It’s a mouse. It’s a 3D mouse. Actually, it’s BOTH. It’s the Lexip 3D mouse and it combines the rotational power of a 3D Mouse with the click control of a traditional mouse. Lexip is a start-up out of France with a recent patent on the idea of a multi-axis mouse. If you’ve often feared the ramifications of wielding so much functionality in a single desktop device, not to worry. We were able to get our hands on the Lexip Pro and have all the details for you NEXT.
Lexip Pro 3D Mouse
The Leixp 3D mouse sports seven programmable buttons and six degree of freedom tilt control. Where the traditional mouse is a one-piece design, the Lexip is a two-piece design, with the top, flexible portion mounted to the bottom fixed portion. You would think this mouse might weigh a ton and be difficult to maneuver with it’s crazy flexibile, two-piece design, but a lot of thought has been put into the ergonomics of the mouse.
First, it’s phenomenally comfortable, light and easy to move. The shape and rubber grips are a great addition making it very comfy indeed. Next, the tilt, rotate and thumbstick controls are incredibly responsive. On the flip side, I found the laser not responding on some surfaces (granite, laminate countertop) that my other (Logitech) mouse works fine on and the right and left-mouse buttons are a little tight and clicky. Using it with multiple 3D software programs, does however reveal the frustration-cutting usefulness of a device like this, bringing consistency across the way you interact with the models and while the tilt and joystick take a little bit to get use to, you’ll find yourself relying less on the keyboard and/or the mouse scroll wheel to interact with your model.
Retail Price: US $260 (199 Euros)
The controls are what make this mouse of course. You have the typical two buttons and scroll wheel. Plus, you have an additional three buttons on the side and a small joystick under the tip of your thumb. An important point, for the reason that the joystick doesn’t impede your grip on the mouse. Now, you also have additional control by tilting the mouse forward, backward and side-to-side. It all works in conjunction to give you smooth rotation of the model on your screen and provides additional control in other applications like your browser, document or spreadsheet. Now, the scroll wheel doens’t have side-scrolling, but the additional controls and tilt more than make up for that.
The mouse also comes with a gorgeous control panel that updates settings automatically to the application you’re in. As you see below, you can customize the buttons and axis setting for each application as well as adjust the sensitivity of each of the axis settings. The mouse supports CATIA, SolidWorks, SketchUp, 3ds Max, AutoCAD, Maya and Inventor as well as Rhino, TopSolid and SpaceClaim. You can download the control panel and drivers for the various 3D software they support on the website.
- All-in-one mouse and 3d control
- Wide variety of supported software
- Fluid Rotational Control
- Open API to extend to other software
- Lots of mapping options
- Great control panel
- Easy set up
- LMB and RMB Buttons are stiff/clicky
- Designed for right-handed users (joystick/buttons on left side of mouse)
- Commands on Control panel not always the clearest
- Slight strain on forearm area
- Need a mouse pad for some surfaces
The mouse is also wired which you may consider a pro or con depending on your preference.
Overall, this mouse brings a different approach to interacting with your 3D data. If you’ve used a lot of programs, a 3D Mouse is helpful to get around different ways of interacting with your model. In the same sense, the Lepix mouse helps you transition between cad programs keeping cad model movement/rotation consistent. While it has a lot of support for various software, there needs to be more as I’m sure there will be. I think the biggest improvements need to be made on the left and right mouse buttons, as my personal preference is to have a softer push instead of a loud click that notifies the entire building you’ve just clicked something. This is a very cool device and for the price, is very competitive with other ’3D mouse’ options available.
Images via Lexip