When to use Fusion 360 vs Inkscape for initial design?

Hi all,

So since getting my table firing, I have been trying to immerse myself in Inkscape and Fusion 360. I bought a new gaming laptop so that I can take my design on the go and complete my isolation from the world (not my family of course) as I stay preoccupied on my learning path. :joy: :+1:

I have been playing with both programs and I feel like Fusion is a bit more intuitive to layman folk like me who is not already fully familiarized with CAD terminology and concepts, at least the initial learning curve anyway… I have gone through the majority of the Langmuir CAD and all of the CAM vids and feel pretty solid about working a part up in Fusion 360 and pushing through CAM. On the flip side, I feel like Inkscape has features that you just can’t get out of Fusion when it comes to creating custom graphics (correct me if I am wrong), so I have been in that environment a lot lately trying to make heads/tails out of it. I have found and bookmarked the manual page for Inkscape, and I have also subscribed/saved a few channels/vids as it relates to Inkscape for plasma, Bad Dog Metalworks being one (Great channel btw if one of you guys!).

I have gotten a lot out of my studies already and am worlds apart from where I started just in a short period of time. But in actuality, I am really just scratching the surface for both programs. I still don’t fully understand the difference between objects, paths and lines, open/closed, and how they relate to each other. Oh so much stuff, but I am digesting little bits on the daily. I am currently working on a few bottle opener designs just to have some simple low consequence project to work on and learn with. I am finding this to be tougher than I thought tbh. When I feel like everything is done in Inkscape, I save as a svg and dxf then import the dxf to Fusion, and some details and cutouts are being dropped/not recognized from Inkscape to Fusion. This is not what I am here for though, as I feel like I need to go through the whole manual before I start spitting out questions with potentially easily researchable answers…

What I am here for though is I am curious if somebody has a good basic reference or analogy on when I should use Inkscape vs Fusion 360. Maybe Fusion 360 has the graphic design features that Inkscape has an I am just mistaken? Maybe Inkscape still has benefits despite Fusion having more features that what I initially realize? I guess what I am trying to ask is if somebody can tell me the strong points of Fusion and Inkscape so that better select my tool of choice based on the project that I am trying to accomplish? In my mind, if I am doing some sort of brackets or something that is of clear cut design, I might want to use Fusion. On the flip side, if the project if more creative aesthetic piece, I may want to take to Inkscape. Maybe there are no clear boundaries and it’s all in how well you know how to operate each program? I know that with both programs there are 20 ways to skin a cat, some being more optimal/efficient than others, I just would rather clear this concept up early in my learning as to not create bad habits early if that make sense…

I am getting ready to run out for a few hours, so will be offline for a bit, but genuinely curious about this if somebody has time to give me their take on it or clear any misconceptions that I may have blurted out above.

Let’s try doing a “Teams” meeting together later and I can give you a few tips and tricks I use in my designs. I’m not professional but super fast at the things i do in fusion and inkscape which will open up all kinds of cool stuff. I’ll try this way of teaching the 1% of knowledge I offer in 30-60 mins. You’ll need to install Teams on your computer and have login setup. Send me private message and we can set this up if you want. I was thinking someone should do this for new folks and make few bucks but i haven’t seen anyone offer this type of help with setup on this forum.


@Domo I find that I can do 99.9% of what I need to do with Fusion 360 and a online convertor like https://convertio.co/

I do have inkscape installed but it is rarely opened.

The discord server also works great for this

Langmuir Systems Discord Server


Hi @DonP Thanks for making the offer to take some time out! I don’t want to take you away from your day, but will certainly take you up on it if willing! :smiley: I have a Discord account, but not Teams though. If you don’t have Discord it would only take me a couple of minutes to create a Teams account and PM you my info. :+1:

@TinWhisperer Well dang, that’s interesting… :thinking: (Quietly downshifting, roll slowing) I really think that Inkscape is neat and have really enjoyed learning about it and would still like to learn it for a number of reasons, but yeah that tells me a lot. :+1: I have been scrambling from one tutorial or thread to another trying to figure out what software I should use being as I see many using Inkscape for tracing and whatnot. I already have Fusion open and digging in on a fresh sketch. :smile:

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Ahh, I see that you joined the DIscord today @DonP

I’m interested if this will work out so let’s try it.

Can we share screen and talk in discord?

Dino_Opener.dxf (14.8 KB)

How did discord work for you guys ? @DonP and @Domo

I just finished helping someone there myself .

We moved to Teams after a few minutes because I use it every day. Can you share screen in Discord?

@TinWhisperer It worked out well! As @DonP mentioned we used Teams because it has desktop sharing.

This button give you many sharing options weather by application or by screen.

Or in my case I share my webcam which I send a custom feed to .

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I’ll have to try using Discord next time.

Ahh, I see… A quick swipe up on the controls reveals the screen share option on my Android dev.

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