Fusion 360 opinions


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  1. #1
    Registered Will_9650's Avatar
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    Default Fusion 360 opinions

    Hi all,

    New to the forum and wanted your opinions on using Fusion 360. My experience is with Esprit but I haven't done any programming in the last 6 years. I'm looking for a simple CAM package for my new employer. The most complex machine we have is a Doosan LYNX 220 LYA. We're a typical job shop with lathes and mills. No mold work. Thanks in advance!

    -Will

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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    Fusion is fast and supports the majority of complex geometry and machines. It is low cost, modest hardware requirements, LOTS of learning resources, and other good attributes.

    The primary dark side is the cloud based architecture. I am fine with it, but my aerospace work is not. Starting to use HSM in Inventor or Solidworks for that which is ITAR compliant.

    F360 is an excellent tool as long as you you fully understand the reality of cloud based software. You have very little, if any, control over updates and costs. Autodesk can change anything at anytime.

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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    Additional notes.....
    I abandoned Mastercam about a day after getting F360 and have not turned back. I am faster and more productive with F360.

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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by rx8pilot View Post
    Additional notes.....
    I abandoned Mastercam about a day after getting F360 and have not turned back. I am faster and more productive with F360.
    Wow! What an endorsement! Great info. Thanks!



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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    With any CAM software..... the post processor is a critical element. I made my own posts for the various software products I used over the years. They generally require a considerable amount of hacking and reverse engineering. I have yet to find a post developer that has the ability to make 'cycle start' ready programs - so I dug in to do it on my own.

    Autodesk is using Java Script which is fully documented. There are a number of good resources that define the functions and variables as well as intermediate data that allows for rapid testing. This allowed me to develop my first post on the first day. No editing, cycle-start ready programs. Mastercam took me a solid week to get the same thing.



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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Will_9650 View Post
    Hi all,

    New to the forum and wanted your opinions on using Fusion 360. My experience is with Esprit but I haven't done any programming in the last 6 years. I'm looking for a simple CAM package for my new employer. The most complex machine we have is a Doosan LYNX 220 LYA. We're a typical job shop with lathes and mills. No mold work. Thanks in advance!

    -Will

    Will,

    For ref, I've been using F360 for well over 2 years. I would not be concerned with cloud-based software unless you have customers with security requirements that prevent storing data in the cloud. The software still installs and runs on your local machine. Updates are painless -- the software itself is updated frequently, but I have *never* had a problem with any update not functioning correctly, or breaking an existing feature.

    The best part of Fusion 360 is the support -- not only is participation in the Autodesk/Fusion/Support forum very good, but there are so many users of Fusion, that the sheer volume of "how to" videos on YouTube probably exceeds the amount of ALL other CAD and/or CAM software combined.

    It's inexpensive, it works, it's constantly improving, and the amount of support information available is amazing.

    Go for it. If you don't like it, losing a one-year subscription cost is probably comparable to the price of a few high quality endmills, not the price of a new car (like some of the other software out there).

    PM



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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    I built our CNC a little over two years ago and have used Fusion 360 exclusively. It has been a long, long time since I worked in any CAD program - probably 25 years - and have never worked in CAM. My learning curve was decent and Fusion 360 has allowed me to do everything I've wanted. And you have the option to store files locally if you don't really want them in the cloud.

    David

    David
    Romans 3:23
    Etsy shop opened 12/1/17 - CurlyWoodShop


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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    To be clear.... all files go to the cloud. You have the option of locally backing up your files but only if they don't have any linked parts.

    In general, F360 is 100% cloud based no matter what you do. For my non-aerospace work I don't care. I am so fast and efficient from engineering to CAM programming on top of paying a tiny fraction of what I paid for Solidworks and Mastercam ($20k + $2800/yr maintenance)

    Fusion360 is a serious bang for the buck. When you run into ITAR issues, the transition to HSM is painless. If you run into ITAR issues, the additional cost of HSM will not phase you at all.

    Currently using F360 for very complex mill/turn machines including part transfers.

    Outside of machining, I use Autodesk Eagle to design complex electronics that are integrated in F360. Excellent solution for integrated design of complete products. My current project has over 1000 parts spanning electrical and mechanical systems.





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    Registered difalkner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    I guess for clarification purposes, what I meant is that you CAN store your files locally but yes, they do go to the cloud. You can delete them in the cloud without affecting your local copy but that's extra work that's really not necessary, at least for what I do. The reason I know is that I accidentally deleted a file in Fusion 360 but had just saved it to my hard drive to post on the Autodesk F360 forum. So I just opened the local file and resaved it to the cloud.

    David

    David
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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    I've been using it for a year or so now and still have mixed feelings.

    + Price. Under $100k a year coming in the door? It's free. Otherwise it's only a few hundred a year.
    + Feature set. To get the equivalent with CAD, 5 Axis CAM, simulation, sheet metal etc etc in something like PTC Creo you'd be looking at over $20k.
    + CAM. The CAM on Fusion compares very, very well against even some of the big names.
    + T-spline modelling. Being able to do organic shapes fairly cleanly and easily, AND convert back and forth to solids for constructive geometry? Handy dandy.
    + Under really active development with new features and fixes coming out every month.
    + Huge resource pool of "how-to"s, tutorials and Q&As across the Autodesk site, the F360 forum and the interwebs in general. Huge.
    + Not too buggy. Sorry, FreeCAD...
    + Cloud based if you're bouncing between computers or sharing between people who aren't in the same office. Stupidly convenient when it works.

    - Not all modules are all the way there. In sketches and drawings in particular I find there are things which seem like obvious requirements but they're missing. Go looking for help online and encounter "not here yet but it's on our development roadmap". Usually there's a workaround but it can be frustrating sometimes.
    - The approach of having all parts in one file flies in the face of years of industry experience and can cause pain if you have large assemblies of stock parts.
    - Cloud based. Exporting designs to local files (yeah, it's backwards) loses links and you have to re-upload them to the cloud to actually use them. Internet connection patchy? Brace yourself. Or, honestly, give up until you have a solid connection again.
    - We've seen excellent free CAD software before (alibre?) and so there's naturally a paranoia around Autodesk announcing "everyone now pays $5k a year" once you've built up a decent library of files and skills in Fusion.

    Overall I think it's great for free but perhaps a little immature yet for serious commercial work and there's a huge question mark over just how long this free ride's going to last. I'm happy to continue using it for my own small scale stuff but I don't think I'd recommend it for a team of engineers/designers in a business.



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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    Inventor/HSM is my backup plan if Fusion goes off the rails. Still lower cost than Solidworks and Mastercam that I have used for 20+ years.

    I doubt Autodesk will be dumb enough to kill off Inventor. F360 feels like a business experiment that may or may not stand the test of time. In the meantime, I like the low price.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fusion 360 opinions

    Great info. Thanks!



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