Autodesk Fusion 360 Hack Chat

CAD, CAM, and beyond

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Matt Berggren from Autodesk will be hosting the Hack Chat on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at noon PDT.

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Join Hack ChatMost of us have a collection of tools that we use for the various mechanical, electronic, and manufacturing tasks we face daily. But if you were asked to name one tool that stretches across all these spaces, Autodesk Fusion 360 would certainly spring to mind. Everyone from casual designers of 3D-printed widgets to commercial CNC machine shops use it as an end to end design solution, and anyone who has used it over the last year or so knows that the feature set in Fusion is expanding rapidly.

Matt, who goes by technolomaniac on, is Director of Product Development for EAGLE, Tinkercad, and Fusion 360 at Autodesk. He'll drop by the Hack Chat this week to discuss your questions about:

  • All the Autodesk design software components, from EAGLE to Fusion and beyond;
  • Future plans for an EAGLE-Fusion integration;
  • Support for manufacturing, including additive, CNC, and even mold making; and
  • Will there ever be "one design tool to rule them all?"

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 4

    Lutetium04/10/2019 at 20:08 0 comments

    Josh Lloyd12:43 PM
    What features am I missing out on?

    Josh Lloyd12:43 PM
    Would I need them?

    technolomaniac12:44 PM
    4 layer board, a few restrictions on board size.

    Jan12:44 PM
    using the "real" software for years noone could ever like openSCAD or FreeCAD :)

    technolomaniac12:44 PM
    feratures? none

    technolomaniac12:44 PM
    I dont cripple features for free or paid.

    Josh Lloyd12:44 PM
    Right, so just workspace size, but all functionality is included

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:44 PM
    amount of layers is kind of a feature though :)

    technolomaniac12:44 PM
    that was something I was pretty heavily against.

    technolomaniac12:44 PM
    yah, I suppose.

    technolomaniac12:44 PM
    @Josh Lloyd yes.

    Josh Lloyd12:45 PM
    So I wouldn't be left wanting by that drool real?

    Andrew Sowa12:45 PM
    i there any talk about working on the hobby PnP integration? Some people are starting to play with "low" cost PnP and it seems like software integration is a problem.

    Josh Lloyd12:45 PM

    technolomaniac12:45 PM
    so they used to have something like 30 SKUs for eagle when we acquired it...I reduced it to 3

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:45 PM
    but yea, what is keeping Eagle from using the same Model as Fusion?

    Jan12:45 PM
    again, do you look at other CAD packages regularly for features and good ideas?

    technolomaniac12:45 PM
    @Andrew Sowa so I have a couple of the neoden machines and I have both connecting to eagle.

    Arsenijs12:45 PM
    @Andrew Sowa where exactly would be the problem? You pretty much need a CSV and that's it

    Jakob Wulfkind12:45 PM
    Does Eagle or any other CAD program plan to add disability aid features for users with dexterity or vision issues?

    technolomaniac12:46 PM
    @Jan yep, though technically I worked in many of those companies and drove (some of) the product decisions

    Josh Lloyd12:46 PM
    Oh - its $100 a year. Hmm. Yeah I can see why if its an unlimited version ( of 4 layers )

    Jan12:46 PM
    after all it would be quite stupid to not look at what the others do, right?

    technolomaniac12:46 PM
    @Jakob Wulfkind actually that's a good point, I would love to explore it more. I want to be sure that we make the SW accessible to as many folks as possible,

    Rob Roberts12:46 PM
    Re: what @Andrew said about PNP - @technolomaniac - and Referencing what you said 35 minutes ago: "eventually build a tool that included the entire ecad, mcad, & mfg workflow." Fusion360 contains a number of workspaces, and the integrated CAM is probably a huge game changer for many in the mcad mfg space. If you look at ecad and e-mfg, not a lot has changed, at least fundamentally, recently. What do you think is next that might be a game changer in e-mfg?

    technolomaniac12:47 PM
    @Jan yeah, and truth be told, most of THOSE tools <names deleted> did this to get what they have...

