By Andrew Liszewski
There are other 3D mouse/trackball solutions on the market already, like 3Dconnexion’s SpacePilot Pro, but I like what axsotic has done with their 3D-Spheric-Mouse. At first glance it doesn’t appear to do anything different than your standard trackball, which would also let you rotate a 3D model in any direction, but if you check out the video I’ve included below you’ll see that the sphere can also be pushed, pulled and even lifted to re-position a model in 3D space.
I also like that it allows a 3D artist to use both hands when texturing or modeling, though being ambidextrous would probably help a lot with such a setup. The mechanics of the 3D-Spheric-Mouse, which includes both springs and magnets, allows for 1,000 dpi optical precision when rotating an object, and 2,170 dpi when panning or zooming. It appears to work with the hundreds of 3D packages currently owned by Autodesk (and presumably 15-20 more since this article was written) plus others that haven’t been bought up yet. Pricing and availability haven’t been announced though, but you can register on their site to be one of the first to buy one if you’re already sold on the product.