SpaceMouse Pro Wireless (3DConnexion) use in Rhino for Mac

I just have connected a Spacemouse to Rhino for Mac for the very first time.

I have now figured out how to map all buttons on the SpaceMouse (simply create command keyboard shortcuts within Rhino, then map these keystrokes to the buttons of the SpaceMouse within the SpaceMouse preference menu profile for Rhino).

The movement of the model does work beautifully.
One small issue I found though is this:
When designing in isometric view, I tend often to use parallel projection view rather than the standard perspective projection

The parallel projection allows for more precision and a deeper zoom into small details without clipping.

The issue is when using the SpaceMouse, that once you choose parallel projection view in Rhino, all rotation from the space mouse is disabled (only panning and zooming motions are registered).

As a workaround I have currently mapped the projection view switch to one of the buttons on the SpaceMouse so I can switch between the two as I go.

Can this limitation be disabled, so when using parallel projection view I can still fully rotate the model?
(for locking the view rotation there is a specific button directly on the space mouse which will lock rotations and only allow for panning and zooming)



There is a second little quirk I found working with the SpaceMouse Pro Wireless and Rhino for Mac (I would call this one a bug):

  • open a Rhino document and work in your 3D model
  • hit “Command + W” to close the document
  • the Rhino save document dialog will pop up
  • cancel the save dialog + closing of the document
    (It does not matter how you cancel - you can cancel by clicking the cancel button in the dialog with your mouse or hit the ESC key on your keyboard or hit the “ESC button” on the SpaceMouse (equal to ESC key on your keyboard)

The SpaceMouse will stop working in that Rhino document until the next time you open it.

This means that accidentally closing a document and canceling the closing process is not an option when using a SpaceMouse.
You currently have to either close the document or close and save it to be able to continue to use the SpaceMouse.

Perhaps you were referring to this option? [ but it will rotate in all the parallel projection view ports which i find confusing ]

Hey Akash, I know about this function and also always had it unchecked since the beginning of using Rhino.

Now the fun thing is that as a workaround this is useful.
When this option is checked it will indeed take disable the limitation I mentioned.
I am now able again to freely rotate the model with the SpaceMouse, no matter if I have selected “parallel projection mode” or “perspective projection mode” when working in a 3D mode.

The downside is of course, that it also will allow rotation of the model in plan views like top, bottom, left, right, etc…

With the SpaceMouse Pro come buttons to the rescue though :wink:
You can now when switching to a plan view with one of the mapped view buttons simply press the lock button in the center to disable rotation.

Ideally of course Rhino would be fixed so that both projection modes when working in 3D allow full rotation when working with the SpaceMouse (this limitation ONLY is for the SpaceMouse - rotation with the normal mouse works as expected in both projection modes).

Not that there is any confusion - I am talking about projection modes (you find the setting in the inspector in the right panel):

Thanks for sharing the reminder of the plan view lock - this is a suitable workaround for now.

thanks for all the buttons assignments info, it will probably be very useful here in the future. I currently only have the notebook [traveling] model, but hope to upgrade to the SpaceMouse Pro next year.

with thanks

You are welcome.

From playing with the SpaceMouse Pro Wireless for the day and trying different button layouts, I have two first impressions:

  1. It’s great to be back with a SpaceMouse again and I wouldn’t want to be without one (the last one I used was one of those grey ones with large round puck and I think 8 round buttons).

  2. You run out of buttons fast with the SpaceMouse Pro and I would strongly tend towards a model with more programable buttons.

I chose the Pro Wireless model as I knew I wanted a modicum of programable buttons, yet didn’t go for the LCD display models, as I insisted on having the comfort of a wireless model (which can easily be stowed away in a drawer when not in use, saving a clean desktop).

Effectively this model will only allow you 4 programmable buttons before you start double mapping them.
Yes, you can fully program ALL of the buttons on the unit, but you really want to preserve the view buttons on the right and the modifier buttons on the left for what they are designed and you want to keep the fit button and menu button for their intended functions too - leaving you really just 4 programable buttons.

