Archive for July, 2013

Rhino / 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

The 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator has come up a number of times lately, so I decided I’d post these notes.

I’ve used it for a number of years now and it works well with Rhino, both versions 4.0 and 5.0.

The interface to alter its behavior in Rhino 5.0 is slightly different than it is in Rhino 4.0, though.  Below is a discussion of some specific functionality I use and is by no means exhaustive.

First a bit of background.  Rotation by the SpaceNavigator is similar to RotateView by the mouse, although no explicit command is issued to do so.  In perspective views this option is on by default and in orthographic / parallel views (Top, Front, Right, etc.), off.   On means you can rotate using the SpaceNavigator, and off,  you can’t.  Both are useful as is the ability to switch back and forth.

In version 4.0, there is an option to enable rotation of plan parallel views by the SpaceNavigator; another to disable it.

In version 5.0, to enable rotation by the SpaceNavigator you must press ctrl + shft on the keyboard and simultaneously twist the cap of the SpaceNavigator.  Rotation can be subsequently toggled on and off by the command SpaceMouse O.

In both versions 4.0 and 5.0, it is occasionally useful to “square up” the view using the Plan command.   And further, Zoom Extents to fill the view.

Below are notes for implementing the above functionality accessible from a toolbar button.

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In V4, I’d set up a button:

Text: Rotate Plan Views

left mouse button Tooltip: Rotate Parallel Plan Views Yes

Command:
! _NoEcho _-Options
_View _Spaceball
_RotatePlanViews=_Yes
_Enter _Enter _Enter

right mouse button Tooltip: Rotate Parallel Plan Views No

Command:
! _NoEcho _-Options
_View _Spaceball
_RotatePlanViews=_No
_Enter _Enter _Enter

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In V5, I’ve set up a button:

Text: SpaceMouse O

left mouse button Tooltip: O toggle

Command:
!_NoEcho
_SpaceMouse O _Enter

right mouse button Tooltip: Plan extents

Command:
!_NoEcho
_Plan
_Zoom _Extents _Enter

There’s one tricky thing I discovered that warrants mentioning: if you leave _SpaceMouse O in pan (versus rotate) mode and then go to an ortho view with _Plan, etc. then try to return to rotate with ctrl+shft SpaceNavigator – you can’t.  You have to remember to enter _SpaceMouse O again first.