I’ve been using Autodesk Fusion360 on actual projects now for a few weeks now and am really starting to like it. It really has everything I need to get the job done. It’s a both a great history based and free form modeler. It’s a data management tool that allows both sharing and collaboration. It has assembly and motion study features. You can render and visualize your design. It works well with imported files from a multitude of other CAD platforms. It directly supports 3D printing. It offers a whole subset of built-in CAM tools. It has built in learning tools, a great support community and is very low cost to use.
Recently, Desktop Engineering Magazine put together a list of the top 10 reasons why you should develop in the cloud with Fusion360. With all this being said, Fusion360 also is not quite a mature product yet and has quite a few things that need improving. The good news is being a cloud based product, these updates can be integrated often without much hassle to the user base.
- Drawings: Improvement, improvement, improvement!
Although Fusion360 has the ability to create drawings of your designs. It’s not much of a tool that you can take serious yet. If you want to create a few views of your drawings and slap some basic dimensions on it, it works but that’s the limit of the functionality. The list of features it’s missing it endless, like section views, centerlines, bill of materials, custom title blocks, tolerances, exploded views, etc. Really the only feature that’s usable is the ability to export it to a DWG and edit it in AutoCAD or Inventor.
- Component workflow improvement:
Fusion360 allows you to create a design by adding components to it one at a time from within the context of the assembly. It’s really a sophisticated way to mature your design quickly. It would be beneficial if the ability to demote a component from your assembly to it’s own standalone file existed. Currently, you can only save-copy-as out to a file but the original component remains within the context of the assembly file.
- Weldments: Give me some beads:
Not much else to say here, except the ability to create weldments is missing. Yes, there is ways to simulate a weldment but not true welding functionality. I would really like to see what’s available in Inventor but expanded to allow for more detailed weld design and analysis.
- FEA analysis:
We will not complain if Autodesk gives us some form of FEA analysis in Fusion360. The fact that Fusion360 is a cloud product without giving the ability to use the cloud based optimization to test the quality and performance of our designs is perplexing.
- Handoff between Inventor and Fusion360:
Built-in tools to pass your design off between Inventor and Fusion360 would bring life to the new push for Any CAD at Autodesk.
Autodesk being a step ahead, has posted the feature 2015 roadmap for Fusion360 which is a good sign of things to come. Another good thing is Autodesk has an IdeaStation forum for Fusion360, these wishes will be posted there soon if they are not already. The ideas that already match, I’ll be adding my kudo votes for… like better drawings.