Fusion 360

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Autodesk Fusion 360

Fusion360 ComakingSpace Logo.png
Type: CAD with integrated CAM
Platform: Windows, Mac OS X (64 bit only)
License: proprietary; free for personal use
Source: Autodesk
Input Formats: tons
Output Formats: STL, DXF, PDF, ...
Users: Lukas, Patrick


Fusion 360 is a CAD program that is free for personal use. It comes with a very powerful CAM suite.

The free version's functionality was limited in late 2020 but is arguably still more than powerful enough for most Makers, as long as you make sure to "archive" projects as soon as you are not working on them anymore to avoid reaching your "10 design limit" (un-archiving later is no problem). [1]

Have a look at this Instructables collection for tons of project ideas involving this software!

There is an "app store" for professional or community-built plugins as well. Several great extensions are collected here.

Edit in Browser

Fusion 360 supports editing inside the browser. This version of Fusion 360 does not yet have the full set of features, but might still be useful in case you can not install the desktop version. Log in with your Autodesk account and select "Edit in browser" on any design or create a new project and select "New => Fusion design".

Multiplying Components

When you copy & paste a component, the copy will still be linked to it and mirrors all modificiations you make to another component of the same type.

In cases where this behavior is not desired, the best workaround seems to be saving a component as an individual file ("Save copy as") and inserting it to the design as a new component. [2] Unfortunately, there is no simple solution like SketchUp's "make unique" feature in Fusion 360.

Slicer

Maybe you have used "Autodesk 123D Make" before and were sad when it was discontinued - but with "Slicer for Fusion", its functionality isn't lost!

With this tool you can "slice" any 3D models into 2D parts (packed or with spacing) which you could cut out with your favorite machine and assemble them by means of glue and/or interlocking slots.

(not to be confused with Slicers for generating 3D printing pathways)

CNC Routing

also see "Fusion 360 CAM Parameters"

Joinery

In contrast to a laser cutter, a CNC router can't cut perfect inside corners because the router bit is circular. To circumvent this issue, reliefs (so-called "dogbones") are put into a design to allow the router bit to cut all the way. There are add-ons for Fusion 360 to help with the design of them.

Laser Cutting

You can export any sketch by right clicking it and choosing "Save as DXF".

Another option is to create a "drawing" from your design and lay out the views in the corresponding window, but this is relatively complicated and only makes sense if you already want to arrange multiple pieces at this stage.


Tutorials

CAM Tutorials