not being connected.

Looks like the original design of this input device is a German invention and not much has changed since the early 1980s:


If you use FreeCAD frequently, i can really recommend this thing if you don't already have it.
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