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Friday, January 27, 2017

Making up Miles by Measuring Inches - My 3DConnexion CADMouse Anecdote

***Disclaimer!***
The pictures I'm using for this blog post are of my home laptop running Autodesk Fusion 360 with a CADMouse and SpaceMouse, both made by 3DConnexion.  Security at work limits what I images I can share from my work station.

Better safe that jobless!

*** End Disclaimer!***


It's likely we've all heard the quote "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".  And I'm just as sure that millions of "bar-stool philosophers" like myself have used it in some sort of discussion or debate.

Earlier this week, the microcosm of my CAD station gave me a moment to reflect on that quote again.

Since I started at my new position as a mechanical designer about a year ago, I've had a 3DConnexion SpaceMouse Pro and 3DConnexion CADMouse.  What can I say, work takes good care of me!

My laptop running Fusion 360.  I need to program buttons for this too. 
At one point, I had all the buttons mapped, and I was happily using radial menus and hotkeys.

But then, our CAD stations were upgraded, and all my settings were lost.

For most of that time, I keep telling myself.  "I need to rethink what commands I use most frequently, and start programming them into my devices."

And for most of that time, I've told myself.  "I really need to finalize what commands are really important to me.", or "I'll do it tomorrow.", or the infamous, "Once things slow down a bit."

That's how nearly a year passed with all my buttons set to their default settings.

My CADMouse menu in Fusion 360


Finally, I told myself, "Jon, just pick a command and program it!"

So I did.  I picked a few commands, and put them into my SpaceMouse Pro and CADMouse.

Programming the menus for my 3DConnexion CADMouse
And nearly instantly, I started wondering why I hadn't done it sooner!

What were the lessons I learned? 

  • Don't fall victim to "Analysis Paralysis".  I postponed making a decision until I had all the information.  The problem is, I had no hard stop to when I was done evaluating.  I could always "test a little longer". 
  • Just start already!  It's not like the path can't be changed while keeping the destination the same.  
  • We get so focused on the big goals, we forget the little steps.  Nobody knows that I customized my SpaceMouse Pro and CADMouse.  And there's really no need for them to.  But navigating my CAD system is much easier because I took a few minutes to do so.   


Conclusion?

Now, it's not like my 40 hour week suddenly turned into a 30 hour week, or that project that's going to take 18 months suddenly took twelve months because of my pre-programmed 3DConnexion devices.

But what did happen?

Things were just smoother, and dare I say a little more pleasant.  I wasn't reaching for my keyboard for commonly used hot keys, moving across a large monitor to get to an icon.

Now it didn't take my 40 hour week and make it into a 30 hour week, but it did make navigating my tools a little easier.

It's like having your favorite stations preprogrammed into your car radio.  It doesn't make a dramatic change in the lenght of your commute, but it does make the time you spend more pleasant.

Sometimes, it really is about the journey! 






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