Legacy Space Pilot device in Rhino 6

Is there any way to get a legacy Space Pilot to work in Rhino 6 yet? I use it in all of my other applications just fine using driver 10.4.10, it’s only Rhino that doesn’t work.

I’m aware of this posting:

Is there some older plugin or 3rd party driver that can be used?

Space pilot info here

Thanks for the quick response. That does work a treat; the only problem now is that those drivers are needed for my other applications to work with it. Is there a simple way to turn them on and off without uninstalling/reinstalling them? Better yet, is there a way to just override the 3dconnexion driver and have Rhino use it’s own as if it weren’t there? Seems like that would be the simplest option if available.


I contacted 3dconnexion some weeks ago and this was their reply;

Thanks for your email request. Unfortunately we don’t have a plugin because Rhino is the one who implemented support for our device. If we did the implementation then yeah maybe we could provide a plugin for you to test it. The only way to make the device function is by updating the driver which will not work with SpacePilot device you have.

Abdul. A"

@markus, did you see this?

– Dale

Rhino 6.2 worked extremely well with SpacePilot. New Rhino 6 releases no longer support it. If only somebody at McNeel was willing to provide a legacy support for 3d connexion devices, as it was the case with the plugin prior Rhino 6.4… By the way, Rhino up until version 6.2 was detected as Rhino 5 by the 3d connexion software., which makes me think that Rhino 6 supports the Rhino 5 plugin, hence it could be implemented again for the future Rhino 6 service releases. :slight_smile:

@dale We saw it now. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

I sent a note to my colleagues manning customer support at 3Dconnexion. I’m sorry, Dale.

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So just to clarify; I assume from the message traffic here that 3dconnexion is responsible for the Rhino plugin and the change that resulted in legacy devices no longer working after 6.2 was their doing… is this correct?

3d connexion claims that they will not add support for their older devices. But the truth is a bit different. In fact, what they do is removing existing functionality that’s proven to work flawlessly. They will never admit their aggressive planned obsolescence (a term describing companies intentionally doing planned fault or removing of support to their products, so that the consumer is forced to buy a new product sooner than necessary).
SpacePilot, for example, works much, much better than their newer models. It has nearly zero dead zone, while the new models feature a very annoying large dead zone which is not suitable for users who prefer higher sensitivity (4, 5 or above) on their 3d connection device.

Rhino 6.2 worked with older 3d connection devices extremely well, because McNeel used older plug-in for it (the one from Rhino 5). If the staff at McNeel wants, they could bring back that older plug-in as an alternative to the newer one, in order to support legacy devices that worked with earlier Rhino 6 versions.

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The SpacePilot was launched back in 2005 and the software officially supported it until 2013 but it still worked well in 3DxWare version 10.4 (maintained until 2019).

“Aggressive obsolescence”? Oh, well. My previous paragraph is factual and customers reading this can make their own judgement about 3Dconnexion commitments.

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@nuno_gomes Would you be willing to distribute the Rhino plugin that worked with 3dxware 10.4.10 up until Rhino 6.2? Rhino is the only program I use that doesn’t work with that driver.

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Launching a product in 2005 does not mean its manufacturing ended that same year. SpacePilot was manufactured for years. It worked perfect with Rhino 6.2 (better than the modern 3d connection devices), then the Rhino plug-in was changed and SpacePilot no longer worked with the more recent updates of Rhino 6.

3d connexion removed existing functionality from their newer drivers and also removed the ability for the software to recognize SpacePilot and a few other older devices in favour of their newer models.

Rhino 6.2 worked best with 3DxWare 10.3.0 :slight_smile:

@Jwesthov I’m in Engineering at 3Dconnexion and I cannot answer your question. I suggest that you take it up with our customer service team (contacts here) but it is doubtful the company can assign resources to support old software.

@Rhino_Bulgaria If you had looked in the page that I linked to above, you would have found the date when 3Dconnexion stopped selling the SpacePilot (late 2010). As mentioned, the software worked fine until sometime last year, nine years after that.

I read the table from the link you posted, and noticed that the support for some of the 3d connexion devices ended at the same day of their manufacturing (or whatever the “product availability” means). In the case of SpacePilot, its support ended 3 years after manufacturing has ended, which is way too short since people and companies buy these expensive devices for work and rely on them to be functioning for as long as possible.

The SpacePilot that I have works extremely well, with perfectly stable tiny dead zone, and in excellent technical condition despite its age. It’s rare in this day to find a device that’s made with such quality. Sadly, it’s the software (plug-in) that prevents it to be recognized by the more recent Rhino updates.

On the other hand, as I mentioned in an earlier post, newer 3d connection devices have a giant dead zone and that’s what made me stick with my SpacePilot. Last year I was forced to buy SpaceMouse since SpacePilot stopper working with newer Rhino, and was so disappointed by its dead zone that I sold it quickly after. I also tried the more expensive models, and they also had that giant dead zone…

I contacted support as indicated above and they told me they couldn’t help because McNeel developed the plugin, which apparently is not true. I’m not asking for additional resources be used to make old hardware compatible; I’m only asking for access to the older version of the plugin that was used in Rhino 6.2 and prior that already works with the older hardware.

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It’s really that simple. And will make many Rhino and 3d connexion users happy. Just bring back the old plug-in that worked wonderfully. Maybe it could be a tick box in the Rhino Options called “Use legacy plug-in”.

If this is really true, it would be very mean not to allow it @nuno_gomes

@Rhino_Bulgaria What is the dead zone that you mention? My big bugbear with the new device (or software, not sure how to tell which) is the reversal of rotation direction when you pass through the xy plane, and the freezing of rotation when very near the xy plane. Infuriating!! @nuno_gomes

The dead zone of the modern 3d connexion devices is so big that it makes it impossible to have a fine control over the camera in Rhino while the general speed is set to the maximum level, both, in the Rhino dialog box and the slider in the 3DxWare software.
However, SpacePilot has a 3d “cap” mechanism of great quality with nearly zero dead zone that works flawlessly even at the maximum speed setting.