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Fusion 360 For Hobbyist

Discussion in 'DRAWING, LAYOUT & CAD' started by kvt, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. kvt

    kvt Active User Active Member

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    OK, I have not even logged in, in a long time. But now have an updated system, and instead of the pencil and paper (napkin) of drawing something out, I thought I would go get and re do my setup for Fusion 360. Well now I cannot find anything but the student or pay version. Was able to reset my password for the Community forums and stuff but need to set up to do drawings again.
    Anyone know if it is still free for hobbyist or is it now pay.
    and if it is still free, where do we download the setup from.
     
  2. RJSakowski

    RJSakowski H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As far as I know, it is still free and the student version is available to hobbyists and is a full version. I will be going to the Tormach open house in a week and Fusion 360 reps. will be putting on a seminar. I will definitely put it on my list of questions.
     
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  3. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    As I remember you just download the pay version. I think the pay/no pay is taken care of during the registration.
     
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  4. gerritv22

    gerritv22 Active User Registered Member

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  5. kvt

    kvt Active User Active Member

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    Thanks, I am trying to instsall now.
     
  6. Wreck™Wreck

    Wreck™Wreck United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As an admitted hobbyist that appears to want to make drawings of parts and print them for use at the machine do you actually need all of the functionality of a full parametric 3D solid modeling/CAM package? Do you have machines that will swallow a CAM generated post?

    If a hobbyist that lacks a 2 1/2-3 axis machine then I suggest the free SolidWorks 2D Draftsight which is a far smaller download (and is also stand alone) and works extremely well for such purposes, when you reach the point where you need such software as Fusion you will no longer be a hobbyist.
     
  7. kvt

    kvt Active User Active Member

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    For some reason the one time I tried solid works it did not seem to work for me. And I never go the hang of it. I figured I would try the Fusion, I signed up over a year ago and then had a computer crash, never reloaded it and tried it again. I have nothing that will use CAM, and One of the things I was looking at with the Fusion 360 was the ability to build each piece and then assemble it Or that is what I was hoping, Have to learn some for now.
     
  8. Baithog

    Baithog United States Florida Machinist Group Moderator H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Kinda depends on what you want to do. Any 2D cad will make shop drawings for something you have a design for. Solid modeling really helps when you start trying to make complex assemblies that you don't want to have to remake the parts repeatedly. I haven't met many that can conceptualize in their mind and not forget to take something into account. I am working on a dovetail slide assembly and it is nice to move the saddle back and forth and see that it doesn't run into anything. As hobbyists, we can generally afford to have a few 'aw-****' moments in a project, but I do get aggravated when I ruin a special piece of metal I ordered. I find the conversion from 2D to 3D modeling challenging, but It is worth the effort for some of the things I want to make. It also helps in keeping this old fart's brain from atrophying.
     
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  9. kvt

    kvt Active User Active Member

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    most of my stuff is normally on napkin, sheet of typing paper, or something like that. But find I want something a little better for a few projects. Just have to figure out how to make them work, I'm still old school and have a drafting kit and T square.
     
  10. Wreck™Wreck

    Wreck™Wreck United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I am old school as well but have been using CAD since 1992, one of the features of old CAD programs such as DreftSight is that they are dimension based, like manual drafting without the pencil. Simply give a feature a start point and an end point, radius, diameter, arc, Etc. by using text commands, I find Fusion and Solidworks far less intuitive after having done manual drawing for years.
     
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  11. RJSakowski

    RJSakowski H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I started drafting with pencil, paper, and eraser in 1958. For thirty years, all my drafting was done in this manner. I have used a half dozen different 2D systems, including AutoCad, and Draftsight. I have been using SolidWorks for the past twelve years.

    The dimension based CAD is the reason why SolidWorks is my tool of choice. When I work up a new design, it invariably needs to be tweaked to get to its final form. With AutoCad, I have to move the lines to change the dimensions and then redimension the drawing. With SolidWorks, I sketch a form. Changing the form simply requires redimensioning. IMO, to efficiently draft in 2D requires thorough planning beforehand to the extent of knowing fairly exactly what the final form will be. This is not too difficult on a simple stand-alone part but a for complicated part which must interface with numerous other parts, this can be a challenge.

