Gimmick or Contender ... My views on Fusion 360

For Hobbyists, for DIYers, pointless, gimmick ... these were the first thoughts that went through my head when Autodesk first introduced me to the Fusion platform many years ago. I was an Inventor user for 10 years at that point and had built Fusion 360 in my head to be Inventor in the cloud ... how disappointed I was. Not only was it different to use but it didn’t have key engineering functionality, couldn’t connect to Inventor and the data couldn’t be managed in any typical design workflow. So why bother learning it! I then ignored it, more or less for a few years.

I’ve learned my lesson ... How wrong I’ve been!

Gimmick or Contender ... My views on Fusion 360

Fusion isn’t Inventor or even Inventor in the cloud. Its not Creo, SolidWorks, Onshape or any other cad tool. It is its own thing with new ideas and workflows, innovative tools and a fast growing fan base. This one stop manufacturing shop has everything and more that many companies need, without the hangover of managing servers, upgrades and data. 

I’ve recently seen a small company completely transform how they are designing and manufacturing due to Fusion. The ability to analyse thermal loads in their products then jump straight to getting the post processed CAM code all in one environment is saving massive time, money and outsourcing hangovers; perfect for a small company / start-up.

That said I still couldn’t see the light ... fine for one man bands, start-ups and DIYers but how does a larger team use it, integrate it into their processes and adopt it. Something was missing!

Last month we had 2 additions to the software that I now believe have changed this. AnyCAD introduces connections from Fusion to Inventor and back again, and we now have the ability to export from Vault to Fusion. These features, although still being improved, finally mean that more established businesses can use Fusion in their design processes! I’ve had more questions over this technology in the last 2 months than the last 2 years .... why? .... because we all finally get it. We can work quickly in a more innovative manor using Fusion connecting the dots between concept, design, analysis, marketing and manufacturing. 

So, do we still need Inventor then? Why not all jump into this great cloud tool? I believe Inventor has its place and will do for many, many years to come! There is a place and a need for both products for different jobs within a company. There is the need to make large models and detail in the more comprehensive manor we get in Inventor along with the ability to knock up designs quickly, create concepts and test within Fusion. Automation and complex design is great in Inventor. Front line and manufacturing probably will get more from Fusion and so on.

Fusion has managed to catch me by surprise but the fun of learning a new system and workflows, as well as the way my eyes have been opened to what is possible using some of the new technology, like generative design, has taught me to never dismiss something just because it’s not what I expected.

Get stuck in and keep ahead.
The future is here, the future is now!


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