Fusion 360 adds Sheet Metal and more….

I have to say a massive thank you to Keqing Song from Autodesk, the Fusion 360 Product Manager keeps me up to date with everything that’s going on in the Autodesk Fusion 360 world. Regularly I receive an e-mail with the update notifications from many different products but I find Keqing’s take on getting information out there is refreshing and fits perfectly with the Fusion brand and with me. Where else in a serious product update do you get MEME’s like this to kick off the conversation?


Behind the fun are some serious deep looks at the improvements that have been made week by week but also a look into the future. I would recommend that you have a quick look through all of his past updates as there will be features in Fusion360 that you have missed or not even though about. You can find out more about Keqing and Fusion360 here – KEQING SONG

The whole Fusion 360 team are amazing at getting information into the hands of users, you get a post every 1-3 days. Not just a “hey how’s it going?” but a full in depth post about some new feature or workflow to make your life easier within Fusion360. I suggest you sign up to the Fusion360 Blog here to stay up to date.

 Sheet Metal function

Now a long awaited request in Fusion 360 is a sheet metal function, currently in an invite only technical preview, if you currently design in sheet metal this won’t change the workflow of your designs, sketch, material, bend, cut, fold etc…….. it will however allow you to have one piece of software where your part is 3D designed, 2D drawn, CNC programmed and data managed in one software where all of the processes are linked to an individual design file. If you update the 3D, both the 2D and CNC Program will update to suit, no more switching between software or manually updating your programs for small process improvement changes. I think you’ll agree, this is pretty amazing.


 Branch and Merge

Autodesk has also added a feature to Fusion360 called “Branch and Merge” this is a really simple development process that many people/businesses get very wrong. Branch and Merge is effectively a design alternative version control methodology. Below is a simple example – You have a singular product but 3 ideas on how to improve it. Create 3 (or more) branches of development to test, Design of Experiments (DOE), you kill one, and take the best bits from the other two then merge them together into a better final product. When you do this without branch and merge or a robust methodology to manage and control the variants a lot of the information gets lost in the day to day work. Branch and Merge manages this for you reducing the lost data and giving you the ability to review and roll back at any point.


This visual workflow was created in Autodesk Praxis find out more here and sign up for access to the technical preview here. You could do branches of branches then merge them back into the same final product all the while keeping your version history intact. How do you currently manage your variant workflows and Design of Experiments? Let us know in the comments.

Fusion PCB integration or ECAD (Electronics Computer Aided Design)

Unfortunately this feature is slightly delayed, is still on the cards but not today we will however keep you updated on this development. On the plus-side Autodesk Eagle has made its debut as a subscription offering. Autodesk Bought EAGLE in 2016 and it is now truly part of the Autodesk family. Eagle stands for Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor and is a scriptable electronics design application with the capability to create schematics and PCB layouts. It is very popular in the DIY electronics scene with Sparkfun, Adafruit and Arduino all using Eagle to develop new products and share layouts with users. Check out more features of the software here.

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