What is Fusion 360 for and how you benefit using it

Autodesk Fusion 360 is an advanced product development platform which enables CAD, CAM and CAE tools. The tools available in Fusion 360 enable users to easy and fast exploration of design ideas with cloud base design management system. The Fusion 360 data panel and activity dialog enable you to collaborate with your team, keep track of versions, comments and tasks. Also it allow you to save and retrieve data from the cloud.



Figure: Fusion 360 Interface

Fusion 360 modeling techniques

Fusion 360 allow designers to use mainly four form of modeling techniques within the platform.

  1. Freeform modeling & sculpting
  2. Solid modeling
  3. Parametric modeling
  4. Mesh modeling

Freeform modeling & sculpting

Freeform modeling and sculpting allow you to exact amount of curvature you want in your designs. Fusion 360 gives you advanced tool set to create smooth and precise surfaces by editing the model’s face, edges and vertices.

Solid modeling

Fusion 360 consists of a historic timeline which capture commands used during the design process. Users will be able to go back and edit any past operations without needing to update entire design. Entire model will automatically update historic timeline update point onwards.

Using solid modeling tools, you will be able to perform lofts, patterns, and powerful boolean operations for your existing model.

Parametric modeling

Parametric modeling feature allow you to set precise parameters to your sketches. These parameters can store in variables. You will be able use these parameters for model dimensions and with specific values as well as relational functions. Whenever you need to change shape of your model you can simply modify values of the stored variables. For example if you want to design and 3D print project boxes for your hobby projects you can use this feature. By changing simple variable value, your model will update it’s dimensions and you can get different size of project boxes.

Mesh modeling

Mesh modeling feature allow you to modify STL or OBJ data file as a reference for your Fusion 360 design file. After importing your STL or OBJ file to Fusion 360 interface, it can create T-Spline faces right on top of the surface using object snap, or use the pull command to snap vertices right onto the mesh body. This allows you to freely edit the T-Spline model.

Engineer your design with integrated simulation

After design your model using Fusion 360, you will be able to engineer your design with integrated simulation. This is the one of the advanced feature of Fusion 360 platform. You will be able create assemblies to validate fit and motions. When you create motions, you can use photorealistic rendering and animations.

Simulation & testing

Before fabricating your model, it is important to understanding how your design works can save your time and resources. Create tests and animate test results to help you to determine the weakest areas of your model or areas that are most likely to fail.

You can choose from several types of simulations

  • Linear static stress
  • Modal frequency
  • Thermal
  • Thermal stress

Using this simulation and testing feature you will be able to assemble your parts in the same environment in which you designed them. You can simulate and test your model by joining parts as they are built, or select specific joint origins and positions. Fusion 360 allows you to choose among a variety of different joint types, such as rigid, revolute, slider, cylindrical, pin-slot planar, and ball. Also simulation platform able to set joint limits to get the exact amount of movement you need in your designs, and preview the in real time.

Fabricate your design

You can use a 3D printing technology to make a prototype of your design. This allow you to understand and examine your model before send to production workflows.

3D printing utility help you to prepare your designs for 3D printing by previewing the mesh structure, making pre-print refinements, and automatically creating optimized support structures.

This is easily integrate with 3D printing software utilities which allows you to prepare and communicate directly with your 3D printer. Fusion 360 also compatible with a variety of 3D printers, including direct integration with printers from Type A Machines, Dremel, MakerBot, and Ultimaker.

After analysing your prototype model, you can use a CAM workspace to create toolpaths to machine your components.


Fusion 360 is a fast growing product development platform which support cloud-based 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE. This platform combines industrial and mechanical design, simulation, collaboration, and machining in a single package. The tools in Fusion 360 enable fast and easy exploration of design ideas with an integrated concept to production toolset.

You will be able to download Fusion 360 as a free 30 day trial and try it out on your Mac or PC. After trial period, you can subscribe per month or on an annual basis subscriptions.

Good news is, Fusion 360 is free to download and use for the students. If you are a student you can request student licence. Depending on your education period and where you based in you will be able to allow free licence up to 3 years with Autodesk Fusion 360. For more information about Fusion 360 licensing and downloads, please visit Fusion 360 official page.


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