Autodesk Fusion 360

Autodesk Fusion 360 was officially released today.  The most apparent difference between Fusion 360 compared to Inventor Fusion is that it’s a cloud application and that all data is stored on the Autodesk serve.

Installation

You can download Fusion 360 from http://fusion360.autodesk.com.  There’s even a 90 day trial available.  All that you need to login and get started is an Autodesk ID.  Once you have installed the program, the interface for Fusion 360 is very much like a web application such as the LinkedIn website.

Importing

Importing files from other manufacturing CAD packages such as Inventor or SolidWorks is fairly straight forward.  In the web interface, there is a tab for import where you can choose to browse for the file that you want to import.  The import is not instantaneous and is processed in the background on Autodesk’s servers.  When the import is finished you will receive an alert in the Fusion 360 application, as well as an e-mail, telling you that the import process is finished.

Interface

If you’ve used Inventor Fusion in the past, performance is very similar.  The biggest changes are with the interface itself which is more compact.  Even though the interface is more compact, there are a lot more features built into it.  There is now support for motion based around joints, new geometry types, and analysis options unavailable before.

When first using the software, note that there are three key workspaces, Sculpt, Model, and Patch.  These drastically change the commands available at your disposal.

Mouse Wheel Zoom

The mouse wheel zoom in the program is the default Inventor standard where rolling the mouse forward zooms out and rolling the mouse wheel backwards zooms in.  You can change this behavior in the preferences:  See the screen shot to see how to get to the preferences and adjust the Reverse zoom direction setting.

Conclusion

To find out if Fusion 360 meets your needs, it’s best to try the trial as the interface is very intuitive for how much power the software has.  If you need a quick and easy tool for 3D modeling with a small footprint, then Autodesk Fusion 360 may be exactly what you need.

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