For a noobie starting out, would you recommend Fusion 360 as a CAD program? - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastrada View Post
    Did you get a .edu email address when you went to that college? If you did and you still have it, go here:

    Free Student Software Downloads | Autodesk Education Community

    You can sign up with a college email address and basically download the entire Autodesk catalog. Granted it can't be for business use though.
    I am in college this semester too, so still have a .edu email.
    Thanks for the tip, I will look at the link.

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    Had my first Solidworks class last week. Fortunately for students we get free use of the software (full 2019 version) , on our home computers. Only restriction is that we can not use software for commercial purposes.

    Have not found a college that teaches Fusion360. Did talk to a guy in my Solidworks class who is familiar with both, and he says Fusion is more noobie friendly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt;3304635

    I have worked with a few guys that are capable of amazing stuff, crazy work arounds and complicated tricks to get done what needs done. They can do that from [SIZE=3
    their 30+ years of CAD and CAM[/SIZE]. I don’t have that experience. I don’t have time to spend 30 minutes trying to figure out a workaround when I can machine the part on a manual machine in an hour. That’s embarrassing for me when I have a beautiful brand new Brother sitting idle.
    Fal Grunt,

    You need to do those 30 minutes again and again to get the knowledge and expertise in using the softwares you have, how the hell do you think those 30 years of experience came from??? SEAT TIME!
    we didn't have the luxury of the internet, forums like this, you tube , all we had was jump in and learn from mistakes, both good and bad, to get the job done.

    I'll admit, it is so easy to jump on what work to get-r-done, but I always tell myself learn it and the small aches and pains will dissipate before you know it.

    spent many an early morning at the shop learning SolidWorks 97+, laptops couldn't run it very well back then, I'd be there till 1 or 2 in the morning and then have to machine it using Surfcam (Traditional).

    because of that I now instruct SW and have instructed Surfcam also, but the tricks i picked up now save me shit loads of time when using other software's.

    just my 2 cents

    lenny

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  5. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    Had my first Solidworks class last week. Fortunately for students we get free use of the software (full 2019 version) , on our home computers. Only restriction is that we can not use software for commercial purposes.

    Have not found a college that teaches Fusion360. Did talk to a guy in my Solidworks class who is familiar with both, and he says Fusion is more noobie friendly.
    sorry it is not 2019 SW, it is SolidWorks 2018 - 2019 Student, the first year is the version of SW, so 2018.
    2019 - 2020 won't release until August 2019, always a year behind commercial, work at a University so I have to explain this alot to students.

    yeah Fusion is more millennial friendly

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    Quote Originally Posted by len_1962 View Post
    Fal Grunt,
    how the hell do you think those 30 years of experience came from??? SEAT TIME!
    From a salaried/hourly position programming on someones dime

    I do not disagree, but when you are a one man shop, trying to get parts out the door, and make the part for the price quoted or LESS, it is hard to cough up $$$ to sit and play with Fusion.

    I have found that for most parts, up to "medium complexity" Fusion is great, and for parts that are more complex, if your setting up to run production, then the trade off is not really bad. I do a healthy mix of job shop and tool & die work, so the time spent modeling ONE part, to machine ONCE, is expensive.

  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    From a salaried/hourly position programming on someones dime

    I do not disagree, but when you are a one man shop, trying to get parts out the door, and make the part for the price quoted or LESS, it is hard to cough up $$$ to sit and play with Fusion.

    I have found that for most parts, up to "medium complexity" Fusion is great, and for parts that are more complex, if your setting up to run production, then the trade off is not really bad. I do a healthy mix of job shop and tool & die work, so the time spent modeling ONE part, to machine ONCE, is expensive.
    Guess I was lucky the companies I have worked for believed in training, that meant seat time for both CAD and CAM , sure there came a point where if that person didn't pick up the software they were gone.

    I was a Model Maker for 25 years so yes model once, machine once, sand and spray paint, pack and ship is expensive, still Prototyping (new buzz word for Model Making) at the University and have to learn new software's, scanning, reverse engineering the scan software, laser cutting software, 3D printing software, guess all I am saying it never stops, one model one part still putting in extra hours to get-r-done at 57.

    so I understand the one man shop, the office I was in was just me the other had 22 model makers, many times i would go in at 9am and go home at 5am the next morning, sleep for an hour, take son to school and do it again, now without those times and the things I learned I wouldn't have gotten a job here at ASU....can you say retirement plan.

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    I would go up to Inventor you get the same deal with it as Fusion. Now Inventor is more intuitive than Fusion.

    Now reasons I love Inventor.
    1- If you learn Inventor which is very easy. If you ever go to Solid Works it works the same way as far as design, and Making Tool Paths / Post Processing.

    2- You can really benefit from the adaptive tool path tons.

    3- If you hover over anything in the software it will give you a great description of what it does.

    4- Cost is way less than Solid Works, Master Cam, Surf Cam, ETC...

