Computer Aided Design Fusion 360 SolidWorks XE Week 2 - Computer-aided Design

Fusion 360

As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve used both Solidworks and Fusion 360 but I’m much more confident with Solidworks so my aim is to improve my abilities with Fusion 360. I’m going to do this by first going back to the basics and then by attempting to recreate CAD models from previous projects that were originally made in Solidworks.

This is a very concise article about the differences between Solidworks and Fusion 360

I had already used Fusion 360 quite a bit but I decided to start with the basics just as it is easy to develop bad habits. I begun by watching Lars Christensen‘s useful YouTube series,  Fusion 360 for Absolute Beginners. Part one is below:



The task we were set was to 3D model a die as quick as possible in Fusion 360. This is good test as is it quite a short task but requires good knowledge of the key features of the software. We were set the same task during our first Solidworks lessons for the same reason.

Solidworks Die Image

If you wanted to have a go at the die the measurements are: 10x10x10mm, R1mm fillets on all faces, D2mm holes 0.5mm deep (it is worth remembering that opposing sides add up to 7).

Here is the Solidworks file of that die:

This is a link to a very good die making tutorial for Fusion 360

This was my first attempt (video below) of making a die in Fusion 360 – it took me 6m38s which is considerably better than my best on Solidworks (7m40s). This improvement may be because I’ve put quite a bit of time into CAD since last trying the dice in Solidworks – I will try it again in Solidworks as part of this project.

The following 2 videos are of my first Fusion 360 attempt. The first is a short version that just shows each step as they’re done in the software. The second is a recording of me making the die from start to finish, including when I couldn’t remember the dimensions – do your best to ignore the audio, I didn’t know how to remove it.

In an effort to improve my abilities with Fusion I decided to model the parts of the light from DP402 using the technical drawings that were produced for that project.
As an example this is the technical drawing produced for the part that held the light panel
Technical drawing
This is the original Solidworks version that was used to produce the light. The file can be downloaded here
Solidworks screen capture
This is the Fusion 360 version, the file can be downloaded here 
fusion 360 screen capture

This proved to be a very useful exercise, it highlighted the differences of the 2 softwares and it aslo showed me what it is like to try to make a part just from a technical drawing – I found that mine lacked some key dimensions.

A bit of a conclusion

At the end of the week I have gone back to try making the die in Fusion 360. My new record is 4m 21s so 2 minutes quicker than the start of the week. It is also much quicker than my best time on Solidworks which I think is due to Fusion360 having a built in grid which can easily be snapped to when placing the circles that become the dots of the die – this is much quicker than the same process in Solidworks.

I’ll continue to use Fusion 360 for future projects and will update my die times.

Fun fact: After a week of experimenting I much prefer parametric modelling.

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