Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.
Information presented here was last verified with Blender 2.66
As of Blender 2.64a…
- Rotation and translation axis can be inverted separately.
- The zoom function can be placed on the Y or Z axis.
- Rotational and translational sensitivity settings are now separated.
- Translational movement NO LONGER requires holding down the shift key.
As of Blender 2.66…
- Added interface user preference for 'rotate/zoom around selection'.
- Rotational and Translational movement cannot occur at the same time, if 'rotate/zoom around selection' is selected.
- Default settings have returned to SHIFT modifier for translational movement.
- Previous free-flying ability can be used, but at the expense of this new feature
These are the models which we were able to verify ourselves. Several are marked as 'Should Work'.
If you can confirm that these models work with Blender, please contact us.
History of Blender Support (a users POV)
Spacemouse support was brought to Blender in version 2.46, when 3DConnexion released a plugin, which would allow the use of their devices with Blender. This plugin worked until the end of the 2.4x series when the Blender developers decided to do a ground up rebuild of the entire project.
With the old plugin no longer compatible with Blender, users did what they do best… they complained.
At the time, Blender developers were understandably more concerned with core stability of the new API, rather than focusing on features lost from previous versions. It is a testament to Blender's redesign team, that users were willing to use the NEW incomplete alpha/beta versions, even without spacemouse support.
Requests for a new plugin to work with the new Blender API, also appeared on 3DConnexion's forums. 3DConnexion appeared disinterested in any form of direct support (ie: a plugin), though in retrospect, Blender's API was going through so many changes in the 2.5x series, it would have been a major headache to maintain compatibility. In the mean time, they released a new beta version of their own drivers which helped a little. The new driver allowed their spacemice to emulate any keyboard/mouse combination, thus allowing rotations and movement in Blender based on the already existing keyboard commands. It worked, but was nowhere near as smooth and fluid as the original plugin had been.
In the summer of 2010, Mike Erwin decided to tackle the implementation of 3D Mouse support in Blender during GSOC 2010. His code was incorporated into Blender's 2.59 release and has been in a state of refinement since.
Serial Device Support
The spacenavd project is working to bring an open-source solution, for the support of 6DOF devices on Linux and Windows, focusing primarily on older devices which 3DConnexion no longer supports in their own drivers.