Planet Products Improves Design Efficiency By 50% When Using A 3Dconnexion Controller

SAN JOSE, Calif. – May 4, 2006 – 3Dconnexion, a Logitech company, today announced that Planet Products, heralded for innovation in sanitary design for food processing and automation equipment, reported improvement in design creation speed by up to 50 percent when using 3Dconnexion controllers to run Autodesk Inventor 3D design software, compared with using CAD software alone. Additionally, Planet Product’s engineering management noted the ability to resolve issues more quickly and communicate more clearly as the significant benefits gained from adopting 3Dconnexion motion controllers.

Once hampered by aging equipment designs, Planet Products Food Processing division now is highly recognized and honored for innovation and design. Ingenuity and determination, paired with the right tools, including 3Dconnexion controllers and tightly integrated 3D design software, helped Planet Products turn the division’s performance around. Today the company is recognized as having a leading edge in its industry.

“Not only can I think twice as fast using my motion controller as a design tool, but I have also been very successful using it as a sales tool. I can go into a design review and get my point across so much easier than if I were fumbling with keyboard keys. Those who are just using a keyboard and mouse are limiting themselves and building in a handicap,” said Bill Harrison, manager of engineering and R&D at Planet Products. “With 3D design software and my motion controller, we can design faster and resolve issues more quickly because we can communicate better—not to mention that designing is much more fun now. We wouldn’t want to take one—either our 3D software or our motion controller—without the other.”

Harrison’s team started using 3Dconnexion’s SpaceBall® controllers shortly after the company switched to 3D. “I had to complete the design for a major machine for packaging hot dogs, one that was pivotal to our success. We needed to have this critical tool to boost our productivity and meet the tight deadlines we set for ourselves.” Using Autodesk Inventor software and a 3Dconnexion controller, Planet Products produced a newer, smaller, easier-to-use machine that out-performed the most stringent sanitation standards and raised the bar for the entire food industry. As a result, in 2004, and after 50 years in business, Planet Products was honored with its first American Meat Institute Supplier of the Year Award for the company’s significant contributions to the meat and poultry industry. Also, Planet Products was named by CAD software giant Autodesk, Inc. as February’s “Inventor of the Month” for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation, selected from among more than 500,000 worldwide Autodesk Inventor customers.

“We are delighted to provide a tool that was instrumental in Planet Products’ success and has become a must-have in their product development and sales processes,” said Rory Dooley, president of 3Dconnexion. “For a small investment and a short learning curve—only two days for Planet Products—the company was able to reap huge benefits of increased productivity, better designs, greater accuracy, and ultimately, their overall business success story. We take pride that our motion controllers can make such a big difference.”

Next-Generation SpacePilot™ Controller Offers Major Advantages

3Dconnexion’s latest controller, the SpacePilot, provides designers and engineers with a better way to work within diverse visual environments and sub-environments. As a designer moves between CAD environments (for example, from sketch to modeling and then to assembly), the SpacePilot automatically detects the transitions, updates its function keys with the new commands, and displays them on its LCD screen. Default functions are provided for each major CAD or other visual computing environment, and the SpacePilot may be customized, with any commands mapped to correspond to keys on the SpacePilot.

Unlike those who work with only a mouse and keyboard, engineers and designers who use SpacePilot can pan, zoom, and rotate 3D models while simultaneously editing and annotating with the mouse. The advanced sensing and adapting mechanism, combined with other SpacePilot functions—such as the “quick view” commands Top, Right, Left, Front, and Iso (executed at the touch of a button)--enhance workflows and make interaction with CAD software faster, easier, and more fun. The SpacePilot controller is available for purchase on 3Dconnexion’s website, at
About Planet Products

Planet Products has been recognized around the globe for ground-breaking machine design. For more than 50 years, Planet Products has been an innovator in precision equipment design. As an international supplier of equipment for packaging processed meats and ready-to-eat foods, the company’s outstanding sanitary designs have been recognized and honored. The American Meat Institute’s 2004 Supplier of the Year, the equipment supplier was selected for significant contributions to the meat and poultry industry. For more information on Planet Products, visit:

About 3Dconnexion
3Dconnexion, a Logitech Company, is the leading provider of input devices that enhance the user interface for professional applications in design (CAD/CAM/CAE), modeling, animation, and digital content creation. More than 350,000 designers, animators, and artists use 3Dconnexion's award-winning line of motion controllers, including SpacePilot, SpaceTraveler™, SpaceBall and SpaceMouse®.

3Dconnexion is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with offices in Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Wroclaw.

For more information, visit


© 2006 3Dconnexion. All rights reserved. 3Dconnexion, the 3Dconnexion logo, and other 3Dconnexion marks are owned by 3Dconnexion and may be registered. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Cindi Goodsell
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