    Another reason why I prefer a parametric CAD package like SolidWorks is the ability to visualize a complex part. Before retiring, I worked with a molding company that was designing and producing the multi-cavity molds for a new product. He used AutoCad for his design work and interpreting the drawings was a nightmare. In order to fully understand a 2D drawing of a complex part often requires multiple auxiliary drawings.

    Finally, as mentioned by others, the ability to put parts into an assembly and check for fit and overall operation is invaluable. I have worked with many projects from micro to architectural and would find it difficult to thoroughly grasp the final work without something like SolidWorks. That is why I sprung for the $4+K for my own seat of SolidWorks.

    Learning a new CAD system can be difficult. I struggled when I went from AutoSketch to AutoCad and from AutoCad to SolidWorks. I am currently struggling with the transition to Fusion 360. (I am perfectly happy with SolidWorks but it doesn't have a full featured integrated CAM package.) One aid that I would suggest is picking up some good reference books. I used the AutoCad Users Guide for AutoCad and the SolidWorks Bible for SolidWorks. They do a great job of describing the theory and practice of the systems. IMO, third party authors bring a fresh view to the problems that are often not found in the CAD system users guides. I haven't seen one for Fusion yet but when it comes out, I will get it.

    In picking a guide, I would suggest borrowing or otherwise getting a preview of the candidate book before purchasing as some are better than others.
     
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  12. Baithog

    Baithog United States Florida Machinist Group Moderator H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I guess us old dogs can learn new tricks after all. I learned drafting in the early '60s. I still have my Dietzgen tools, the scales, and my pencils and sharpener. I coveted a professional grade board and machine of my own for the longest time. I ran into one at a thrift store a while ago. Now that I can afford it, I don't need it. It is so much easier to print small jobs and send the bigger ones up the street to the wide format printer instead of inking the drawings.

    Auto desk has quite a few videos with text showing the basic operations to get started. I find the best way to learn Fusion 360 is to just try to model something. I am looking forward to trying out their CAM when I get this machine finished.
     
  13. Wreck™Wreck

    Wreck™Wreck United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I agree with all of what you are saying, the OP was "Cad for a Hobbyist", I merely think that Fusion is overkill for this application, a nice simple 2D package fits the bill, in the past Autodesk had a product called Autosketch which was a stripped down version of Autocad 9 I believe, it was as simple as pie (no pun intended) to use, would run on a consumer 386/486 machine with minimal RAM.
     
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  14. Shepherd

    Shepherd Canada Active Member Active Member

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    Sketch up is a good alternative too.
     
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  15. NEL957

    NEL957 United States Active User Active Member

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    RJ
    Was you able to speak to the Fuson 360 rep? I have the program on my computer but I can not figure out the how to. I am going to give it another try, maybe this time I can put a little more time into it. I am going to youtube and find all the Fusion videos and give them a look, who knows.
    Thank in advance.
    Nelson
     
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  16. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I also struggled with Fusion 360 then I found the NYC CNC videos. They cover the basics up to more complex techniques. I'm by no means a Fusion expert but because of the video content I can now model just about any part I have the ability to machine, including 3D. It's also convenient having an integrated CAM program so I don't have to convert, copy, or transfer files.

    Tom S.
     
  17. Groundhog

    Groundhog United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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  18. NEL957

    NEL957 United States Active User Active Member

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    Thanks Tom, I am a fan of NYC CNC so I'll check it out.
    Again thanks
    Nelson
     
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  19. NEL957

    NEL957 United States Active User Active Member

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    Lars
    Thanks for the lead. I learned a lot about clock repair with the videos and figured I would try the same with the drawing programs. Thanks and I'll be looking
    Nelson
     
  20. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I just went back thru and re-installed Fusion 360 and did the free for one year route.

