Fusion 360 Use

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by MiekeRoth, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. MiekeRoth
    MiekeRoth Member
    Having used mainly Zbrush and Blender to make my models, I was searching for a more accurate application and stumbled upon Fusion 360 from Autodesk. It's free if you don't go above 100k revenue (euro or dollar, they didn't specify) and the reviews are very positive. Has anyone here experience with it for tight fittings and such? And is it possible to incorporate models already made in one of the other applications and only do the parts that need to be very accurate in Fusion 360?
  2. MikeyBugs95
    MikeyBugs95 Well-Known Member
    I use Fused ion for all my designs. It's a pretty accurate system but I find that it tends to "underestimate" the radius/diameter or length of small features. For example, a 0.7mm hole might be modeled as 0.699999568458....mm. I don't know why it does this but it seems to only occur when dealing with small features.

    As to using other formats: straight answer... Not as easily as with other programs like AutoCAD or Inventor... If my memory serves me correctly it will only import mesh files (.STL and 1 other mesh), and 2 other file formats... The specific types escapes me at the moment. I think you need to upload the file to the Autodesk cloud (it's a partially cloud-based program after all) and then open it in Fusion. One of the actual Fusion file formats is something like .fxd I think.

    Fusion is a very good program combining many other different program functions in one. The interface is pretty intuitive for a person coming over from another program.
  3. mollylayne
    mollylayne Member
  4. RudyLime
    RudyLime Well-Known Member
    I know @LaurenEDU has been working with Fusion360 for a while now - Lauren do you know more about what @MiekeRoth is asking about?
    MiekeRoth likes this.
  5. mygadgetlife
    mygadgetlife Well-Known Member
    Hi @MiekeRoth,

    I worked with Fusion360 to create my Apple (and Huawei) watch stands, so I know it is accurate as far as correctly scaling it's STL output for 3D printing. Beyond that, you are at the mercy of the usual tolerances of 3D printing in the material of choice. For example a S&F 2mm pin won't fit a 2mm hole, there has to be some tolerance built into the design for these kind of push-fit assemblies.

    As stated above it can import .STL formats and some others with constraints on what you can do with them e.g. imported STLs won't be included in the build timeline.

    Otherwise for 3D modelling it's an excellent piece of software with features being added regularly.

    MiekeRoth likes this.
  6. LoveAndShapes
    LoveAndShapes Well-Known Member
    I stumbled upon Fusion 360 after I had bought a license for Rhino mainly for the Cam features it has. I am still unsure if I want to use it for modelling because with Autodesk you never know....... I can be free today but gone tomorow. I think its a good argument to consider before learning a new software.

    Regards, Robert
  7. psconrad
    psconrad Member
    What file type should I export to in order to get my model printed by Shapeways? This will be my first try with Fusion 360.
  8. sapguy
    sapguy Member
    You don't export to print. Use the Make menu and select the 3D print option. It will then either prompt you to use meshmaker or Print Studio (you would have to download and explore them). I use Print Studio since Meshmaker keeps crashing on my machine. Once in Print Studio, you can orient the object as you like then Export to .STL file type. Use the STL file type to upload to Shapeways.

    Also use Youtube for help...there are a lot of fusion tutorials there that helped me get used to using Fusion. I have been using Inventor for the past year, but made my two latest models with Fusion. The switch learning curve isn't great.
  9. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    I'm a Zbrusher too! :D

    Zbrush and Blender operate via what's known as polygonal modeling. This works with XYZ coordinates making up points that form triangular faces to represent the 3D geometry you're modeling up. While software packages like Fusion 360, Solidworks and SpaceClaim operate via what's known as solid modeling. With solid modeling, mathematical formulas are used to describe 3D geometry you're modeling up. So, the good thing to know is one can convert a solid model to a polygonal model but it is extremely difficult to convert a polygonal model to a solid model. Consequently, when you're working with Zbrush or Blender and want to export 3D geometry to edit in Fusion 360 you are going to run into problems. Fusion 360 can import something like the 3D printing industry standard STL ( Standard Tessellation Language created by the inventor of 3D printing Chuk Hull and his company 3D Systems) yet in most cases it won't be very usable as a solid model.

