New guy in Ohio here... Love the machine but Fusion is a real handful

I’m an older guy 62 and have been in manufacturing engineering all of my career programming Amada lasers, Amada CNC turret presses, and AKS high def plasmas… Taught CNC programming for a machine tool builder as well… Been with Autodesk products since AutoCAD 2.14…

But that Fusion is so convoluted compared to SheetCam (I used SheetCam for 3 years on an AKS 8’ x 40’ CNC table with 300amp high def hypertherm)… If all you’re doing is creating 2D artwork you’re going to be killing yourself with Fusion IMO.

Anyway, if your goal is to take svgs or dxfs into a cam package for cutting, and want the absolute easiest workflow, I would say stay with sheet cam even though it’s $150 when you count your time learning the fusion you will be far far ahead by sucking it up and get something that you can learn in a couple hours instead of a couple of days.

Anyway, long story short a guy bought my machine in 2020 and not so frustrated with Fusion he let it set in his shop corner for 3 years and before he decided to sell it to me. It was brand new all I had to do was wipe the dust off of it and he did a nice job assembling. Got it home last week and put a thermal dynamics cutmaster 42 on it and the darn machine works like an absolute champ once you get the program created.

I’m a national service manager for a fabrication machine tool builder out of Germany presently and all I can tell you guys is something I bitch and preach about everybody that’ll listen on my day job… I know it’s a plasma and soot is generated for sure but try to keep your machine clean especially the bearing ways and the bearings themselves. Our machines all have 30 mm ball screws in the X and Y direction and it is still amazing that people will grind right next to the machine as the parts come off and they wonder why they’re replacing $4,000 ball screws every couple of years. Machine longevity and accuracy depends on it!!!

Super happy with the machine and couldn’t afford tens of thousands of dollars for an AKs or Lincoln so this fits the bill for my yard art habit LOL


Thanks for posting this I will try to remember not to do this! I don’t very often but I have before.

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Welcome to the group from another 62 year old but not nearly as experienced as you! I am fumbling my way through this new world but still feel like I’m learning to walk all over again…

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Outstanding results. Glad you got things going!

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You’re the man Jim thanks for the words of encouragement yesterday. It seems like that’s what it took just taking a deep breath saying you can do it and then sitting down and watching what you’re doing carefully. Thanks again

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Yeah that company is a well-known copper manufacturer in Eminence Kentucky and they have been through at least eight or nine $4,000 ball screws over the last 10 years because they just don’t get the fact that oil or grease combined with the grit from a grinding belt or disc makes the perfect combination for lapping compound LOL. It amazes me that those tiny little ball screws on these machines do as good a job as they do… I would have guessed that there would have been all kinds of all screw “whip” that would wear things out prematurely whenever you were making a rapid traverse from one side of the table to the other but these things stay surprisingly quiet. Well just remember take care of your machine treat it like it’s a show car and it should last a long time, :grin:

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That’s for sure, just stick with it and it will come as long as you keep trying a little bit each day. If the fusion 360 gets to be too big of a deal, that’s why the previous owner of my machine gave up and sat it in the corner for a couple of years before he sold it, then I would strongly suggest SheetCam. Like I said I used it on the big AKs and it was a piece of cake to learn.

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Finished product mounted to our mailbox… I’m going to go back through and find the post that I slammed Fusion 360 and eat crow and retract it LOL

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Fusion does take some time to learn…I would fully agree. Similar to you, Engineer/AutoCad background/Robotics/Electronics/CO2 Lasers…and it was a frustrating few months no matter how many videos I watched, but on the other side of it now!

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Yep I agree, you just have to muddle through and put in time and it definitely gets easier :+1::+1:

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Forget con fusion and go with a simple 2d CAD program to generate the.dxf files then put them into sheetCAM to generate the tool paths. Programs take a while to learn but you will be successful if you stick with it a couple of weeks make sure the CAD program is resident on your computer and not internet based like con fusion. In our shop we had a poor Wi-Fi connection which made everything very slow that caused extra mouse clicks due to impatience with frustrating results

73 and happy cutting
MP near Boston

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I think you hit the nail on the head since Fusion is web-based, a lot of times I was assuming that I wasn’t doing the right thing when really the stupid software was in a holding pattern communicating through the Wi-Fi.

I have AutoCAD 2000 which I’ve been using for at least 20 years I think. It’s resident on my laptop… But it doesn’t do so well with text fonts and things like that for signs.

I’m slowly getting used to Fusion so I’m going to stay with it I just got a two-sided sign done for a local Yorkie rescue, being displayed perpendicular to the street I had to reverse the text on one side of the sign to make it readable from both directions but it turned out pretty good. I’m going to stick with it for another couple of weeks and think I’ll be okay.

And I used sheet cam in the past and absolutely love that stuff it is super simple to learn.

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I would recommend using SVG files if you’re going that route. Much easier to manage and curves are describes as curves, not a series of a gazillion little line segments. Scales with much more certainty too.


You are absolutely right, chelenjim turned me on to that as well. I grabbed whatever clipart I need and then use an online free converter to convert it to SVG and it pulls in and scales very nicely. I would hate to try that with the dxf :frowning:

The other thing mentioned above that is absolutely the truth is that since it’s online, you never know whether you have made a mistake, or it is just churning because of the info passing through the internet… That also really really slows up learning curve

My wife is selling dog bows she hand makes after making a few for our little Yorkie. I’ve got an enco boxing pan break and an enco jump shear so I cut this on the crossfire pro and bent it up on the box and pan brake.

I’ve programmed amada 3,000 w lasers and and AKs 300 amp hypertherm plasma table and it is a pleasant surprise how much detail this little thermal dynamics cut Master 42 and the crossfire pro are capable of doing. I am really pleasantly surprised