    I'm a full blown user of Draftsight professional for my day to day use and been using AutoCAD based 2D software for over 25 years. I've been thru a Solidworks training course a few years back which gave me an idea of how to use 3D software. Just can't afford to go the SW route. I'm hoping that Fusion 360 will fill that gap a give me an opportunity to learn the 3D way of doing things. Ken
     
  21. sanddan

    sanddan Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Ken, you might also look at Onshape cad. It runs on your browser, chrome or firefox, so no software download. With the free version your files are out on the web so if you need to keep them private this won't work for you.
     
  22. terrywerm

    terrywerm New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I am still running AutoSketch 9 here and it does the job very nicely. It's great for anything I need to do. Autosketch 10 was the final version, and it is no longer available from Autodesk, although it is available from some aftermarket vendors yet for $80. It does not do full blown 3D, but it is capable of drawing some 3D objects as 3D extrusions.
     
  23. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Does anyone know of a utility software that will convert AutoSketch 9 files to a DWG or DXF drawing file? I have about 300 files I would like to convert over someday. Ken
     
  24. Groundhog

    Groundhog United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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  25. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    XnView will not create a true vector file. But that's ok, it will do a pdf file, that's even better! fixing to give it a try!

    Thanks, Ken
     
  26. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Well, I tried it. It will not open skf file I have. Would not even recognize the file ending. It may have something to do with the version the file is in. If I get some time in the future, I'll mess with it. For now I have to move on to bigger and better things. Thanks all for your help. Ken
     
  27. jimgood

    jimgood United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I feel like the hobbyist has just as much use for CAD/CAM as a professional.

    I used an early Alibre Design a few years ago (now called Geomagic). I found that having something to model object in 3D was immensely helpful as I had trouble visualizing how things could or would look when fit together and in various perspectives. At that time, I was able to run it on my laptop. Once that laptop crashed, I waited too long to replace it. By the time I did, Alibre had changed and it was no longer in my budget. I think at the time it was something like $190 but I don't remember for sure.

    The other thing it had that was really beneficial was the ability to animate moving parts. Not being an engineer or having a math or physics background, there wasn't really any way I could predict motion ratios. It was helpful to design the parts, put them together and watch the operation. I could then make adjustments as necessary.

    Last year, I was shopping around for another program and came across Fusion 360. Looked like a good deal. I bought a refurbed desktop that I thought would work but it the software wouldn't run worth a toot. As I recall, my desktop only met the minimum requirements, which apparently was not enough.

    Forgot one other thing...I was trying to go through the tutorials and there was a command that it would not even execute. Can't remember what it was but it stopped me dead. Gave up on it and uninstalled it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  28. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    Just thought I'd throw this into this thread - I have been using Fusion 360 (still learning!) and feel it is worth the effort if you are doing CNC, for the simple reason that it integrates Solid Modeling and CAM into a single package. It also let's you easily generate paper drawings with dimensions and multiple views from the 3d model easily. There is a real learning curve - don't get me wrong. But the fact that it is free to the hobbyist and constantly improving and adding capabilities makes it worth it o me. On another note, if you do not qualify for the free version, I just received a couple codes good only on January 24 and 25 2017 that will let you buy Fusion 360 for $100 for 1 year (promo code is fusionjan1yr) and 2 years for $120 (promo code is fusionjan2yr). That is a discount of 60% and 80% respectively. Dan
     
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  29. 7milesup

    7milesup H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have been trying to learn Fusion 360 for a while now. Seems like when I think I'm good progress, some issue will stump me and I will come to an abrupt halt. I do find the 360 forum a valuable resource.
    So, how do you generate paper drawings from your 3D views with dimensions. I was actually considering going back to a 2D just because of that.
     
  30. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    It is pretty easy - in the Model space, right click on the header under the browser that is the title of your project and select Create drawing - a dialog box will come up to let you select units of measure, sheet size, and title block. Click Ok and you will see the blank sheet appear and the primary (front) view will show up at the scale it thinks is best suited (you can override that). Place the view where you want it on the sheet. There are options to create additional views, detail views, sections, etc in the drawing space. Here is a link to ge you started. https://knowledge.autodesk.com/supp...drawing-from-your-CAD-file-in-Fusion-360.html Remember that the 3d design is refered to as a model and the paper output is refered to as a drawing when searching for things on fusion 360.
     
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