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3Dconnexion Announces Public Beta Release of Plug-Ins for Blender Support


Fab 3D Mice3Dconnexion, a Logitech company, has announced a public beta release of plug-ins that allow its line of 3D mice to support Blender.

We already heard about this news last week when we announced that BlenderBuilds is giving away one SpaceNavigator mouse in a contest (the article was lost due to the database crash). We have also learned that 3Dconnexion has donated sixteen(!) SpaceNavigator mice to Blender core developers.

Maybe someone could create a video showing us how you use a SpaceNavigator with Blender, and review it for us?

Update: ah! Here's the first video:

[ev type="google" data="5462883531945920292"][/ev]

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Good to see blender support for their products, and great to see that they also have drivers for some linux distributions, unfortunately they don't have drivers for UBUNTU.

  2. These are great little toys that I have been using mostly for Google Earth and Worldwind- but it's great to see Blender support.

  3. Any chance we will see these in the local kmart or dicksmith in Australia in the next 12 months? Cause I'd loved to have a 3d mouse. Although better tools do not subsitute for skill, they do help.

  4. Doesn't seem to work with my Spaceball 5000 USB, can anybody else confirm? I've updated the 3DConnexion drivers (same rev 3.4.2 as the SpaveNavigator drivers) but to no avail :(

    My Spaceball 5000 USB works fine with the old NDOF plugin build from December 2006 Blender 2.42.

  5. Does it only have two buttons? Wouldn't it be more useful if it had a lot of buttons so one could map many blender keys to it and get rid of the keyboard? As it is now you have to switch between your mouse keyboard AND the SpaceNavigator, that doesn't seem very smart :-/

  6. @mpl: the higher models have more buttons. space traveler has 8, spaceExplore has 15, and Space Pilote has 21+ (there is like a menu that u can swiotch betweebn layouts with, afai understand)

  7. You want a review? Okay, I don't own one, but I've used one at siggraph for a while.

    Well, it's really cool, but takes some getting used to. When I first started using it, for example, I had a tendency to move the camera back as I tried to rotate around the object; not realizing that up/down was an axis on the device. Instead of simply leaning it in the direction you want to spin your model, you almost have to pick up the knob off of the base and hold it as you would your 3D model.

    I can see it being quite useful if you are the type of user that can multi-task and use your mouse for one thing with one hand while you change views with the other hand- but unless you're really fast and can do this, it doesn't save you any time and really just adds to the coolness factor. That in and of it self is worth it to some, I suppose.

    This device is a tool, and like all tools, it only improves productivity in the hands of the right person. I would probably benefit from it, though, I spend a lot of time in blender.

  8. cool just bought the space navigator two days ago, more or less just out of interesst, didn't know for what i should use it :D but after some searching i found the pre release on yesterday. i was very amazed about it, i've never heard about it, and now its even on blendernation. i also didnt read the two threads about the announce last weak so im very amazed i can use my new space navigator for something useful :D

  9. but btw after a little trying the configuration of the controls is a bit strange. you have to use extra configuration for fly mode and for turntable mode, because you have to invert some axis of the 3d mouse. so i had to invert all axis for the turntable view but for the fly mode i only inverted the 'rolling axis' to rotate the view around the z axis.
    but besides this strange default configuration it allows really very productive working after some training.

  10. ah damed i still forgot to mention something:
    i dont know if im just to stupid to configure the space navigator because in BlendMasters movie it seems to work perfectly, but at least on my computer the navigation in editmode doesnt work. the navigation in edit mode is more or less only a restricted fly mode, i.e. fly mode navigation without moving fore and backwards and without rolling, so now turntable navigation. but of course the current build is only a prebuild and so in the final release such inconsistencies will be fixed.

  11. Basse - true, plus smarter tools (imho).

    But I am kind of ambidexterous meaning I can use both hands, reason for this is that I broke my right drawing hand in a bike accident and thought It'd never recover - well...with a lot of training - it did! Now I work commercially with Blender every day (and have done so for many years now) but work so hard I have to SWITCH between the left/right hand mouse use in order to relax and avoid the pain that does appear if I work too hard.

    The Space mouse will help me navigate more with "flow" while working in the 3d windows. Normally I use the Num-Pad for quickly shifting between the views, but this will be replaced by the spacemouse now, also making for smoother editing action and better real-time control while working with details fast. Its possible It will work against what I hoped for, but innovative and try new stuff! Where I work...time is of essence and a luxury no one can afford. On an average - I create a prototype visualization in less than 3 hours every time, often 30-60 minutes each, and then off to the client who either says GO / Improve or Ditch.

  12. @BlendMaster:

    It seems out of subject, but I would like to have a tutorial of what you did with the cube in that video if you please.. you're truly a blender master!

  13. @BlendMaster:

    It may seems out of subject, but I'd like to have a tutorial on what you did with the cube in that video, if you please!

  14. VERY cool :D


    1) Extrude, all faces, as single faces, not together.
    2) size down, a tiny bit
    3) extrude again
    4) size up
    5) extrude, but this time, edges.
    6) size up, again
    7) extrude those 4 faces on each side, that don't have a top face...
    8) subdivide.

    :) the face, that you shouldn't have erased, makes normal problems, btw, so you should apply the subdiv,

    remove those faces, and recalc the normals. (another option, if you want to have those faces, is edgesplit)

  15. Thanks karm1032

    And I'm definitely going to buy 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator.

    Will the artists in Peach project use this device or not?

  16. As my SpaceNavigater finds it's way from amazon to my house, will this be a standard part of the 2.45 build? I've been waiting a long time for spaceball support now it's here!

  17. yawsome!! I was just looking at this the other day in a magazine and wondering if blender would ever support it...good to know that it is! I'm getting this...

  18. Hey guys, I found a place cheaper than amazon to get this Personal Edition version. Goto: and search for SpaceNavigator (no space between the words) and it will show up at $50.99 + free shipping!! I highly recommend this website.

  19. Picked up one of the personal editon space puck! Awesome, tried out the last build from blenderbuids, worked great then you try using sculpt and it stops responding. From the postings on the 3dConnexion forums they're hopefully addressing that and implmenting full 6-dof (or what ever it's called) so that it does work within scuplt mode

    But hey even without scuplt mode for £36 you cannot go wrong with the personal edition. Such cool gadget and the nice people over at 3dConnexion actually seem to be actively developing it! Grand stuff!!!

  20. Yes - I've just received mine. It does take some getting
    used too but it is surprisingly you can
    sort of "pull" the objects/viewport" towards or away from
    you and "look" as if you where holding the object in your hand.

    Very useful for on the "fly" natural modelling!

    I will be using this one a lot.

  21. Got mine, it's cool ... I wonder, when "plugin" will be officially released with the next major Blender version? Looking into 2.45, there is still no support from the Blender UI perspective, thus if just putting plugin into plugin directory, doesn't work ...


  22. These former posts are old.

    Space Navigator now works with Blender 2.59 RC.

    This absolutely fabulous. The last time this device worked with Blender was 2.49.

    I am very grateful to the many, mostly anonymous, programmers who made this happen!


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