    Jan12:47 PM
    of course they did...

    technolomaniac12:47 PM
    @Rob Roberts good point...actually just the concept of nesting for sheet metal is super interesting when it comes to panelization of boards. there is a LOT of overlap there.

    Jan12:48 PM
    oh, sheet metal is an awesome topic on its own....

    Andrew Sowa12:48 PM
    @Arsenijs I don't have much experience with it yet, but everyone I talk too complains about setup issues. There is also the option on going further into the toolchain and generating cam data in fusion.

    Jan12:49 PM
    one of the things I like much better in Inventor than in SW :)

    technolomaniac12:50 PM
    @Andrew Sowa actually the machine shop is one of Fusion's strongest & most loyal user bases...the tech in there is actually one of the gold standards for machining (HSM) and the workflow is far easier than I'd found it in other tools

    morgan12:50 PM
    @Andrew Sowa @Arsenijs there's more to it than just have the CSV

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:50 PM
    I can totally see that, CAM in Fusion is amazing, especially for the price

    Josh Lloyd12:50 PM

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 3

    Lutetium04/10/2019 at 20:07 0 comments

    technolomaniac12:22 PM
    @Prof. Fartsparkle not yet. this is in the cards. personally I would throw the whole renderer out and start again and well...I make that call. so yes, we will do that.

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:23 PM
    oh that makes me very happy

    technolomaniac12:23 PM
    @Rob Speed that's in the plan, for sure.

    Rob Speed12:23 PM
    @technolomaniac Awesome. It's the little things.

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:23 PM
    can't wait for the day Eagle becomes "Fusion PCB"

    technolomaniac12:23 PM
    @Josh Lloyd so we are adding sharing of libs and sharing of 3d models in the next release...which is also why we did a server deployment yesterday.

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:24 PM
    I have to work with mCAD people very closesly at work when I do PCBs, a better integration that we have right now would make the whole workflow so much easier

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:24 PM

    technolomaniac12:24 PM
    I like Electron but that was only after people turned my down for my first choice of names.

    technolomaniac12:24 PM
    @Prof. Fartsparkle I agree this process can suck

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:24 PM

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:25 PM
    I mean the current integration is already tremendously helpful but the constant syncing issues are a bit of a pain

    technolomaniac12:25 PM
    I want to get to a point that you can select a face and say 'build me a board from this' and maintain the associativity...we already do this but it's not as elegant as it could be.

    Josh Lloyd12:25 PM
    @technolomaniac Currently we check all of this stuff in to Git, its not the best place for large binary blobs but it does track versions. Is there a nice way to move from this workflow in to EAGLE and F360? Presumably we keep it all cloud synced and version it on the cloud?

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:25 PM
    and me having to boot into a VM to check how it looks in Fusion....

    Aleksandar Bilanovic12:25 PM
    @technolomaniac How easy or hard is to crack EAGLE and run it for free, and what kind of protection are you using ?

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:25 PM

    morgan12:25 PM
    gret question

    Miklos Marton12:25 PM

    Josh Lloyd12:26 PM
    @Aleksandar Bilanovic I'm laughing.

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:26 PM
    I mean unless you make huge boards its free anyways..

    stansanders12:26 PM
    @technolomaniac what about being able to send a fusion sketch into eagle as a layer (ie outline or dimension) so drill holes and things on the pcb can be pulled from fusion rather than having to place them in eagle and tweak the fusion model around

    Jan12:26 PM
    @Prof. Fartsparkle or using more than 2 layers lol

    technolomaniac12:26 PM
    @Josh Lloyd well nothing eagle uses is that part is all pretty easy (its just XML). the fusion file is just a zip. rename it and unpack and you have all of the stuff inside. we dont hide that stuff much but when you connect to the cloud, you want compression or guys like Bilke's infrastructure will be way too slow.

    technolomaniac12:27 PM
    @stansanders I would prefer if all of the board outline definition was fusion sketch based.

