Best Mouse for CAD Design

Design reviews of best mouse for CAD Design

In this design review of the best mouse for CAD design, we assessed the need based on the functions that CAD designers used the most. This is a genuine review from a real CAD user myself with more than 10 years experience.

What Others Prefer

However, we do note that individual preference may differ, while some prefer track pad as priority while others MMO mouse. In some shopping site reviews, the users feedback that they prefer to have many programmable buttons on their ideal “CAD” mouse, so they ended up using MMO Mouse such as the M600. I have reviewed that mouse and used that for years – but I will never use it for CAD. The reason is explained below.

Our Approach

Our approach in this design review of the best mouse for CAD design is assessed based on the following design criteria:

1) The middle mouse button must not be the scroll wheel. It is just be a button and must be comfortable to press.

The middle mouse button is frequently used to pan or rotate in Autocad, Inventor or Solidworks. If you are working on the design for hours, it is very strenuous to press on the scroll button that acts like a scroll wheel.

2) If it has to be a scroll wheel, the top of the scroll wheel has to be flat. 

Many review websites missed this point. As a CAD user myself for more than 10 years, the first thing I test for ANY CAD mouse is the scroll wheel – whether it is comfortable to press. A flatter scroll wheel will be more comfortable than a rounded wheel. An example is that found on the Logitech MX mouse or G604.

3) Side buttons for one-click quick zoom in and out.

It seems easy to use the scroll wheel for zooming in and out, since everyone is doing it. But imagine doing that front and back rolling with your index finger repeatedly, in addition to the middle and left mouse button for 10 to 12 hours a day? It would be nice to design others fingers to take some load off for quick zooming button.

If the scrolling can be switched between clicky and smooth like logitech mouse, then perhaps it is not so important to have side buttons for this purpose. They can be programmed to for other shortcuts instead.

So, Which Mouse Meet This Requirement?

Based on the above criteria, we feel that the 3Dconnexion CadMouse for CAD Professionals is the only one that fits the bill. We only wished that it can include design features found on Logitech mouse.

3dconnexion CAD Mouse
My own 3dconnexion CAD Mouse used for more than a year. It comes with protective casing!

Existing Feature

  • Dedicated middle button that is separated from scroll wheel.
  • Two or more programmable side buttons, with one-click zoom in/out function.

Now add the following:

  • USB-C
  • Multi-device and Multi-OS capability (like Logitech)
  • Top scroll wheel to be able to switch between clicky and smooth scroll (like Logitech)
  • Side scroll wheel like the Logitech MX Master 3
MX Master 3
Logitech MX Master 3

Let’s Hope

Assuming that Logitech and 3DConnexion partner up to create the ultimate CAD mouse. Until then, the best mouse based on our review is still the professional 3DConnexion CadMouse. We are not saying the other mouse cannot be used, but seriously speaking the middle button makes a lot of difference. We recommend that you try it out if you still feel the traditional scroll wheel middle button is enough.


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