Astroid 6000 spatial controller integrated into Solid Edge with a radical new Spatial User Interface (SUI)

Spatial Freedom Inc, today announced that its Astroid 6000 spatial controller is now fully integrated into Solid Edge. The Astroid SUI, (Spatial User Interface) is being demonstrated at Solid Edge Summit this week and will be released to the market in October. John Hilton, president of Spatial Freedom Inc, said: ¡§The combination of the Astroid, SUI, and Solid Edge delivers to CAD engineers a level of integration and new functionality that has never before been available in a spatial controller of any price. ¡§Engineers are now able to gain a greater understanding of their designs as they can literally get inside a part and look around using our new SUI technology. The benefit this offers is truly understood once they are able to experience the Astroid, SUI, and Solid Edge combination with their own 3D data. ¡§SUI also delivers a seamless interface with Solid Edge. Engineers can now define their center of motion, choose between object control mode and camera control mode and perform other critical 3D navigation task. ¡§We are pleased UGS has acknowledged the significance of the Astroid spatial controller for their customers by accepting Spatial Freedom as a Solid Edge Voyager Partner. ¡§The response to the recent release of the Astroid has been fantastic! Customers have been delighted with its quality and sensitivity. This new integration and functionality takes the Astroid to a level that I have always wanted to deliver to the market. Customers are astounded that we have achieved this at the US$149 price. They are also pleased with the ease of our online ordering system. ¡§The endorsement by UGS is very gratifying as it gives the market confidence that a high quality spatial controller is now available at a realistic price,¡¨ said John Hilton John Hilton is also the inventor of the Spaceball“¥, the first and, until the release of the Astroid 6000, most commercially successful spatial controller. The Astroid is the first phase of realizing his dream to see spatial controllers utilized in any area where people interact with 3D images. For more information, please contact: Ian Craig - Spatial Freedom Inc. ( Notes to Editors About Spatial Controllers Spatial controllers are a type of 3D mouse with a spring mounted sensor that detects a 3D push and twist. The sensor is lightly held by a user¡¦s fingertips and is pushed and twisted in any 3D direction. The push and twist is commonly used to move and rotate an object around on the computer screen. Spatial controllers are also known as 3D motion controllers and 3D input devices. About Spatial Freedom, Inc. Spatial Freedom was founded by John Hilton, the inventor of the Spaceball, to commercialize his new spatial controller technology. His vision and desire to create a new generation low cost spatial controller for the CAD/CAM/CAE industry led to the development of the Orion“§ technology and later the commercial development of the Astroid 6000, the first truly affordable spatial controller. For more information see Customer endorsements. Barry Bevis of Edge Software ( ¡§Our organization has been using 3D motion control devices for several years and our engineers find the Astroid to be far superior in terms of sensitivity and ergonomics. We have many users needing a 3D motion control device and at one third the traditional cost, the Astroid is just unbeatable¡¨, Tim Duell of Buckeye Shapeform ¡§I like the motion of the Astroid. It is really smooth and takes very little touch to move, very sensitive, I like it. We are buying another one. My company would never have been able to outfit our engineering department with these types of controllers without the $149 price. Thanks so much for your help.¡¨ Astroid, Orion and SUI are Trademarks of Spatial Freedom Holdings Pty. Ltd. Solid Edge and UGS are trademarks of UGS Corporation or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.

Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Gyvertech'
    I have used 3D motion controllers for a while now and when my old unit was on the way out I was delighted to find that the Astroid was available at 1/3rd the competitors price - but I was a bit nervous that the low price would mean reduced quality. Luckily for me I was able to see the unit being demonstated at the Edge Australia stand at a local trade show where they were using it to drive Solid Edge. Any hesitations to purchase the unit was dispelled quickly as the control was very smooth and fluid and it appeared to be well built. The guys on the stand told me that the whole unit - from the ball to the buttons - was cleverly engineered using a minimum of parts which was one reason the price was low. They also said that the inventor of the entire 3D motion concept was responsable for the Astroid and that many of his new ideas had been implemented. I was also really excited about the new drivers that are now fully integrated into Solid Edge. Anyone who uses 3D CAD will really appreciate being able to fly thru the model - whether you want to "walk thru" a boat or house or check visually the inside of a tiny electrical unit you may be designing. Also the way the rotation works at close proximaty is excellent - the model never swings out of view and seems to adjust the sensitivity the closer you get to the model which is exactly what you want. My unit arrive about 2 weeks ago and I am soo happy with it that I have convinced many of the people I work with to buy one as well.

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  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'PAV'
    After hearing about the Atroid and it's super low price I was excited and couldn't wait to get my hands on one to put it through its paces. This would be the 6th such device I would have used so it would have to be up to the challange. Upon opening the box the unit looked similar to the other units on the market except for the uncoated plastic ball. Initially i wasn't sure about the lack of latex cover, but after 5 minutes of use I was convinced it was the way to go. Generally the latex covered balls get greasy and start to slip not only in your fingers but eventually slip internally. The initial alpha drivers drivers were a little fiddly to get going, but once sorted out they are great. I even had one set of drivers that activated the "Top-Hat" which was just awsome. The latest release of the driver had a small tweak to the motion input. Another big plus for me is it's ability to go through an Airport X-Ray scan without setting of the sirens as other units do, trust me, a big time saver when running to catch that last plane home on a Friday night!!! Overall this is a top quality unit, with the added bonus of being the cheapest price in town... Excellent product..

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  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'DAC'
    We have been using the Astroid 6000 for about 6 months. At first the installation and drivers were messy, but we have the new SUI and drivers under beta test due to our earlier issues. The SUI gives you a great UI for 3D Motion control and functionality not available on other contollers. the comera mode is like a virtual fly thru mode which is very helpful, and at the price it's better than any other 3D Motion controller, I my opinion.

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