Fusion 360, where do we REALLY stand?

My CF Pro is ordered, Three days ago. Now I’m getting back into Fusion and finding disturbing things. They have been making drastic changes to the policies and limiting us “Not for Commercial” users to the point I can’t really tell if I’m going to be able to use it or not without having to fork out a lot more money. The forum discussions are so outdated I can’t tell where we stand now. What are my real, present day options for designing my parts and getting them produced with my CF Pro when it gets here? I’m seriously thinking about cancelling my order or selling it soon after I get it (I REALLY don’t want to, but if I can’t use it, why go through with it?) I wonder if Langmuir is communicating with Autodesk at all about ‘us’?
I’m a 65 year old retired airline pilot with a slowing brain so it’s easy for too much input to start rambling chaotically in my skull… IOW, please keep it as simple as possible. THANKS!!!

A lot of people myself included do not even use 360. There are lots of free CAD software options FreeCad, Librecad, etc plus lower cost options that are available for 3D design. These programs and SheetCam will allow you to create anything your Pro can cut.

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I do use Fusion for dimensional parts. It works well for me with 2D drawings. I can do everything I need with the free version and find it easy to use, but there are other free/lowcost options out there as @SWomack said.

I don’t use it for post processing. That part of it I didn’t really like so I forked out the money for sheet cam. Purchased though Langmuir and inexpensive. Good choice in my opinion.

For arty stuff I use Inkscape (free) and Affinity Designer (40 bucks I think).

So bottom line, you don’t need to sink a lot of cash into software to make stuff.

Hope this helps.

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As the others said, not having Fusion will not make the table useless. I don’t use Fusion at all. I use FreeCAD for accurately dimensioned parts and Inkscape for everything else. Both are free, open source programs. I use Sheetcam for post processing, which costs $140 through Langmuir, and it makes the CAM process simple.

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Thanks all!!
I found an old Adobe CS4 package I bought years ago and Illustrator loaded on my Win10 computer. So gonna get re-acquainted with that first then look into the Sheet Cam purchase.
But another quick question. With Illustrator I can save as an SVG file. I think I read I can make it export or save as a DXF file (??) but do I really need to? Is DXF the only file formet we can work with?
THanks again!!

If you are using Sheetcam, you can use either DXF or SVG files.

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Started with the "Free"Fusion 360 as well and my subscription just expired today. I tried multiple ways of re installing and it all leads to error pages or back to the pay options…little bummed but I am not going to pay 400.00 a year for 2 D drawing and post processing. I am looking at other options now…Sheet Cam being one of them for post processing, but not sure on the CAD side yet. Maybe Solid Works (Cheaper)

I use Solid works at work for solid parts and it is a significantly better cad package than fusion 360. The sheet metal module in Solid works is very good (not as good as solid Edge IMHO) but very handy if you are fabricating anything with bends . If it is in your budget, you wont be sorry.

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I work exclusively with svg in affinity designer into sheetcam and do art and technical parts with great results.

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Good timing for this post. Fusion just keeps choking us little folks out. I’m just a farmer and don’t need 3D or any of the more complicated programs. What would you all recommend for flat parts, signs, etc? I design on a Mac then cut in my shop using a PC laptop.

Thanks

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Inkscape (free) or Affinity Designer ($50 unless on sale & then $25). All the software you’ll need from a design standpoint.

Then you’ll need a copy of Sheetcam ($140 through Langmuir, $160ish from Sheetcam’s website). You use that to create the toolpaths and G-Code.

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I’m a 72 year old retired farmer , I was using Fusion360 for my cad and cam software, it is a very good detailed software program. Maybe more designed for bigger manufacturers and corporations rather then a hobbyist.I did use it for quite a long time,but it is web based and found the post processing took a long time, and was limited to only ten active projects at a time ,on a free subscription. I now use Vcrave for my cad work , along with Inkscape occasionally, and purchased sheet cam through Langmuir and it works awesome. So happy I made the switch.

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I made myself keep plugging away at Fusion and am finally figuring it out - you have to stay after it on a regular basis I’m finding so as not to forget key elements. Have not started working on the CAM part yet. (Psyching myself up to be prepared to purchase SheetCam…) I too had to re-subscribe but didn’t have any issues there. Maybe delete the program, clear your cookies and start with a new download / install???

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Great to know! Thanks!!!

Once I cleaned up my brain matter all over the room after it exploded (while trying to learn ‘just enough’ about Fusion) I calmed down and took it one line at a time. The initial learning curve is Mt. Everest Vertical! I just kept watching different videos (Mike Festiva has a new three part very helpful series on YouTube). Start with a simple box and grow from there.
I ‘thought’ I had to ‘extrude’ holes to make them go away and get cut out. Nope. That’s taken care of in the CAM function. Just draw the lines. Not sure if this helps but just keep after it. I have tried several of the other programs and Fusion is (for me) by far what I need to make my designs come together. The rest I can draw with but I cannot figure out the precision that Fusion offers.

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