Add this to the list of best 3D CAD apps ever… And then toss your 3D analog mouse. Wait, not just yet, but soon. Maide Control is putting 3D model control on the screen and they’re doing it via the iPad. Turns out, its also more than just a digital 3D mouse. Take a look.

Maide Control

Maide control is a simple desktop software and iPad app that links to your 3D software allowing you pan, orbit and zoom your 3D model, much like a 3D mouse does. It works over wifi and ad-hoc networks and allows you to grab screenshots and share them; All functionality you would expect from such an app. What makes it even more impressive (and kicks the 3D mouse square in the face) is its ability to connect with other iPads to allow real-time collaboration. Impressive, add additional control via your keyboard and mouse and you’ve got one snazzy CAD manipulating tool. It’s currently available for SketchUp and Rhino with support for other software coming down the line. Here’s the sweet video action with gentle voice over.

You can download Maide for desktop and iPad via (iTunes direct link.)

Who will acquire them?

“Making CAD Simple” is Maide’s tagline. Yes… please. They’ve got a great approach to doing just that and it’s likely to turn some heads real fast. I have no doubt Maide is going to be gobbled up by the likes of Google or Autodesk. 3DConnexion, Dassault or another interested party might be in play if they can move fast enough. However, it would be a shame if a 3D software company did buy them and used it only for their software.

I recall asking/speculating about this years ago, wondering when 3DConnexion was going to whip out a digital 3D mouse app of their own. Sad to see they haven’t done it yet, but happy to see someone else has jumped into the CAD App frenzy.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.