Re: 3D Design
Perhaps. Although the high costs, CRT's, vector graphics, and functionality relative to modern hardware may have put paid to light pen UI. The wire tethering the light pens would also have been unhelpful. In any case, many different input devices have been tried to overcome the shortcomings of keyboard and mouse alone. With flat screen, high res, and speedy hardware, a touch screen interface can have some very useful UI features. Obviously, it could match all the advantages that light pens would have but without the physical tether. Handwriting recognition would be a bonus. The screen itself could show functions or menus accessible on specific screen locations or context. Being able to use your hands to interact directly with the screen together with the speed of modern hardware should make the experience feel very "natural". In short, a lot of potential.
(PS. I hope I haven't posted this comment twice)