Getting Started with Fusion 360


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If a person doesn’t have or have access to CNC machines, is learning F360 still a useful shop skill?

My answer is YES. That pretty much defines my situation. Having digital drawing capability & especially 3D & assembly skills is so powerful. Plus, if you ever want to farm out a cnc job from your design, its only an email away. Its the cad file they want, they will have their own cam software specific to their machines. Like anything there is a learning curve & sounds like F360 has played some games lately with whats free & whats not. But seems like it still has a good following & lots of learning references out there. The next step up is a $ steep one to industrial software that pretty much do the same thing at a hobby level.


I’m going to ask what might be a very embarrassing question:
If a person doesn’t have or have access to CNC machines, is learning F360 still a useful shop skill?
I think it is a vital skill, F360 or something similar.
It is a CAD package, so useful for creating designs regardless of how you will end up building it. E.g. the sheet metal part is very useful for patterns. The 3D assembly features help you find out if you designed parts will fit without interference.
My gantry mill was substantially drawn up, and many of the parts layed out from drawings for drilling. I knew the parts would fit beforehand.

E.g. some ppl use CAD to redraw 2D drawings to find out if there are errors in the design, which is often the case. I found errors in a published engine design that way.

The STL export is great for 3D printing, CAM is of course great if you have CNC. If your #D is multiple parts, you know they will fit after creation.



I just started using Fusion 360 over the Christmas holidays. It was a bit awkward at first, absolutely. But with a little perseverance, I started to figure things out. The best tip I could provide is to try to duplicate an existing set of plans or even an object into a 3D model in Fusion. Having an objective really helps you get through the process, as oppose to just messing around with features.

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This is a base for my swing arm lamps. The ones included with the lamp would always break because the plastic is cheap. I plan on 3d printing these in a durable resin.

And yes it worth learning regardless if you own machinery or not. You can always send your plans/files for 3d printing or CNC production.
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Active Member
One thing that I have learned after taking a Fusion course and trying to come back to use it after months of not opening program is that it is a perishable skill set. Back to the beginning of the course again for me.
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