Mouse for SolidWorks?

December 5, 2007 19 Comments »
Mouse for SolidWorks?

One might think it would be easy to pick out a mouse for use with SolidWorks, but when it comes to me, I hasn’t been for quite some time.  For the last couple of years, I have had to sacrifice comfort for function.

Intellimouse3My first “favorite” mouse was the Intellimouse Explorer 3.0.  I got my first one back in 2001.  I immediately took advantage of the two side buttons on the upper left by programmed them to perform Copy and Paste functions.  (Just take a minute and ask yourself how often you use those functions in Windows.)  Still to this day I think this is one of the best pieces of hardware Microsoft has built.

IntellmouseextiltIn early 2004 I went to buy a new mouse and to my surprise the Intellimouse Explorer had been redesigned.  This was the version that introduced the “tilt-wheel”.  I decided to give it a shot, but at the same time was a bit anxious about the tilt-wheel.  My fears were not unfound I discovered later that day.  Everytime I tried to use the wheel as a middle button, the cursed thing would end up tilting to the left or right. I kept it for about a day before taking it back cursing the entire way.

Mx500After what seemed like 30 minutes testing out mice on the showroom floor at CompUSA, I came across the Logitech MX500.  This one had the side buttons for my Copy and Paste and had a really comfortable feel to it, so I bought it.  I discovered the next day that there was one tiny sticking point.  Instead of it being with the hardware itself, it was software related.  For some reason, my Copy/Paste buttons wouldn’t work right in SolidWorks.  It would work correctly for text selections, but not SolidWorks features and sketches.  SolidWorks and Logitech each said it was the other’s issue that was causing it.  I liked the mouse well enough I decided to keep it anyway.  Overall it was a very good mouse and was used solid for 3 years until it recently started turning single-clicks to double-clicks.

So there I was…back at CompUSA testing one mouse after another.  One thing I realized quick was that there are now more cordless mice than corded mice.  I just don’t have the need for a cordless mouse.  Especially since this one stays at my desk all the time.  I happened across a Logitech MX400 that had the side buttons and a REALLY comfortable feel, so I gave it a shot. (It does have a tilt wheel, but it isn’t housed in a carriage assembly AND you can disable them!)  To my delight, Logitech had implemented a new mouse software called SetPoint with this mouse.  FINALLY, my Copy and Paste buttons are working like a champ in SolidWorks!  To top it all off the mouse retails for a very respectable $39.99.  Here is a picture of the MX400 Performance Laser Mouse.

Logitechmx400_2

So what is your favorite mouse for SolidWorks?

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  • Steve Calvert

    Greetings Rick, I'm in the market for a new mouse mainly becasue I'm currently working on a Dell 24″ widescreen monitor (very nice, by the way) and have been told that this demo monitor will be replaced with a larger 27″. Holy cow, what did I do to deserve that? Anyway, I've noticed that my wrist has been bothering me for some time now because of the space in which to travel from side to side and was wondering if there was a mouse out there that could be set up to have an active area about 4″ x 3″. Have you come across one like that?

    Steve

    If you're at SWW, I seek you out and say Hi.

  • Steve Calvert

    Greetings Rick, I’m in the market for a new mouse mainly becasue I’m currently working on a Dell 24″ widescreen monitor (very nice, by the way) and have been told that this demo monitor will be replaced with a larger 27″. Holy cow, what did I do to deserve that? Anyway, I’ve noticed that my wrist has been bothering me for some time now because of the space in which to travel from side to side and was wondering if there was a mouse out there that could be set up to have an active area about 4″ x 3″. Have you come across one like that?

    Steve

    If you’re at SWW, I seek you out and say Hi.

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Hi Steve,

    I work everyday on a 24″ Dell Widescreen and absolutely LOVE it! I can't imagine what a 27″ would be like. You'll have to keep me posted!

