Fusion 360 is the future of CAD. Start using it now - you won't regret it!
January 31, 2019

Fusion 360 is the future of CAD. Start using it now - you won't regret it!

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Fusion 360

Fusion 360 was solely used in the design department to conceptualize and visualize concepts in 3D. Turning sketches into 3D objects then helped us present ideas to upper management and, in some scenarios, important stakeholders. This proved to be a valuable advantage as stakeholders and those alike could see the same vision as me, the lead designer on the project. Previously, stakeholders were presented 2D drawings or other resources, that oftentimes caused more unnecessary questions. Details of 2D sketches and drawings were often lost in translation. On top of that, Fusion 360 provides the extra outcome of being able to rapidly prototype ideas with a 3D printer, something that was often overlooked before. This has provided us with valuable feedback early on in the design process.
  • The first PRO of Fusion 360 that always comes to mind is how versatile it is. Fusion 360 is the first CAD/CAM software that also includes other key features that CAD programs of this size don't have.
  • Fusion 360 has a generous licensing structure that gives those just starting out a place to start with a professional level CAD program. As a result, this has helped build up a huge community and user base around Fusion 360.
  • Fusion 360 is updated on a monthly basis. This has proven to be a huge advantage over SOLIDWORKS (something else I use) which is only updated once a year. The nice thing about monthly updates, other than regular bug fixes, is that the team can adapt quickly and no one is taken by storm with a big overhaul of the UI or features at the beginning of the year.
  • Fusion 360's UI is by far better than any other CAD program on the market. However, I think the engineers/designers working on Fusion 360 need to be careful with where they're taking it. On one hand, it's great that they have finally given CAD a modern look. On the other hand, they should really look into their user base more, and consider some of the fine details of the UI that could be improved -- icon size, tab layouts, dialog styling, etc.
  • Fusion 360 could use some better copy for each feature's help text. I find that the help text often uses the feature's name within it...which means if someone doesn't know what the feature does they're probably not going to be able to understand the help text.
  • Fusion 360 has random crashes...albeit, just about every CAD program does. I will say, however, Fusion 360's file backup structure is much better than most CAD programs.
  • Fusion 360 has had a positive impact on our ROI. Specifically, being able to cut down on iterations by presenting 3-Dimensional designs to stakeholders earlier on in the process.
  • Fusion 360 also has had a positive impact on our ROI in terms of manufacturing. Although not all manufacturers have in-house personnel trained in Fusion360 specifically, we have found that it is so easy to pick up if one is experienced in another CAD program. Its ease of use and ability to share files with others has saved a ton of time and money.
Fusion 360 is the most modern and robust professional CAD program on the market. It has its quirks (as with any robust piece of software), but overall it provides a lot more functionality than the traditional CAD programs -- SOLIDWORKS, Creo, and Autodesk Inventor. If it weren't for licensing contracts, stubborn management, and expensive employee overhead, I think a large proportion of companies would to switch to Fusion 360 from one of these other CAD software choices. The transparent nature Autodesk has taken in developing Fusion 360 has provided to be a key part of the future of CAD - actually listening to and getting feedback from the users. SOLIDWORKS, for example, only provides a yearly update with the renewal of a license, which can be heartbreaking when you realize that 3/4 of the bugs and feature ideas you submitted were not even considered. Some naysayers (old stubborn engineers) will say Fusion 360 doesn't have this feature or that feature. But the reality is, it's only a matter of time until there isn't at least one way to achieve something in Fusion 360 that you can do in the other programs.
Fusion 360 is a great CAD package if you're looking to do rapid prototyping, general/mechanical engineering, packaging design, 3d printing (or other hobbyist related things) or of course, CAM. I wouldn't recommend Fusion 360 for those who need a more specific type of software, such as, civil engineers, architects, or soft-goods designers.
Overall, Fusion 360 is best suited for rapid prototyping and product development. The cloud-based advantages of Fusion 360 make it extremely easy to work in agile product teams versus conventional CAD programs where sharing and backing up files is a job in itself. The Fusion 360 Hub, where files are backed up to, also provides additional collaboration tools such as notes, comments, and version control, which makes working with teams even more of a pleasure.