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:27 PM
    but that brings me to my other question @technolomaniac will you do a simplified license model for Eagle, similar to how Fusion 360 has done it now?

    Meaning, all features for free for non profit work and a medium prized license with all features for commercial work

    technolomaniac12:27 PM
    @Aleksandar Bilanovic if you need to crack eagle, you need to consider another occupation,

    Josh Lloyd12:27 PM
    Got em.

    Dan Maloney12:28 PM

    Rob Speed12:28 PM
    I've never paid a penny for EAGLE, but I'm also making itty-bitty boards.

    Josh Lloyd12:28 PM
    @technolomaniac So the sharing of libs and sharing of models functionality, the new functionality. Is that intended for Cloud sync at your end?

    Jan12:28 PM
    with less 2 layers max, right?

    technolomaniac12:29 PM
    @Prof. Fartsparkle so I would say that the target for me is to really...

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

    Lutetium04/10/2019 at 20:05 0 comments

    Jan12:14 PM
    @technolomaniac do you personally support the subscription model Autodesk forced onto Eagle?

    morgan12:14 PM
    @technolomaniac being that F360 is said to run In The Clown, is there any future for a Linux client?

    stansanders12:14 PM
    i've taken to just modeling my model-less parts in fusion, but it's crazy time consuming to do every single time.

    Jeffrey Garman12:14 PM
    in the clown :-)

    Alex Ryker12:14 PM
    A Linux port would definitely be awesome

    morgan12:14 PM
    the future is Clown Computing

    technolomaniac12:14 PM
    yah well, I would prefer to do a proper linux version. the issues are not fusion per se but some of the 3rd party libraries. anytime you use a 3rd party - just FWIW - pay attention to the platforms it runs on!

    Dan Maloney12:14 PM
    Send in the clowns

    Rob Speed12:15 PM
    @technolomaniac One UX improvement I'd like to see in Fusion is better feedback about why I can't move an item in the timeline past a certain point. Usually it just won't budge without any clear indication of why.

    technolomaniac12:15 PM
    @Jan I actually do...but perhaps not for the reasons you think.

    Dan Maloney12:15 PM
    I can't believe it took a full 13 minutes to get to the first Linux question

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:15 PM
    me too but if Wine means I get Fusion for Linux sooner than later I would prefer that :)

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:15 PM
    would be less development effort as well, quite a few companies are doing the official Linux builds with Wine actually

    Teamviewer being one of them

    Jeffrey Garman12:16 PM
    inLinux would be the icing on the cake - The fact the F360 runs on a MAC was the main reason I left Mastercam for my NC programming at work.

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:16 PM
    the graphics APIs matured a lot since Valve poured some money into it

    Rob Speed12:16 PM
    If it's gonna run in Linux then it better run in FreeBSD, too! [only half-serious]

    Josh Lloyd12:16 PM
    @Prof. Fartsparkle I think Skype was for a while, but the Linux version has been years behind for a long time

    technolomaniac12:16 PM
    I tend to like subscription because if you do it right, it drives good behavior on the developer / product side and is good for a company's stability and bottom line. yes, I know it feels like lock-in and I dont like that aspect (or that impression rather) but I DO like that I can predict how many developers I will be able to hire to attack a given problem and the investment in eagle wouldnt have happened without it.

    Rob Speed12:17 PM
    @Prof. Fartsparkle I doubt that was the issue, considering that OpenGL in Linux was already better than MacOS.

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:17 PM
    so are they any tangible plans for a Linux version or is that idea way back on the shelf?

    technolomaniac12:17 PM
    @Rob Speed fully agree. I have been stuck in fusion on a few things like that and I think we can probably elevate that to be closer to the mouse cursor rather than the message in the lower right

    Dan Maloney12:17 PM
    That's interesting - we're so used to thinking that what's good for a company is bad for the customers, but it may not be so.

    Rob Speed12:18 PM
    @technolomaniac Those messages can also be a bit cryptic.

    Miklos Marton12:18 PM
    @technolomaniac can you share a bit about the short/medium term of plans about the EAGLE development?

