Mac OS X and other devices

Questions and answers about 3Dconnexion devices on macOS.

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Mac OS X and other devices

Post by znissan » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:12 am

Hello everyone:

We've had a lot of questions regarding the ability to run the 3Dconnexion Mac OS X drivers on other devices besides SpaceNavigator.

What we will do is open the navigation ability for SpaceExplorer, SpacePilot and SpaceTraveler devices -- so if you own these devices and want to try out or also navigate on Mac OS X supported applications, you may. The interface we provide will still display a SpaceNavigator product, making available two buttons for use and reprogrammability.

SpaceNavigator will remain the officially supported product on the Mac OS X platform.

We hope that this provides a good compromise at this time. Satisfying customer requests is very important to 3Dconnexion, who at the same time supports many applications / versions across several platforms, requiring a good investment in development and testing to provide high quality solutions.

Ziva Nissan
3Dconnexion, Inc.

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Post by Groo » Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:21 pm

That sounds promising :D

Is there any realistic roadmap for each of the devices?
If you don't know just to say so, Macusers are used to it.


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Post by Casemon » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:40 pm

It's really great to hear this, but I wonder are the previous devices so different? At some level they accept the same kind of 6DOF input, buttons, and are supported as HID devices.

Is the Space Navigator so different from, for example, the Spaceball 5000 USB? I program for a living and technically I see 2 very similar USB devices, which don't really need low level drivers, but software to benefit from the drivers.

For example, the Spaceball 5000 and all of it's functionality and 12 buttons are seen by USB HID software like ControllerMate. This makes the buttons and interfaces usable if you create schemes in ControllerMate. No drivers necessary (but app support is "diy").

Or in Maya, via Mel Script... no drivers necessary (just mel scripts) to see 100% Spaceball 5000 functionality in Maya on Windows or Mac (haven't tried on Linux).

These examples illustrate to me how little the drivers actually do, in relation to the complex software that accepts the relatively similar 6DOF & button hardware input and then does meaningful things with it.

It sounds like the problem isn't in drivers, but in app support, which 3DConnexion is working hard on. By why block these older devices from benefiting from the new app support?

Is it so hard to allow these older & still very usable & functional devices to be seen by the existing app support, even if technically unsupported? Their longevity is a testament to 3DConnexion hardware quality, and surely us existing users paid enough for them already? For example, I paid $350 for my Spaceball 5000 USB a few years back, and I 'got a deal' on it as most of them were being sold for more than $500!

Please allow these older devices to benefit from the new app support, they're just USB HID devices and there seems no reason to block them.

No reason, other than to simply force existing customers to upgrade to new devices, which I can guarantee will bite 3DConnexion in the ass. Barring some real hard data that prevents adding older devices to the "supported in drivers but technically unsupported" list, I for one promise to do my part to let everyone know that 3DConnexion practices in dishonest business (and in the internet age, this actually means something).

Please, don't become another Wacom! Do HONEST business, let your engineers spend a week on allowing these older devices and make your existing customers happy.

Reminds me of selling cars, when cars were new. Car salesmen encouraged 'prospects' to buy a new car every year, despite customers just wanting a car that lasted longer. They just didn't understand that people don't mind investing in quality if they think it will last. Eventually some compromise was reached :)

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Post by flamejob » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:11 am

I listen with baited breath. Is there a roadmap?

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Post by boa » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:52 am

I thoroughly agree that supporting old devices is by far more credible and hence more profitable in the long term, for a company, rather than making old hardware quickly disposable.

I bought the Spaceball 5000 when first released and available for my use, exclusively with Mac OS, in formZ (Label copyright is dated 1992-2004).... The formZ forum reported that it would function, though a bit impaired on the Mac, due to lack of company preferences. It cost me $500 at that early stage. I didn't mind as it navigated well, (though with blips as time past). Overall, it has been indispensable for me.

Only a few of the 12 function keys worked. Somewhat sporadically through general-computer-software upgrades and were always confusing-- Despite the lack of support for the Mac OS, i must say, the hardware deserves my highest compliments. It was kicked around in my car and construction sites when i worked on the road and never broke. It still works well and i absolutely love the ball. So much so, that having just bought my new navigator to try, i am definitely going to mount a ball on top. The knob ruins my usage pattern.... Point being, i am a return customer for new hardware, even though the old hardware is apparently preferable (and feels better to work with IMO). It should be easy to cut a hole in a rubber ball to elastically stay put on the knob.