    What I mean by not very usable is, well, when you do solid modeling for a while you really really appreciate that all of those triangles are GONE! :D You get used to working with perfect looking geometry and the software mostly only works with perfect looking geometry. So, when you import something like a polygonal model in the way of something like an STL file and try to convert it to a solid there will be problems with converting all of the facets. Generally, you'll end up with a solid model that's not very usable as a solid model because of the imperfect conversion of all of the facets.

    So what to do? Just keep it in mind while working to try to keep the workflow going from solid model to polygonal model, not the other way around. So let's say I was going to make something like an incense burner with a nice dragon motif and I wanted it to have a cover that could open and close via a hinge. So, I'd start off in Zbrush doing the sculpting and then I would design the hinge with all of the desired clearances in Fusion 360 and then I would export the henge into Zbrush and attach it to my sculpture and from Zbrush I would export as an STL via the 3D print exporter for 3D printing in something like brass.

    Except I don't use Fusion 360 most of the time. I mainly prefer using the free reduced function version of SpaceClaim called DesignSpark Mechanical. If you'd like to try SpaceClaim / DesignSpark, get the first version that has the blending function enabled, which can found here for 32 bit and here for 64 bit. In later versions, they removed the blend command. Comparatively, Fusion 360 is a full package that can be used for free while DesignSpark Mechanical is free but has numerous functions disabled compared to the commercial version. Sometimes one runs into situations where one wishes that the complete functionality were available, like for example it doesn't allow the 3D mirror command to be used. However, I use DesignSpark Mechanical because it's overall functionality is lightyears beyond everyone else! When I can afford the commercial version one day I'll most definitely buy it! :D

    When I use Fusion 360 I think it's ok overall, but I feel like I'm using a CAD package from the MSDOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) days and it's just plain clunky and awkward. On the other hand, had if I never used SpaceClaim before I would think it was pretty darn good! :)
    Daphne likes this.
  10. MiekeRoth
    MiekeRoth Member
  11. MikeyBugs95
    MikeyBugs95 Well-Known Member
    Actually it's even simpler than that. The 3D Print option can export directly to .STL (or some other mesh file type) and you can save to a folder without needing to go through Print Studio or Meshmaker or any other mesh-making programs. All that's needed is unchecking the "Send to 3D Print Utility" option.
    rolandblais and mygadgetlife like this.
  12. sapguy
    sapguy Member
    It amy be simpler to do it that way, but you lose ability to orient your part.
  13. MikeyBugs95
    MikeyBugs95 Well-Known Member
    To do a home print, yes. But Shapeways has the Orientation Tool so you could designate your 'favored' orientation for the engineers to consider (or use).
  14. murpheyd
    murpheyd Member
    I am new to 3D printing, a retired engineer, that plays with trains. I designed a firbox for an old 1950 Steam Engine then printed on my M3D and it fit. well not right away about a week of tuning and tweaking it does fit. So I thought heck I need to send this to shapeways and get a real high quality printout. But they said my file was too big. I am shocked its a small part really. are they compression methods for Fusion 360 or is there a format that is better for Shapeways file limitation, the STL from Fusion was 96MB. Thanks for any guidance. Old people need help too.
  15. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    You can decimate your STL in Fusion 360 by following this quick tutorial. For uploading to Shapeways, you want it under one million triangles, which comes out to about 48 Mb for STL file format.

    Also, when exporting to STL format you can tell Fusion 360 how refined you want the STL file to be.
  16. murpheyd
    murpheyd Member
    Outstanding, thank you so much. Being new I was just happy to have a nice design and print on my M3D, I had no idea about sizing. Good tip. So happy can't wait to resize and upload
  17. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member