Have you ever purchased an app, a game, or professional software and found it to be seriously lacking? You know, those feelings of frustration and the endless stream of “Who wanted this…” and “Why didn’t they just…” The worst part is that there is usually no hope that the software get better (many “fixes” are worse than the problem they solve).
Like any software, Fusion 360 has flaws, but are those flaws just part of the scenery or can we expect change? Let’s take a look at the last year of updates and see what kind of pattern emerges.
Bugs and glitches raised their ugly heads!
Right out of the gate, in January of 2017, a variety bugs and glitches raised their ugly heads. We saw a series of sketch solver issues ranging from volatile spline handles and snapping glitches to invincible constrained lines that violently resisted the Trim tool by freezing or crashing. Several ordinary sketch situations also caused random crashes, with 3D sketches and constraints presenting particular problems. There were several holes in the user interface, literally, in the form of empty data panels, lingering UI features, and parameter interrupts that kept you from inputting dimensions. On the CAM side we dealt with major hiccups in libraries, tool pathing, work flow, and tool path previews. To top it all off, we saw a stream of issues with Public Share links, file management, collaboration, and appearance libraries.
The development team heard the users and tackled the issues
Wait just a minute! Am I trash talking Fusion 360?! No. Well, sort of… I am trying to paint a picture of what the development team went up against. There they are, building a dynamic and complex piece of software, adding to it while it is in active use. It makes perfect sense that issues would arise. So, the question remains: what did they do about it? They listened. When users experienced problems and posted to the forums, the development team heard them and tackled the issue. When users realized that a tool was lacking and made suggestions on the Idea Station, the development team heard them and made modifications. Over 500 of the new features and refinements, implemented over 2017, were directly influenced by Idea Station posts. That’s amazing, especially in this digital world where consumer voices are easily drowned out.
Personally, I have been using this software for several years and I have seen Fusion transform from a curious sideshow into a vital tool. Rarely, if ever, do I see such a dedicated, conscientious, and talented development team. Fusion 360 continues to evolve into a unique and powerful tool. I am excited to see what lies in store for the future of making things.
Fusion 360 continues to evolve