    Miklos Marton12:18 PM
    just high level

    technolomaniac12:18 PM
    it's not something I have a team of guys working on but it's also something that really just needs someone to evaluate all of the 3rd party libs and confirm it would work. we already use cmake and build scripts that dont depend on the IDE (well technically they are very geared for VS or XCode)

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:19 PM
    I see

    technolomaniac12:19 PM
    @Miklos Marton so I'l emphasize again, my aim is to build a single application that doesnt have any of this wonky back and forth B.S. thru translation layers to make things really sing

    Prof. Fartsparkle...

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Lutetium04/10/2019 at 20:04 0 comments

    Jan11:30 AM
    oh, Fusion hack chat? let the CAD religion wars begin :)

    Dan Maloney11:31 AM
    Yeah, I think that's where we're headed. Plus the cries for native Linux support.

    Jan11:31 AM

    Jan11:32 AM
    to put fuel into that fire: I am SO happy we're working with SW at our company. it has some little features which makes working so much faster than Inventor. and I've been a hardcore IV fan for years

    Jan11:32 AM
    Guess that's not what todays chat is about though, so I'll be out this time hehe

    Les Hall11:40 AM
    Hi. There have been so many fascinating Hack Chats that I have missed, I feel like I've lost something crucial. So here I am turning over a new leaf.

    Arsenijs11:41 AM
    @Les Hall don't worry, transcripts are always available =) I too try to attend, but often it just isn't an option, we all have real life stuff =(

    Dan Maloney11:41 AM
    Welcome! We've had quite a few great chats this year, glad you're here now!

    Les Hall11:42 AM

    Prof. Fartsparkle11:48 AM
    very excited for this one, been an eagle and fusion 360 user for years

    Les Hall11:49 AM
    I used Eagle for ages, then recently I downloaded it and it's all different.

    Duncan joined  the room.11:50 AM

    Jorge Garcia11:51 AM
    Hi Everyone, hope you are all well!

    Les Hall11:52 AM
    Hi back atcha.

    skitchin11:52 AM
    Hello @Jorge Garcia

    Jorge Garcia11:53 AM
    Hey Les, yeah I know EAGLE's changed a lot if you haven't used it in a while its going to seem very different. The bones are the same, EAGLE's just put on more muscle mass :)

    Miklos Marton joined  the room.11:53 AM

    Jorge Garcia11:53 AM
    Hi @skitchin

    Miklos Marton11:53 AM
    Hi guys!

    Jorge Garcia11:54 AM
    Hi Miklos!

    Audi McAvoy11:54 AM
    Hey everyone. Where are we posting questions? (besides that one)

    Les Hall11:55 AM
    That's good to know @Jorge Garcia. More powerful is good to hear.

    Jorge Garcia11:55 AM
    Hi Audi, once Matt jumps on you post them here and he'll answer. I can take care of some technical EAGLE questions in the meantime.

    Audi McAvoy11:56 AM
    Thanks @Jorge Garcia

    Dan Maloney11:56 AM
    @Audi McAvoy - Matt Berggren from Autodesk hasn't logged on yet. We should be ready to start in around 5 minutes

    Les Hall11:56 AM
    Here's a question: I recall Eagle's Gerber generation was always a pain. Has that been made easier?

    Miklos Marton11:57 AM
    @Les Hall since the introduction of the one click manufacturing export

    Jorge Garcia11:57 AM
    Hi Les, considerably easier now. You have a one-click CAM option that analyzes your board stackup and uses the right template.

    Miklos Marton11:57 AM
    which happened in the 9.x version I think

    Miklos Marton11:57 AM
    I would say it cannot be made easier :D

    technolomaniac11:58 AM
    hey hey, happy siblings day

    Audi McAvoy11:58 AM
    Is this chat going to be constrained to Eagle? Or is general 2D CAD also on the table?

    technolomaniac11:58 AM
    up to you.

    Jorge Garcia11:58 AM
    You also get more visual feedback in the CAM processor so if you need to do something special it's easier to do.