I would love to get new software support for the old Spaceball 5000, especially if several function keys could be made to work well. All 12 programed keys working well would be a dream. Please any DIY script-writers, let me know if you have something that will accomplish this, for formZ, specifically.

The new SystemPref/3DConexion control panel, on OSX 10.5.4 is annoyingly lacking IMHO. My key option of interest would be to individually toggle Tilt/Roll/Spin and the buttons "clicks" are hard to detect. (I bought the cheap unit, only because 3DConnexion support advised that the delux units were not really Mac compatible, (yet the 3DConnexion web pages were a little self-contradictory on that point). By contrast, the Spaceball5000 offers very distinct clicks, easily pushed while concentrating on my work.

If i can fit a suitable ball over my new, cheap unit and get the navigation to flow smoothly (as the Spaceball), then i could easily be persuaded to buy the top deluxe model, as well. This type of device is wonderful. Please listen to the reasoning of of Casemon (i am not a programmer at all but a potential return customer, if my points are addressed).


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Post by boa » Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:24 am

I got around to trying my 4 year old spaceball 5000 with the new software.

It does work beautifully as mentioned above. I'll stick with the old one as multi functions buttons are working well.

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Post by dwerf » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:52 pm

Used Maya on Windows with my SpacePilot with much love and satisfaction, but got a bit depressed when I did a forbidden 'full switch' to Cinema 4D on the Mac. I would love to get the power I used to have back. I would even pay for such a driver. Geez, I would hand over my mother-in-law for it, and she's very nice!

Please 3Dconnexion *on knees to almighty company*:
bless us with your Cinema4D-Mac 3Dconnexion goodness!

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Post by flomotan » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:43 pm

Maxon announced at SIGGRAPH that they are planning to support 3Dconnexion devices on both Windows and Mac platforms. ... 02401.html

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Post by Moadib » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:39 pm

Yes, Maxon might now have support for moving about, but your lack of real drivers for the Spacepilot makes it a joke. None of the buttons on it function.

Isn't this a great way to loose sales and show that you guys aren't serious about your own product, when you won't even support your top of the line controllers ?

And for god sake, at least have a link for the simple drivers when choosing Spacepilot, or at a minimum a note of some kind. Having to browse through the forum to find that I should download the ones from another model is ridiculous.

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Moadib is rigth..!!

Post by edgarharris » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:19 am

There is no point in us buing the TOP of the line products at the TOP priecing and getting the POOREST drivers... You see, I am in 3D CONNEXION hands, becouse we architects do not now a thing about programing and scripts, specially if english is not our lenguage.

Mac Os has become the must advance OS out there, my firm NEEDS that 3D CONNEXION acknowledges this.

We have purchased 14 Space Pilot interfaces and for the moment are USELESS.

Please help us to use them at there FULL potencial.
Edgar Harris

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Post by HerbyGunther » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:44 pm

Yes, please support OS X fully, please please. It would only make your sales grow. The lack of product support is really a problem. I will not consider purchasing the flag ship model (which I think I need because of the buttons and arm rest) if not more applications are supported. The longer you wait the customers you will lose.

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Post by jayse » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:53 pm

two years of these same plethora of 'disappointed' posts... and... it's clear...

3dConnexion top dog needs to be replaced. (who is that, btw?) His or her attempt at satisfying customers is a complete and utter failure - the magnitude of which I've not seen in many companies big or small.

It might be that we actually need to start complaining to Logitech - as I'm sure they would not be very happy with the support and satisfaction failure of this division of their company.

In even the littlest details the failure is apparent. As Moadib points out - when you select space pilot in their driver list they have NO drivers for Mac OS... no note... nothing. Yet their page says it works with Mac - it's complete BS that you have to do a work around which cripples its usability on their top of the line product.

President/CEO of 3dConnexion - Please wake up and do a better job or step aside and let someone else do it for you.

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SpacePilot on Mac OS X?

Post by downhomebythesea » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:22 am

Can we expect a support on Mac OS X for the SpacePilot? If yes, when?

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Microsoft style ignorance

Post by Evopro » Mon May 04, 2009 11:07 am

How can a company like yours go on and ignore years of posts about basic Mac OS X functionality and support for cutting edge Mac programs? This can only be intentional - an intentional disregard and disrespect of all of us who read "Mac Support" on your site and bought a product based on this.

I am surprised no one is threatening your company leadership.

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Another voice for support of more devices under OS X

Post by stuffy » Sun May 10, 2009 3:18 pm

I have a SpacePilot and switched to a Mac. Might consider a SpacePilot Pro, but would need support for it under OS X. Applications? Maya, Modo, ZBrush and Mudbox.


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