CAD and “Spaceballs”

Question: Has anyone had any experience using a spaceball?  I spoke to someone today about an injury caused by a “SpaceBall” – this device is new to me – its a tennis ball sized device used in CAD to define rotation etc. In this case it seems to have resulted in a tennis elbow type condition. I think I managed to locate pictures of the devices,  I’m on the lookout for hints about safe use and good alternatives.

Answer: I tried one of these years ago and did not like it. (Long before I had RSI). An alternative is a device with lots of dials on it, like the volume control on your stereo. Each dial can be programmed to do something so you could get the x,y,z rotation using three of the dials. Don’t know who makes them or if they are even still available.


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