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Astroid covers the entire CAD world

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article image Features a scroll hat, which acts like a wheel on a computer mouse but adds left/right scrolling.

USING Australia as a test market, Spatial Freedom Pty Ltd has proven its next generation spatial controller - asteroid 6000 - will gain international markets with all major CAD software brands.

Already more than 100 specialist CAD operators in Australia have committed to the product through advance orders, so Spatial Freedom has increased stocks by 900 units as an initial supply to the world market.

Developed by Spaceball inventor, John Hilton, astroid enters the market at about 60% beneath the cost of similar technology on the global market, and partnership agreements have been made with all major CAD operators.

They are now software partners with Solid Edge, Dassault's CADIA and Solid Works, NX, Cymatron (Italy) and arrangements with AutoDesk and the creator of Pro/Engineer, Panametrics Technologies Corporation are soon to be finalised, according to Spatial Freedom.

Spatial controllers provide natural spatial control of 3D images and objects by sensing a light fingertip push and twist applied to a sprung ball sensor. The 3D image or object moves and spins as though gently pushed around by the fingers.

Typically used in the left hand, this natural control improves the user interface. It frees CAD engineers from the need to think about how to move their design and allows them to focus on other design tasks.

The astroid also introduces a new feature called a scroll hat. It acts like a wheel on a computer mouse but adds left/right scrolling. Gently pushing the hat in any 2D direction scrolls the image accordingly. Pushing harder produces faster scrolling. The scroll hat is useful in any application, including office applications, where smooth scrolling is supported.

Current users of spatial controllers include aerospace and automotive companies such as Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Ford and General Motors to name a few.

Living up to its name, the Spaceball was used by Jet Propulsion Labs as the first interplanetary controller when it was used to direct the Mars Rovers.

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