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Parametric Modeling with Autodesk Fusion 360

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Review by oldnovice posted 11-02-2017 03:00 AM 808 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Parametric Modeling with Autodesk Fusion 360 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is a well written introduction to Fusion 360, and it can be very helpful if Fusion 360 available on your PC as book is written as tutorial.

The text starts, and repeats on occasion, with how to navigate the setup, log into Fusion 360, and how to use history tools. At first this seems a little redundant but, at least for me, it was worth the repetition as the history tools are different from anything I have used before and in Fusion 360 these tools are extremely helpful.

There are many examples of methods to create 3D models from very simplistic to very complicated, creating 2D prints, and some chapters on 3D printing but no CAM for machining. I found it disturbing that the text has incorrect or missing dimensions versus what has been tutored on the screen example. An intentional teaching tool or are just errors in publication? The beginning the exercises require input that are not obvious or may not be available until later chapters. As this book will probably be used by students this may lead to confusion as there is no listing of errors that a reader may find.

At times the book appears to have come from two different sources as, while being well written, some of the exercises look like the were printed on dot matrix printer with barely readable text and broken line drawings.

This one book is just the very tip of the Fusion 360 capability and fortunately there are many other books and virtually more videos that focus on learning Fusion 360. Additionally Fusion 360 has a number of “built in” tutorials that are extremely helpful and there are YouTube videos that make use of the tutorials to help get started.

The following is an unabashed commercial for Autodesk and Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is probably one of the best CAD/CAM applications and keeps growing with greater functionality so any given book cannot cover anything but the basics.

I bought the softcover book because I did not want to switch between and ebook screen and the Fusion 360 screen. I would suggest to start the built in tutorials or the videos showing these tutorials, YouTube videos, and a Fusion 360 book on the selected area of interest, from Autodesk.

The following is a portion of my CAD/CAM background.

I have been using CAD since the early 1970’s with the Calma System and migrated through those iterations until GE sold Calma in 1988. Many other CAD programs have come and gone by my mouse. In 1995 I was introduced to Solid Designer and extensively trained with in house classes. In 2002 Creo| released a reduced feature set of what was Solid Designer and in 2002 called Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express that I have been using since that time. But now my focus is on Fusion 360 as it does have everything I need and much more.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"




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oldnovice

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18 comments so far

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10490 posts in 2197 days


#1 posted 11-02-2017 03:03 AM

Thanks for the review, been wondering about that book.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4130 posts in 2981 days


#2 posted 11-02-2017 03:03 PM

Can’t say I would ever need CAD, but I do use SketchUp for woodworking project design with some frequency. People tend to stick with whatever they are used to, and make it work when a different program should probably be used. I still use the CorelDraw Suite rather than Photoshop, just because I am used to it. I used to design projects in CorelDraw, a vector graphics program. But once SketchUp came along with an inexpensive 3D approach, I shifted to it.

I just completed some refinishing projects for our handicapped daughter’s new house. I also made an inexpensive pine dining room table. Right now I am taking a break from the shop and doing some things with flight simulation, an old hobby. I can’t say I am fond of refinishing things, so I am glad I am done with that.

Heading off to our vacation home in Washington tomorrow. Hopefully will post a few projects that I have completed. Just didn’t find the time, especially with the recent push to populate a house with inexpensive furniture.

Getting cold here again, but at least there is no snow on the ground. What little we got a couple weeks ago got washed away by some rain.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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Green_Hornut

140 posts in 2437 days


#3 posted 11-02-2017 03:28 PM

When the only tool you know how to use is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. I try and keep as broad a palette of tools that I know how to use as possible. It not only keeps you fresh but each tool has some type of feature that makes it best suited. I agree that the learning curve for Fusion 360 is steep and I intend to look into the book if not to only confirm what I know and hopefully expand on that knowledge.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

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oldnovice

6393 posts in 3185 days


#4 posted 11-02-2017 06:26 PM

Green_Hornut, the book is over $50, the YouTube videos are free and don’t take up bookshelf space.
I suggest the basic ones from Lars Christensen as a start and the two beginner ones that follow.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7401 posts in 2145 days


#5 posted 11-03-2017 01:01 PM

I’m sticking with Solid Works. We have a seat of Inventor and only use it when a customer sends us an Inventor file.

I gave Auto Desk the middle finger when our VAR tried to tell me that the terms of use for our seat of the Designer Suite required us to stay on subscription. Now they have stopped selling seats with perpetual licenses altogether and have morphed the maintenance subscription into a lease contract, so they can perpetually pick your pocket.

We have SW 2016 & 2017 installed, but still do our daily work in 2015 so we can stay compatible with our customers. So we went off subscription completely this year, as we didn’t see enough real improvement in the annual releases, we don’t want to bother re-learning the user interface when the changes don’t seem to really do much for us, and my crew is proficient beyond the need for tech. support.

Our strategy now is to buy a new seat every 3 years. That saves us money and keeps us current enough, and increases the number of licensed seats we have. We can then use that one seat to up-save any of our models if we need to for customer interface.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Mainiac Matt

7401 posts in 2145 days


#6 posted 11-03-2017 01:15 PM


Can t say I would ever need CAD, but I do use SketchUp for woodworking project design with some frequency.
- Jim Bertelson

Hey Jim,
Even though SketchUp’s architecture is closer to a graphics design package and uses a mesh to create a surface geometry (as opposed to the NURBS as used in engineering based packages), I think I would still classify it as CAD.


