Product Development Has Changed. So Should the Tools.

This article was written by ROBCOHEE and has been modified from its original version. View original article here.

What Does Autodesk Fusion Do?

How does one describe something that is part Inventor, Solidworks, MasterCAM, Gibbs, EPDM, Vault, AutoCAD, Rhino, Keyshot, etc…?

They might say “It doesn’t have the same features,” and they’ll compare how Autodesk Fusion 360 will model X part click for click in-line with how they would model it in Inventor or SolidWorks, how Keyshot has a particular type of material or how Rhino creates a surface. Of course it’s going to be different in methodology, but in result? This is the kind of dialogue we’ve had with users, one aspect of design at a time, one feature at a time.

So What is Autodesk Fusion 360 Used For?

It’s summed up in 60 seconds right here:

It’s also how those of us in the industry have compared our products between each other and it serves no other purpose than to distract from the primary reason that Autodesk Fusion 360 exists – It solves many of the issues that have ticked you off about the CAD industry for decades: incompatibility, installation/adoption and licensing.

Here’s how Autodesk Fusion 360 should be considered. First by the sum of its parts, which you will find to be a Product Innovation Platform rather than just another 3D CAD tool. Then by its ease of implementation and adoption, and finally total cost of use.

 Sum of its Parts 

A Product Innovation Platform includes:

  • Concept
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Drafting
  • Visualization
  • Animation
  • Data Management
  • Collaboration
  • CAE
  • CAM

All of this functionality is in a single application that runs on Mac, PC, and mobile, all for $300 a year

Ease of Implementation and Adoption

Installing software is no fun. Setting up servers, deploying clients, managing licensing, struggling with mismatched file versions, updating machine code after a small change, replicating data, the endless email exchange of key decisions between too few people in the design process… the lot of it – it’s no fun at all. Up until now, there really hasn’t been another way. It was less expensive than the alternate, and people were more productive with it than without.

With Fusion 360, all you have to do is just log in, setup a project and start collaborating on it. Invite anyone into your projects, and you’re immediately productive without any setup on either end. Contrast that with the last file you sent somebody. (Insert long pause here for reflection…) 

 Adoption is dramatically different than trialing. We’ve all installed dozens if not hundreds of trials, but why didn’t you adopt them over what you already use? The soft costs of the change (training costs, dips in productivity, investment in the data, etc.) never seemed to surpass any gain even if the technology was slightly better. This is why the desktop software battles have been fought and trenches firmly established between Inventor, SolidWorks, Pro/E, etc. Switching from one of those to the other is simply too costly without significant gain. 

Now, cloud technologies are entering the market, Fusion 360 leading the way and it’s delivered in a manner that doesn’t require a month’s worth of planning just to install. Its simplified licensing no longer requires a full time person just to keep track of the vendor relationships. Then you have to go about the process of adopting it, transitioning from the tool you have relied on for your professional success onto the next one. 

 What are we doing on that end of things? How about putting people behind the problem? D3 is now offering affordable training on parametric modeling in Autodesk Fusion 360. View our full training calendar here:

Filter by Category. Click the drop-down and then select Fusion 360 for a complete list of class offerings.


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