I ended up with this basic layout:

1 - wireframe view
2 - shaded view (CTRL + 2 - rendered view)
3 - ghosted view
4 - place target (CTRL + 4 switch projection mode parallel/perspective)

view keys - mapped with their intended view + double mapped with modifier key CTRL with secondary view (example: Top / Bottom with modifier)

That’s it - no buttons left for fancy functions or even tool palettes.
I can now clearly see the use for the top of the range model with all it’s buttons and banks.

Nevertheless, the Pro Wireless should be an immense upgrade from the compact puck (which I think is a fantastic unit for travel / on the road).

I see this behavior with the SpaceNavigator (MR-2826). We’ll take a look and see what’s going wrong. Thanks for reporting this!

Thanks Dan :wink: Much appreciated.

This bug should be fixed in the latest RhinoWIP (5E41w). Please give it a try.

Hi, Dan!
I have Spacemouse Pro and 5E41w crashes after cancelling save dialog with no bug report option on restart. Latest Sierra installed.

Interesting. Well, I’m going to likely have trouble reproducing this one because I don’t have a SpaceMouse Pro Wireless. I don’t believe we actually support this device; we support the SpaceNavigator and the wireless version of that device, the (confusingly named) SpaceMouse Wireless.

If you unplug the SpaceMouse Pro and try to do the same thing, does RhinoWIP 5E41w exhibit the same crashing behavior?

Sorry, it was disinformation. All worked fine, except my tired brain )
I’ve pressed “Don’t save” instead of “Cancel”… and file successfully closed.
Don’t know how I was able to identify that as crash…
Sorry for taking your time.

No problem!

Hi Dirk,

Im pretty new at Rhino. Can you make suggestions for keyboard shortcuts and the keystroke mapping that you’ve had success with?



Hey Richard, sorry I saw you post so late.

In regards of mapping keyboard shortcuts you have several ways to map keyboard keys to function first.

Make sure that all functions you want working on your space mouse buttons do have an assigned key stroke combination on your keyboard and are working.

In Rhino you have in the menu bar:

click on “customize” and you have a very powerful menu to customize your tool bars and most importantly keyboard shortcuts for each command you want to use.

For example:

  • to get the “top view” command to work with your “top view” button on the space mouse:

  • open the command customize menu described above

  • type in the search box for the commands (bottom of screen) “top”

  • select the command button “Top view” among the filtered commands

  • assign a keyboard shortcut for this command in the field “keyboard shortcut” on the right

  • open your Spacemouse menu (you find it in System Preferences / 3Dconnexion)

  • go to the “buttons” menu

  • select the correct button you want to assign “Top view” to

  • make sure you assign exactly the IDENTICAL keyboard shortcut you have assigned in the Rhino menu

Now test within Rhino if this button mapping was successful.

This you simply repeat for every single function.

The beauty about the Spacemouse is that you can assign multiple functions to each button by using modifier buttons.

For example did I assign to the Top View button without modifier key the function “Top view” and assigned “Bottom view” by using a modifier key (for example “option”) to also have the bottom view available.

Good luck and take it slow and methodical - it can get confusing when in a rush :wink:

  1. make sure all your functions do have a working key shortcut in Rhino itself
  2. assign those same shortcuts within the Spacemouse software
  3. verify that you mapped the buttons successfully

As a bonus:
you can also assign keyboard shortcuts of menu bar commands through the Mac OS X menu
System Preferences / Keyboard / Shortcuts / App Shortcuts

Simply add Rhino as an app here and you can assign individual shortcuts to Rhino menu items (only items that are spelled out in the menu bar letter by letter - commands that are not spelled out there cannot be assigned as far as I understand).

This way you have two very powerful ways of assigning shortcuts.

Bonus 2:

Make certain, that you have this neat app installed “CheatSheet”.

It is an app that displays ALL available keyboard shortcuts at any given time available with the foremost app in focus by long holding the CMD key (configurable).

This way you have a very fast way of verifying shortcuts and of course finding shortcuts you don’t know off or have forgotten about.
It is a MUST HAVE app for any Mac user in my opinion.