I still use the CorelDraw Suite rather than Photoshop, just because I am used to it.
- Jim Bertelson

My Dad was big time into photo editing and had both the Corel and Adobe packages… He always told me that Corel was the better package, but that Adobe had better marketing and so it dominated the professional user market.

Kind of like Lotus 123 vs Excel

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Rick_M

10490 posts in 2197 days


#7 posted 11-03-2017 07:13 PM

I’ve used/use both Adobe and Corel. Adobe has slightly more capability and less buggy. IMO, Photoshop is hands down a better product than Photo Paint, but Draw is more intuitive and quicker to learn than Illustrator. Only thing is Draw doesn’t handle multi-page docs as well IMO. If someone asked me which vector program to buy, I would say if you are a professional and interacting and trading files with other professional artists = Adobe. If you are budget conscious or a home gamer = Corel. And you can always swap files in pdf format but Adobe likes to be jackasses and make changes so that new versions won’t open correctly in Corel.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View DS's profile

DS

2794 posts in 2237 days


#8 posted 11-03-2017 09:50 PM

I am fairly functional in AutoCAD and I’ve seen some parametric functionality overlaid using LISP. (Router-CIM comes to mind)
I’m not familiar with Fusion 360 but it sounds very intriguing.

Cabinetvision is parametric for modelling and it is quite useful in automating much of my design work once I have set up my joinery techniques, etc. Because I have some programming background, I can even write additional functionality like drag and drop options, door effects, etc.

I am curious if the Fusion 360 parametric modelling can be focused, programmed, or directed, towards the specific task of woodworking design similar to Cabinetvision.

This is definitely on my list to investigate in my “spare” time. (Whenever that will be)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Rick_M

10490 posts in 2197 days


#9 posted 11-03-2017 11:35 PM

F360 is aimed at CNC and 3d printing.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Woodmaster1

835 posts in 2404 days


#10 posted 11-04-2017 12:58 AM

I am finishing up a seven week fill in for the CAD program at the local Vocational School. They use Inventor, solidworks and AutoCAD. I like Inventor the best but that goes to being the one I use the most. I am going to miss not being able to use the software once the new teacher starts in a week. I may have to buy a windows base laptop so I can download an educational version.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4130 posts in 2981 days


#11 posted 11-04-2017 07:34 PM

I bought the first or second version of Corel, and have upgraded every 3 versions or so in recent years. The upgrades were too expensive to do on a frequent basis, and didn’t give enough bang for the buck.

99.9% of my graphics program usage is for hobbies, so don’t put much money into it.

I do a lot of photo editing revolving around my flightsim hobby.

For those of you using SketchUp, I made a number of woodworking textures a number of years ago that are much more realistic than what I could find elsewhere. They seamlessly tile, and work like you would expect them to. I have made them freely available, and have placed them in the public domain. If you want a copy, send me a private message with your email address, and I will email them to you. I know a number of LJ’s already use them.

Here in La Conner WA, and it is no warmer here than in Anchorage. However, that will undoubtedly change soon.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View NormG's profile

NormG

5869 posts in 2821 days


#12 posted 11-08-2017 12:16 AM

Wow, I have not heard anyone mention Lotus 123 for many years, it was an excellent package to use.

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4130 posts in 2981 days


#13 posted 11-08-2017 01:53 PM

In the 1970’s my first computers were Commodore PET’s. In 1983 I bought an IBM with a, oh my gosh, 10 MB hard drive. I ran WordPerfect, Symphony, and dBase I believe. Used them to run my office for 6 months prior our clinic being built. As I recall, Symphony was a souped-up Lotus 123…

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10490 posts in 2197 days


#14 posted 11-08-2017 06:16 PM

Last I heard, IBM had bought Lotus 123 and still uses it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4130 posts in 2981 days


#15 posted 11-08-2017 11:35 PM

Some things age well, but not usually software. But IBM would be able to maintain and reprogram the product as needed since they obviously got the source code.

What follows is a little techie from an old gomer, hobbyist level…

One thing I like about Windows is legacy support, however. I wrote a lot of Visual Basic code, including some utilities. There are three that I use on a regular basis, like daily, that I wrote about 2002. They work fine. I have written VB6 programs in the last few years that still work. They don’t advertise it, because they want you on VB.NET. Much more secure code.

I don’t think you can install the VB6 IDE anymore, but it just lives on my main computer that is a little old at 7 years. It started on Windows 7, and is now on the latest Windows 10. The computer I am typing on is a good portable, but 9 years old. It started with Vista, which I made work like XP, I skipped Win 7, got Win 8, and now it is running the latest version of Win 10 just fine. It also has the VB6 IDE on it, working. That is a 1998 program. 19 years and counting. Thanks MS.

OK, enough techie stuff. It has warmed up to 50 degrees here in La Conner, thankfully. Anchorage is a balmy 23 degrees, and that is why we are here.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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