    One thing I do to limit stress on my wrist is to increase the pointer speed of the mouse. It takes some getting used to and everyone seems to have different setting preferences. I set mine at about 40%. Make sure you play with this setting. The higher you set it, the less space you have to move the mouse.

    I'm not aware of a mouse with a setting that allows you to set an active area. I'll do some looking around to see what's out there.

    I WILL be at SolidWorks World, make sure you find me sometime! I'll probably end up manning the SWUGN booth some this year, so I'll post when I'll be there in case anyone wants to stop in and say hi. Of course, you can also find me at the Stump the Chump session.

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Hi Steve,

    I work everyday on a 24″ Dell Widescreen and absolutely LOVE it! I can’t imagine what a 27″ would be like. You’ll have to keep me posted!

    One thing I do to limit stress on my wrist is to increase the pointer speed of the mouse. It takes some getting used to and everyone seems to have different setting preferences. I set mine at about 40%. Make sure you play with this setting. The higher you set it, the less space you have to move the mouse.

    I’m not aware of a mouse with a setting that allows you to set an active area. I’ll do some looking around to see what’s out there.

    I WILL be at SolidWorks World, make sure you find me sometime! I’ll probably end up manning the SWUGN booth some this year, so I’ll post when I’ll be there in case anyone wants to stop in and say hi. Of course, you can also find me at the Stump the Chump session.

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • Craig

    I have the Logitech G5. It's a gaming mouse, but it has some pretty cool features:
    1) You can adjust the DPI resolution on the fly (2 buttons just below the scroll wheel). I can't wait to actually use it on dual 20″ monitors when I get upgraded….. dual 17's right now.
    2) The forward and back buttons on the thumb
    3) Side scrolling wheel
    4) Adjustable weights. I didn't think it would make much difference, but it makes using the mouse actually feel like you are interfacing with the pointer, not just flailing around in air with my right hand.

    I tend to stick with the Logitech brand for ergonomics and mouse life. I haven't had a MS mouse last that long in my experience.

  • Craig

    I have the Logitech G5. It’s a gaming mouse, but it has some pretty cool features:
    1) You can adjust the DPI resolution on the fly (2 buttons just below the scroll wheel). I can’t wait to actually use it on dual 20″ monitors when I get upgraded….. dual 17′s right now.
    2) The forward and back buttons on the thumb
    3) Side scrolling wheel
    4) Adjustable weights. I didn’t think it would make much difference, but it makes using the mouse actually feel like you are interfacing with the pointer, not just flailing around in air with my right hand.

    I tend to stick with the Logitech brand for ergonomics and mouse life. I haven’t had a MS mouse last that long in my experience.

  • HoffY

    In my big fruitless searches for quality mice I to have no need nor desire for a wireless (create more maintenance and work then you already have backward step) mouse! But i can't, for the life of me, find a decent mouse that is wired these days! The logitech MX Revolution (i think it was) seemed to be the go but it was wireless and pricey. it was similar to a Logitech i had a few years back (which was a good mouse, sizable but comfy). My other needs were at least two thumb buttons (why go backwards after having a Explorer 3.0 that was near perfect!). After much disappointment and disgust with our seemingly “backwards advancing” that seems all to popular these days – i managed to find out that the good old Intelimouse Explorer still was available so i bought 3 of them! the latest software doesn't seem to be as functional (see my backwards advancing line! hehe) in the way of customizing buttons to certain functions but mostly let me do what i want (i like having the thumb buttons on CTRL and SHIT mostl).

  • HoffY

    In my big fruitless searches for quality mice I to have no need nor desire for a wireless (create more maintenance and work then you already have backward step) mouse! But i can’t, for the life of me, find a decent mouse that is wired these days! The logitech MX Revolution (i think it was) seemed to be the go but it was wireless and pricey. it was similar to a Logitech i had a few years back (which was a good mouse, sizable but comfy). My other needs were at least two thumb buttons (why go backwards after having a Explorer 3.0 that was near perfect!). After much disappointment and disgust with our seemingly “backwards advancing” that seems all to popular these days – i managed to find out that the good old Intelimouse Explorer still was available so i bought 3 of them! the latest software doesn’t seem to be as functional (see my backwards advancing line! hehe) in the way of customizing buttons to certain functions but mostly let me do what i want (i like having the thumb buttons on CTRL and SHIT mostl).

