I've been looking, and drueling over the Space Ball mouse that can be used with Pro/E at a low price of $500 (u.s.) ... Has anyone used something cheaper - like a joystick for instance with pro/e? If so, how well did it work out?
I haven't tried to use anything other than a spacemouse or spaceball. To my knowledge, drivers do not exist for any other devices.
I used to do some of the design for the spaceball 4000 product and use it everyday. Everyone engineer I know who has used the spaceball would be loathe to part with it. It really is a fantastic tool for visually taking in your model and quickly orienting it.
The Spacemouse has a more refined sensor mechanism but IMO holding a puck is not the most natural way to manipulate your models. Also, the spacemouse has hard metal stops and makes an audiable 'clack' sound when it reaches its limits. The spaceball has a more comfortable palmrest and the ball is natural to use.
3D Connexion (a merger of the former SpaceTec and Logicad) now sells both products. A tip -- if you're buying a computer from Dell or the like, you can usually buy a spaceball with the computer for a much reduced price.