Wacom Loupedeck for faster modeling?

Does anyone use Wacom Loupedeck for modeling? If so, what do you like about it and how have you assigned the keys, dial and knobs?

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Moved thread from #support:blender-artists-website-support to #general-forums:blender-and-cg-discussions.

I’m not a fan of how expensive things like this are, so I built my own loupe deck/ stream deck / custom Blender controller a while back. It has four rotary encoders (dials) and 5 buttons. It has made my workflow much faster, I love it :slight_smile: It cost about 40 dollars for all the parts, vs the loupedeck which costs 300. It’s definitely worth making your own instead of buying one, you’re welcome to message me if you want to learn more.

What parts did you use to make it?

An Arduino Leonardo with the HID library so it can act as a HID device is the core. You need to use a Leonardo, not an Uno, but you can get a knock off brand for 5 bucks on AliExpress. (Paying full price for any brand name arduino is a huge waste!)
Around that, an 80 cent plastic enclosure box I drilled some holes in, some generic LEDs and push buttons I had lying around, some rotary encoders from AiExpress (I think they were these but I’m not sure), a few grams of solder, and about 50 feet of 20 gauge hobbyist wire :sweat_smile:

The code is supremely simple, it’s really just about assigning keyboard shortcuts to operations in Blender and then sending those. Here’s my code, it’s tailored for what I want but it’s super easy to customize:

I think the parts cost more like 25 total, on second thought.

Also that code isn’t up to date at all, those aren’t the functions I use, but it should still get the main point across :slight_smile:

Lastly, if you want more dials/buttons, you can ditch the two RGB LEDs, which will give you 5-6 pins, which is three more buttons or 1 more rotary encoder and a button. Lastly, you can use resistance gates to wire a bunch of buttons to one pin, so you could easily expand this to have twenty or thirty buttons.

One more thing, I keep remembering details- the knobs for the rotary encoders are sold separately. I got some that looked like this, there’s a lot of different options on AliExpress:

Yes, I am using electric tape to hold things together, it looks kind of sketchy but it works perfectly and I didn’t want to fabricate a lid :sweat_smile:


You can also use this kind of controller

Mixed with addroutes to assign whatever function you need in blender in OSC or Midi.
There is also a thread here on blenderartists by @JPfeP about addroutes.

and if you need to map any type of message to another protocol there is also chataigne


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Another good option! MIDI is slower than pure keyboard shortcuts, but it also does add more functionality and a controller built that way isn’t limited to just Blender. Either way, it’s not worth spending 300 on a Wacom version or 800 on the other big name in this field (I forget who but I distinctly remember the price) when you can do it yourself with a 5 dollar Leonardo, some scrap parts, and a weekend :slight_smile:

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That’s fantastic!
I thank you and so does my wallet🙌

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Any time :wink:
I was wrong, the Leonardo is actually 10 dollars, not five:

These are the buttons I used:

These are the rotary encoder caps:

And these are the rotary encoders:

Grand total- 17.43, including shipping :smiley: Again, you’ll need solder/wire/PCB board, I already had all that, but it’s super cheap.
This is the library that the Leonardo uses:

Note that you can also use a Pro Micro, or re-flash an Uno, but neither option is cheaper than a Leonardo, and I like the number of pins of the Leonardo vs the Pro Micro

This is what I recommend for modeling and sculpting for Blender as a supplementary gadget.

Wacom also has the ExpressKey Remote. It came with my Wacom device, it is not bad however you need to customize it to death to really use it as a daily thing.


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