Fusion 360 Now Includes Sheet Metal and more
The latest update to Autodesk Fusion 360 is huge, with sheet metal capabilities, cutteng edge preview workflows and brand new functionality.
Major enhancements in the latest update to Fusion 360 cover 8 key areas:
Sheet metal functionality has finally arrived in Fusion! Autodesk have been promising sheet metal functionality in Fusion since the preview of the sheet metal workspace back in March this year. We know many Inventor and Solidworks users have been hanging out for this one with over 2,500 requests to Autodesk for sheet metal functionality in Fusion. Autodesk have listened, sought feedback, kept iterating, and instead of going up the ladder of our normal preview process, it’s out of limited preview and is now available for everyone in the latest update.
Many of you will be familiar with Sheet Metal functionality in Autodesk Inventor. For those who are new to sheet metal functionality, Sheet Metal lets you design and manufacture parts by creating geometry that can be bent into a 3D part. Bend angles are dictated by a set of rules that you can edit, override, and store for future use. Think of metal objects like a computer case, metal brackets, housings, or electrical enclosures. Sheet metal functionality is critical to many of the products we see and use every day such as electronics, fixtures, and industrial machinery. This has been the number one most voted idea in our IdeaStation, so it's a big deal to finally have it available to Fusion 360 users.
Know the terms
Sheet Metal has a range of industry specific terms you may or may not be familiar with. This is why Autodesk have created a whole section on their learning site dedicated to Sheet Metal. This is a great resource for anyone new to sheet metal and can also be used as a reference for anyone that may need a refresher.
Here is an overview of the new sheet metal features now available in Fusion 360.
Documentation in 2D Drawings – document and dimension your flat patterns in the 2D Drawings workspace with bend tables and bend Identifiers.
You can create bend tables by selecting the Tables tool. We have built in logic so that Fusion 360 knows what kind of table (part list, bend table, or empty table) you need based on the view that’s on the sheet.
Manufacture in CAM – Bring your flat patterns into CAM and set up 2D cutting strategies for your waterjet, laser, or plasma cutters.
Join the Sheet Metal Challenge: Design a front bumper in Fusion 360
The best way to learn new functionality is by diving into with with a real world project and manufacture it with your own hands. Coincidentally, an Autodesk team member’s truck needs a new bumper, so they've teamed up with FARO, got the front end of truck scanned, and now they're challenging you to design a brand new bumper using sheet metal functionality in Fusion 360.
In return, Autodesk will supply 3 grand prizes, where the 1st place winner win a trip to California and experience his/her winning design get made, as well as win a pass to Autodesk University 2017. So give it a go and show us what you can do.
New! Selective Cache is now available
You may have seen references to Autodesk working on ‘Selective Cache’ in a Fusion Forecast a couple months back. Autodesk recently discussed their three-phase approach to making the offline experience seamless. Selective Cache represents the second of the three phases, and is a significant milestone.
Previously if you wanted something to be accessible offline, you’d have to open the design so that Fusion 360 knew to cache it. Doing this 100 times is no laughing matter (more like a huge waste of time), so now, you can select exactly which designs/projects you are working on, and Fusion 360 will cache and make them available for offline editing.
Here’s how to do it: Selective Cache allows you to cache by design, design folder, or an entire project. There are three ways you can do this:
1. Right click on a top-level project and select 'Cache This Project'.
2 .Right click on a design within a project and select 'Add to Offline Cache'.
3. Click on the gear in a project and select 'Cache This Project'.
While the cache is happening, you can monitor its progress by clicking on the job status area. We won’t pop anything out for you – you’ll have to open it if you want to see what it’s doing.
How do you tell what has been cached and what hasn’t? There’s a very useful option called 'View Offline Cache'. This will show you which designs are cached and which are not (based on thumbnail visibility). If you check this and nothing is grayed out, then you have the entire project cached.
Two important things to know:
It's great to see Autodesk provide this highly anticipated functionality, delivering on a promise in the estimated timeframe. This is a great acheivement by the Autdesk Fusion 360 develoopment team.
New! Thread Display option in Browser > Document Settings
If your design features multiple threads, having them fully modeled all the time can slow down the performance of your Fusion 360 software.