    Prof. Fartsparkle11:58 AM
    Eagle definitely changed for the better

    Miklos Marton11:58 AM
    Hi Matt!

    technolomaniac11:58 AM
    I can riff about 2D cad in general

    Les Hall11:58 AM
    I'm smiling a big grin at one click Gerbers!

    technolomaniac11:58 AM

    Edwin Robledo11:58 AM

    technolomaniac11:58 AM
    Ahh yep, @Les Hall that needed to happen for ages!

    Prof. Fartsparkle11:58 AM
    (except for the new icon order, which drives me nuts)

    Nicolas Tremblay joined  the room.11:59 AM

    Dan Maloney11:59 AM
    Hi Matt., welcome aboard. We'll get started in a few

    technolomaniac11:59 AM

    technolomaniac11:59 AM
    thanks Dan!

    Rob Speed joined  the room.11:59 AM

    Edwin Robledo11:59 AM
    Hey Matt!!

    technolomaniac11:59 AM
    no sweat...I heard when clint eastwood directs, he doesnt actually say action...he just...

    Read more »

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Soshu wrote 04/10/2019 at 01:41 point

Basic but deeply serious question on the minds of makers everywhere- when are you guys going to follow through on sanity for the entire world maker crowd, and add native linux support?

I had a fusion 360 license only a year ago and I got tired of dual booting into windows every time I wanted to do work, but because Windows is inherently insecure having to boot back into Linux to do anything else.

I don't even trust a Windows computer to connect to the internet normally.

I am tired of hearing the excuse there isn't anyone who uses Linux. Look at where are you are having this hack chat, as you try to engage the maker community which is sizable worldwide and many of us use only Linux or mainly Linux. I would pay for a regular subscription to fusion 360 or buy an outright license to inventor right now if either of them worked natively in Linux. I am looking to start my own business in the next 5 years and would use your software but I will not until it is supported in Linux.  I'm not compromising my computer and my data anymore with Windows and I haven't for the last 15 years. A lot of others think the same way. You are missing out on a large part of the maker market by actively spurning linux.

  Are you sure? yes | no

seth.c.tucker wrote 04/09/2019 at 03:18 point

I use Fusion 360 for hobby/open source work, and I don't really do anything horribly complex with it. Mostly I model simple assemblies of COTS parts, or use it to model very basic things that I might make out of wood or something. The modeling is a good experience, but the 2D drawing module is really bad, even for very basic needs. 

For example, part number callouts can only be applied to sub-assemblies, with no option for a manual override. I can't really imagine that this works for any significant percentage of projects. Almost anything you make will have some small items that you don't want to physically model, or at least that you don't want in the immediate sub assembly. 

There really are a lot of issues like this with no workaround which make the 2D drawing module mostly unusable. Updates mostly ignore this module. I don't understand the mentality here, because it sabotages the rest of the program for anyone who wants to do more than output directly to a 3D printer or CAM tool, and then do nothing with the result that would require documentation. 

Are you guys hoping to do more with Fusion 360, or are you just going to focus on CAM/3D printing hobbyists for now? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eric S. wrote 04/08/2019 at 22:23 point

I've been using Fusion360 exclusively for all of my personal projects. I really like the functionality and feature set, but I am considering moving back to other software because the performance is often excruciatingly slow. I've introduced multiple friends to the software and they eventually hit the same roadblock. I've tried using it on Mac, PC (including a high performance gaming-style PC) with similar experiences.  Assemblies above a certain level of complexity seem to be very slow. Other CAD programs seem to handle a similar level of complexity without issue.

Are there any plans at Autodesk to prioritize optimization over new features moving forward? I *want* to use Autodesk tools as my primary design tools (I've been using Eagle for years and am currently subscribing to it), but will likely end up moving away in the next year or two if things don't improve. 

Thanks for your time! 

  Are you sure? yes | no

nraynaud wrote 04/08/2019 at 18:48 point

I have a question: why is there a slicer for metal printing, but not for FDM?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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