  • Mitch

    I have the MX Revolution and I think it is my favorite so far. It has the 2 side buttons that I program as alt and ctrl while in SolidWorks and other things for other programs. The thumbwheel works good in some applications, but as of right now I have it set for my volume control.

  • Mitch

    I have the MX Revolution and I think it is my favorite so far. It has the 2 side buttons that I program as alt and ctrl while in SolidWorks and other things for other programs. The thumbwheel works good in some applications, but as of right now I have it set for my volume control.

  • Jacob Scheid

    Right now I am using the Logitech MX 620 (a less-expensive sibling to the Revolution but still great) and I also have experience with Logitech's line of trackballs, namely the TrackMan wheel. Though it takes some–a lot–of getting used to it is actually really useful especially for reducing stress (for all you big-screen users) because you move only your thumb. After practice, you can get really fast because it is only the thumb doing the moving. Hope that helps.

  • Jacob Scheid

    Right now I am using the Logitech MX 620 (a less-expensive sibling to the Revolution but still great) and I also have experience with Logitech’s line of trackballs, namely the TrackMan wheel. Though it takes some–a lot–of getting used to it is actually really useful especially for reducing stress (for all you big-screen users) because you move only your thumb. After practice, you can get really fast because it is only the thumb doing the moving. Hope that helps.

  • http://www.couponalbum.com/coupons/compusa.htm Marie

    Nice blog!! My sister bought Logitech MX400 performance laser mouse at only $39.99 from [url=”http://www.couponalbum.com/coupons/compusa.htm“]CompUSA[/url] store through Couponalbum.com…!

  • http://www.couponalbum.com/coupons/compusa.htm Marie

    Nice blog!! My sister bought Logitech MX400 performance laser mouse at only $39.99 from [url=”http://www.couponalbum.com/coupons/compusa.htm“]CompUSA[/url] store through Couponalbum.com…!

  • DanielJ
  • DanielJ
  • Jeremywaldner

    Sorry to hear you didn't give the MX Revolution a spin. (pun intended, sorry) I got it a few months ago, and find myself working faster than ever. The free-spin zoom mode is awesome in Solidworks. Also lots of buttons available for fine-tuning your working experience. In my case I have the 2 side butons programmed as “enter” and “rebuild”, and found it to be of so much use not only in SW, but also in other programs. (enter)
    One bad thing about it…the side scroll buttons are too sensitive, so I'd keep hitting them when middle-clicking. I had to disable them in SW.
    Oh…I installed Uber-Option to enable the assignment of custom functions to all the buttons.

  • Jeremywaldner

    Sorry to hear you didn’t give the MX Revolution a spin. (pun intended, sorry) I got it a few months ago, and find myself working faster than ever. The free-spin zoom mode is awesome in Solidworks. Also lots of buttons available for fine-tuning your working experience. In my case I have the 2 side butons programmed as “enter” and “rebuild”, and found it to be of so much use not only in SW, but also in other programs. (enter)
    One bad thing about it…the side scroll buttons are too sensitive, so I’d keep hitting them when middle-clicking. I had to disable them in SW.
    Oh…I installed Uber-Option to enable the assignment of custom functions to all the buttons.

  • Anna

    Good job!Thank you for the post.I know that simulation of the Mouse Trap game using SolidWorks. Simulation file is large so I just used my Flip Video to capture this while playing on my computer screen. All models were created in SolidWorks. That requires some time to find something just about this good topic hence, I always see editing service !