3D Mouse

From ArchWiki

From Wikipedia:3d mouse#3D mice:

Also known as bats, flying mice, or wands, these devices generally function through ultrasound and provide at least three degrees of freedom. Probably the best known example would be 3DConnexion/Logitech's SpaceMouse from the early 1990s.

For more information: https://web.archive.org/web/20200731022623/https://www.3dconnexion.com/products/spacemouse.html#panel-whatis

Note: The following instructions have been tested and proven to work on the most basic model (Space Navigator).

Proprietary drivers

The proprietary drivers have not been updated since 2014 and require potentially unsafe hacks to make them work, consider using the open source drivers.

Open source drivers

There exists also an open source driver for 3Dconnexion devices maintained by the spacenav project. From the short list of softwares that supports spacenavd we can cite:

  • Blender
  • Freecad
  • OpenSCAD

For it to work three things must be fulfilled

  1. The device must be recognized by the kernel as input device
  2. The spacenavd daemon must be running
  3. The application must be compiled with spacenav support. (community/blender should be)

The first requirement should be fulfilled automatically after plugging in the device. It can be checked by looking if the device is listed in /proc/bus/input/devices e.g. by

$ grep 3Dconnexion /proc/bus/input/devices
N: Name="3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator"

For the second point install libspnav and spacenavdAUR (or spacenav-plusAUR if you need support for older serial mice) from AUR. For testing it is a good idea to start the daemon on foreground mode. The output should look similar to this:

# spacenavd -v -d
Spacenav daemon 0.5
Device detection, parsing /proc/bus/input/devices
using device: /dev/input/event21
device name: 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator
trying to open X11 display ":0"
   XAUTHORITY=/home/user/.Xauthority

If it works you can simply shut down the daemon by hitting CTRL-C and run it using the following service to start the daemon (should come with spacenavd).

/etc/systemd/system/spacenavd.service
[Unit]
Description=Userspace Daemon of the spacenav driver.

[Service]
Type=forking
PIDFile=/var/run/spnavd.pid
Environment=XAUTHORITY=/run/user/1000/gdm/Xauthority
ExecStart=/usr/bin/spacenavd

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Now everything is up and running and every supported application should be able to use the 3D Mouse.

Blender with spacenav support

The blender package in the community repository is now compiled with spacenav support by default.

However, if you wish to rebuild Blender with spacenav support manually, you can install libspnav first and then rebuild blender from ABS. It will automatically build with NDOF(=spacenav) support.

Now you can fire up blender and test your 3D Mouse.

$ blender
ndof: using SpaceNavigator

See also