Dear DE Reader:
Earlier this month, Autodesk rolled out a major update to Fusion 360, its cloud-based, subscription platform for 3D CAD, CAM, CAE and collaboration. A ton of new and improved stuff came out that day. Here’s a sampling.
The big enchilada improvement is a sheet metal design and manufacture workspace. Features include a single tool for making base, edge, contour and miter flanges. Your toolbox has a unfold/refold capability for checking out how features look as well as other tools for documenting and dimensioning flat patterns. You can edit, override and save for another day the rules you set for bend angles. There’s also functionality to bring designs into CAM to set up strategies for various cutters.
Speaking of CAM, Fusion 360’s HSM CAM subsystem now gives you more control over part turning. Specifically, you now can specify the front and back of stocks and models when you turn a part. You can also specify the chuck front and, if needed, a new reference origin. Incidentally, this feature was user suggested. Community and developer give-and-take is a big (and fun) side benefit of Fusion 360.
Design, modeling and sketching got their share of attention in this update. One new option lets you toggle thread displays between “modeled” and “cosmetic” for all components, parts and bodies within the same document. This should speed up performance since fewer computations need to be made.
At a Glance: Fusion 360 August Update
- Major update to cloud-based 3D CAD, CAM, CAE and collaboration platform. New workspace for sheet metal design and manufacture.
- New thread display option can speed up your Fusion 360 session.
- New options for working with lofted surfaces.
- New features and enhancements for CAM, sketching and simulation.
- Complimentary trial available.
Sketching now lets you create three-point and centerpoint arc slots. New options for lofting provide the ability to select the kind of continuity you want for rails. You also have greater control when applying Zebra analysis on a loft.
Optimization studies in the Fusion 360 Simulation workspace now let you suppress yet preserve regions. What this means is that you can block out a region and run a quick comparison to see how your study would look like without that suppressed region. No more changing your design to do that.
Well, we’re out of room, so hit today’s Editor’s Pick of the Week link for some more. Then, hit the first link at the end of the main text and scroll down a wee bit to the August 8 update. The third link after the main write-up takes you to the details on everything Fusion 360. There, you can sign up for a complimentary trial, which you really should do. It’s neat stuff.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, DE