Idea Becomes Reality With Fusion 360 and 3D Printing - Part 1

By Nathan Pallavicini, Autodesk ANZ Manufacturing Territory Representative
Contact Nathan on LinkedIn

My journey began one day when I was researching parts for a motorbike. The parts I needed were relatively simple in design, made out of aluminum but a crucial part required. I’m talking about the foot pegs and controls or “rearsets” as we call them in the rider community. As I was researching what brand, what is the cost I thought to myself this part was extremely expensive.

I thought to myself - Could I design this myself? How long would that take me? Could I machine it and what would that all cost?

At this point I had been working with Autodesk for one year and spend some time playing around with Autodesk Inventor Professional. For me, Inventor was far too complex for me to even know where to start. Over the year, there has been massive internal hype around Autodesk Fusion 360. Fusion 360 is designed for anyone with an idea, to design, simulate, prototype and manufacture that idea into reality.

One Saturday night while I opened up Fusion 360 on my laptop and started to see what I could do with it.

I started getting a feel for the interface and drawing some simple objects. I was amazed at the simplicity of the interface and the ability to create simple objects.

Within the first 4 hours, I was extruding 2D sketches, filleting edges, drilling and tapping patterned holes.

By this time my partner came home and I explained to her that I was going to design and build her rearsets. She looked at me in amazement and asked how? I said Fusion 360, I can measure up the bikes OEM mounting points and reference the original parts then model in Fusion 360 and get it all machined at a local machine shop.

Throughout the next week, I was pondering on how I was to complete such a task then all of a sudden the following Saturday had arrived. Throughout the week, I decided I was going to remove OEM foot pegs, measure up the mounting points, bolt diameters and get to work. I started out spacing the mounting holes 70mm apart and shaping and extruding the mounting bracket. Once I was happy I realised the mounting hole weren’t at 90 degrees to each other. They were actually offset. This threw a new spanner into the works.

I went back to pondering how I was going to work out the offset of the mounting holes and started doing my research on the Autodesk Knowledge Network I came across some amazing functionally within Fusion 360. I could actually take a picture of the mounting location on the frame of the bike and load the picture into Fusion 360 to complete my 3D modelling.

Once I loaded the picture as a canvas, I could the select the two mounting holes and scale the picture by selecting the distance between the mounting holes.

Eureka! This was the point I actually realised my goal was achievable. I was amazed at how someone with no CAD experience could actually start modelling a physical part. I started sketching over the canvas and placing my mounting holes in the required location.

Sketching the boundaries of the mounting bracket shape. I started to finalise the bracket shape, patterned peg mounting holes and extruding to the correct thickness.

Now I'm really making some strong progress. By now I was 8 hours in and took some time out to enjoy my weekend. Throughout the week I was then thinking about what I would do next, how to complete the design and piece it all together? There are several key components I needed to think about.

This story will be completed over 3 parts, I hope you enjoyed part 1 and stay tuned for part 2. I hope you come back to read how I simulated my assembly and partnered with an Autodesk Gold Partner Redstack to 3D Print my prototype , and my key learnings including 3D Printing in the design cycle.

Below is a sneak peek of Part 2. Continue on to Part 2 now.

Contact Redstack for more information on Autodesk software and 3D printing for your next project.

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