On Windows I am able to use the 3Dconnexion Space Navigator just fine. I customized the functionality of the two side buttons.

On a Mac, however, no matter what settings I change in the System Preferences for 3Dconnexion, the buttons will not do what I want. They only open the blender NDOF settings menu.

Is there a plugin or something I need in order to get full functionality/customizability out of my 3D Space Navigator with Blender for Mac? I'd hate to switch to Windows from now on, but if that's what it takes, I'll just have to.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This seems like a question that you need to take it up with the maker of 3Dconnexion Space navigator on their support on Mac OSX machines? $\endgroup$
    – hawkenfox
    Feb 1, 2016 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ Can you not assign the functions in Blender's User Prefs? I believe you can modify the key assignments to switch to SpaceNav buttons. It would be a bit of work, but may help you. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2016 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ I looked into changing it in Blenders prefs, but to get the buttons to function like I want, (as Tab, and Ctrl+Tab) I would have to go through and change every single context in which Tab and Ctrl+Tab are used. It is pretty ridiculous. There really needs to be an option in blender to map the NDOF buttons to keystrokes and not based on events/functions/etc. Know what I mean? $\endgroup$
    – Ben Mora
    Feb 5, 2016 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ Works4Me! B. 2.78a + SpaceNav Drivers 10.4.3 + OSX El.Cap 10.11. NDOF + LMB pops 3D Mouse Settings menu & RMB zooms objects to fit 3D View. $\endgroup$ Mar 5, 2017 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ At the time I tried 2.75a. I'll give it a shot on 2.78a. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Ben Mora
    Mar 21, 2017 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


The short answer is: Blender doesn't look at the setting of the 3Dconnexion you make in the OS X system preferences for the SpaceNavigator or other 3D mice.

  1. Without the Mac drivers from 3Dconnexion.com, Blender doesn't recognize the SpaceNavigator (It's spelled as one word/name, no typo). It will move the mouse cursor in a 2D style like in the Finder.
  2. With the Mac OS X drivers / System panel installed, Blender recognizes the SpaceNavigator / 3D-mouse, but while orbiting, the axis from the mouse do not correspond to the axis in the application. This is because Blender assumes you want to move the viewport camera aka your screen preview. Most people will know this mode from FPS (First Person Shooter) games. This is generally called Camera Mode. This can be frustrating if you want to work on your model and therefore keep it centered (Object Mode view).
  3. Fortunately, orbiting in Object Mode is possible. Select the object you want to rotate, if you have more than one, and hold down the CTRL key.

It took me a week to figure this all out. That's why I'm writing an in depth article about using the SpaceNavigator with Blender on Mac OS X on buijs.pro


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