Fusion 360 now has a new section in the browser called Document Settings. Here you can switch thread display between “modeled” and “cosmetic” for ALL components/parts/bodies within the same document. This will relieve Fusion 360 from performing extra computes on those threads, and putting it in more important processes.
New! G1/G2 Continuity for Loft Rails
Previously when you lofted a surface in Fusion 360, there was no option to control the continuity for rails, and when you applied a Zebra analysis on your loft, you could see a break in the seam. Now, the continuity can be controlled independently for both profiles and rails in the surface loft command, by selecting what kind of continuity you want for each rail. Selecting Smooth will make your surface G2. A great improvement!
New! True 2-Rail Sweep Extent Control
Another significant improvement here is giving more accuracy over the termination properties of sweeps with guide rails. Before, the distance of the sweep depended solely on the length of the path, and not the rail, which made this more of a path + rail solution than a true 2 rail solution. Now we’ve added a “Full Extents” option which allows you to choose how far down each the path and rail your sweep will travel. Very cool new feature!
Fixed – Combine tool now previews correctly
There have been multiple reports of strange things occurring during a Combine > intersect operation, where the cut/intersect preview doesn’t match which where the bodies are actually located. Not cool! This was being caused by a graphic issue which has now been resolved.
Fixed – Joints no longer remembers Offset Values
This one dealt with when you created a mate, but input an offset value for one of the inputs. Fusion 360 remembered this value and then applied it to future joints, which was rarely what you wanted happening with your assemblies. Now values will no longer be remembered, resolving this issue.
New! Arc Slot Creation Tools
You can now create arc slots in the Fusion 360 Sketch environment! There are two new tools under the Slot section of Sketch: "3-point Arc Slot" and "Centerpoint Arc Slot."
Create a Three point arc slot by selecting both ends of the arc first, then the radius, then the desired width.
Create a Center-point Arc Slot by placing the center point of the slot first, and then defining both endpoints of the arc, following by the last click, which defines the width.
New! Create Tangent Dimension
In previous versions of Fusion 360, when dimensioning your sketch, you were only able to dimension from the center of a circle or arc to another edge? Now you can dimension from the tangent arc to the other edge. Another great new feature.
Select the Dimension tool, right-click, and instead of Pick Arc/Circle Center, check Pick Arc/Circle Tangent. With that selected, you’re be good to go.
FYI: Suppress Preserved Regions in Shape Optimization
When setting up a Shape Optimization study in the Fusion 360 Simulation workspace, you can preserve a region of your design so that the study leaves that region alone. This wasn't mentioned in the last update, Autodesk snuck that one in, but you do have the ability to suppress the preserved region so you can get quick comparison of what the study would look like without that region preserved, without needing to physically modify the design itself.
New! Pre-check now checks for material type
The pre-check functionality will now check the material type versus the study type. This helps ensure you are using the appropriate material type for your studies. If you are creating a Nonlinear study (Nonlinear Static or Event Simulation) and do not define a material with nonlinear properties, Fusion 360 will let you know with a brief message.
Improved! Turning Confinement
WIth previous turning operations, you had very little control over the front and back confinements since they were based off a fixed origin point that had be set for the part. We had a suggestion that whenever you’re turning a part, you should be able to specify the stock front, stock back, model front, model back, chuck front, and the new reference origin (if needed). Autodesk agreed it was a great idea and have now delivered this functionality.
You can also use any of these areas to set your part Zero. Need a specific offset? You got it. Select a reference point and use the arrow manipulator to specify a new offset. Offset values can be positive or negative from the reference point.
New Training Series: Turning – Live Tooling, OD & ID Machining with Sub-Spindle Transfer
This 11 part series includes full written documentation with videos, covering the complete process.
Learn about essential Fusion features like:
Improved! Tool Library
Improved! Re-associate dimensions by dragging grips
Previously if you made a change to the design and updated your 2D drawings to reflect the changes, sometimes you would get a yellow “!” disassociated badge. When that happened, you had to select re-associate, and then re-select the points /edge you wanted the dimension re-associate to… This was a lot of steps just to get your dimension right again. Thanfully, Autodesk have improved this.
Now if there is a design change, you can update your drawing dimensions by selecting the dimension (this displays the grips), and click-dragging it (or grip-editing) the dimension grip to a new point on the drawing view to update the dimension. This updates the dimension and makes it associative to that geometry in the future.
Improved! Dimension Break
Jkelindberg posted about this issue a while back, and Autodesk have now made it happen. Now you can create breaks at the intersections of your dimension lines so that your drawing can look cleaner. Do it 2 ways:
Improved! Dimension Group Stretch
We’ve all done it at some point, tediously clicking away to stretch dimensions one by one. KMP shouted this request from the hills at AU 2016 and Autodesk now have it working. Now you can batch select a group of dimensions by holding down SHIFT or simply using a window cross-highlight, then select one of the grips, and stretch the entire group to a new location.
The great thing about this is that it comes with intelligence, so if you window-select over a bunch of annotations and dimensions, when you click one to stretch, it will filter out everything in that selection so that only the annotation or dimension type that you’re stretching moves together – so don’t worry if you’ve got some straggling balloons in that selection window.
Fixed – Text width calculation is wrong (too narrow) for title block
There had been a few reports that attributes inside custom title blocks were getting compressed incorrectly, making the text inside impossible to read. Autodesk have now squashed the unexpected “squashing” of the text.
New in Preview! Fusion 360 Browser client
Editing your designs while out on the go is now a lot more powerful. Youcan now get on any Internet connected computer , open up a web browser, and start editing your Fusion 360 designs right within the web browser, from anywhere in the world.. This is made possible with the new Fusion 360 browser client public preview.
Ready to give this a try on your own project? Here’s how to do it. Log in via Fusion Team (used to be called A360), and you’ll first see all your projects. Double click on a project to enter it.
Create a new design in the web browser
Navigate to the “New” button and select Fusion Design. This will open a new tab in your browser and load the design environment with an brand new document, ready for you to design.
Edit an existing design in the web browser
If you have an existing design you would like to edit, you can hover over the design you want to edit and click on the arrow icon to see additional options. Select "Edit" in the Browser and you're in!
A couple things to know:
If you think that having a browser client will add value in your daily design workflows, or are just curious about what you can do, we’d highly recommend you try this out. See the Fusion 360 Browser FAQ on the Autodesk preview forum that includes videos and how to get started for your reference.
New in Preview! ECAD/MCAD
If you design products with electrical components, then you are going to love this preview functionality. Working with the Eagle team, Autodesk have introduced a new ECAD/MCAD experience that will allow you to design PCB layouts, leverage a shared component library between Fusion 360 and Eagle, and link components between them so that updating changes all happens seamlessly. Learn all about the changes made to Eagle to support this new interoperability on The Nest.
A new PCB Feature is now available in the preview section of your preferences. Turn this feature on for access to a new tool under the Create drop-down menu called “Create PCB”. This preview works best when used in conjunction with Eagle. If you’re not already using Eagle, check it out here.
Create a board and pull from Eagle
Once selected, your toolbar will populate a number of new PCB related tools. PCB board models can be created based on sketch profiles within Fusion 360. Once you have it created, you can go to Eagle and pull the board directly into your Eagle document for layout design and in a matter of seconds, the board will magically appear for you!
You can then start designing the layout of all the components on the board within Eagle.
Push board layout back to Fusion 360
When the layout is completed, you can push it back to Fusion 360 and the components will show up as physical 3D models. Seamless integration!
Edit board, reposition components, redesign layout, and repeat
If the components that came over from Eagle happen to be interfering with your Fusion 360 design (for example the body might be overlapping another body), you can quickly and easily edit the board, reposition the component in Fusion 360, push the change over to Eagle, and reroute all the connections.
These new PCB and electrical features are extremely powerful. Not only is the data interoperability extremely valuable, it also ensures that your electrical designers and mechanical engineers are working based on the same source data, reducing risks and potential problems.
This is an extremely powerful update to Autodesk Fusion 360 with a range of great features users have been requesting for some time. We would encourage users to continue providing feedback as Autodesk does listen and your suggestions could be released in the next update.