    5- Very User Friendly

    6- Auto Desk is taking charge and making upgrades often

    There are plenty other reasons why, but these are the main ones. Plenty of YouTube Channels for Fusion and Inventor that go to great depths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselMater86 View Post
    4- Cost is way less than Solid Works, Master Cam, Surf Cam, ETC...
    Yes but there is a reason for that.

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    Economy of Scale?

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    Just my opinion, but len_1962 really hits the nail on the head! Taking the time to learn new stuff (s/w in this particular case) can be difficult to jam into an otherwise busy day/week/year/life, but is probably key to staying relevant. It seems like there is usually a short-term productivity hit while you get thru the learning curve, but it starts to pay off after that.

    While I can't speak to the particulars of Fusion, and whether learning that program will be a good use of time for *your* work, I encourage anybody to look at these sorts of things as an investment in *yourself* first. It likely won't put money back in your pocket *immediately*, but certainly will *eventually*...your "bag of tricks" just keeps growing.

    Cheers, Brian

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    Have had 3 classes of SW so far. Eventually getting the hang of it. But still getting stymied by the dam "under defined" situation, sometimes. I get the whole deal with using "smart dimension" to fully define, but it doesn't always fix the problem.

    Problem for me is that even though I can download the free student edition onto my home computer, my home PC's specs are insufficient. The SW website states a Xeon processor of 3.60 ghz or more, and a Qadro GFX or FirePro graphics card. Both those are quite expensive. I know you can run SW with a core I7 as some of the computers at school running SW are core I7. But all the CAD workstations at school have Quadro or FirePro graphics cards.

    What are specs for the computers you all are running SW, at home or work?

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    I should take this moment and say something nice about Fusion. My shop computer is a $180 rebuilt Dell off of Newegg, couldn't tell you the processors, RAM, or video card... whatever it came with. I can have 2-3 fairly complex models open before my computer starts to bog down. Small assemblies depending on complexity of the parts are not an issue. Strangely the worst seems to be lettering. I used to engrave my tooling/fixtures with information for what they are. For some reason that really bogs it down.

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    I've had core I7 on the last few machines. Unless something has drastically changed with SW, you'll be fine. You need a good graphics card. Unless you're doing huge assemblies with 1000s of parts, I wouldn't get hung up on the specs overly.

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    Think about where you will end up if you go the Solidworks route. The Student licence only runs for 12 months, then you have to prove you are a student again. If not, you have to cough up for the full licence and they get a real sh1tty on if you don't also pay for "support". Ask for a quote for both and then see how that sits with you....

    The Student licence is usually "last year's" and comes with NO support. If you ring up and tell them you have a student licence they tell you to go away. The reason that matters is because the "support" (aka subscription) model positively encourages poor software, so they never seem to be able to ship a version that works without loads of updates and bug fixes. At the very least you probably need a year's "support" to get your installation reasonably stable, then you are on your own....

    The more work you do in SW, the more work you will lose if (when) you move over to something more affordable. Also bear in mind that you can't open recent files with a previous version of SW. That's surely no accident and means you pretty much have to subscribe to the "support" agreement if you plan to open customer files created with a recent version.

    Incidentally, Solid Edge ST academic licence is free for perpetuity. It's really nice (it's the mid-range version of NX and is competitor to SW) but you'd have the same problem with compatibility.

    I reckon Fusion is hard to beat. The CAM is the same HSW Works used in Inventor and SW HSM, as Autodesk bough them out, yet you get true, simultaneous multi-axis CAM for free (hobby and <$100k). Now that they have implemented most of the main features, it's almost up with SW, SE, Inventor etc.

    I bought a Quadra for running SW but CAD seems to becoming a lot less fussy these days as graphics cards are SO powerful now. I can run Fusion on a machine with only Intel HD graphics if not too complex but a machine with a half decent graphics card (>GTX970) is more than enough for my machine assemblies. However, laptops with dedicated graphics still have issues running CAD - I struggled to run Inventor on both my workstation laptops due to the way laptop graphics actually connect through the Intel device.

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    Fusion is good for geezers also.
    FWIW, I am a one man band and a baby boomer to boot. I came late the the CNC party.
    Fusion was a godsend for me. Basic things were easy to grasp.
    When I had questions, some too stupid to be believed, the 360 forums always had an answer or solution.

    Fusion helped me in a roundabout way to understand what the machine was doing or supposed to do.
    In a back door kind of way I am getting a grip on G code along the way.
    Oh yeah, I have crucified a whole bunch of aluminum and tooling along the way.
    I doubt there is any way around that learning curve.

    I have reached the point now where I have learned what errors to look out for in advance.
    I am now making fewer do overs.
    The cloud thing still makes me nervous but I am coming to grips with it.
    So yeah, Fusion gets my vote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muzzer View Post
    Think about where you will end up if you go the Solidworks route. The Student licence only runs for 12 months, then you have to prove you are a student again. If not, you have to cough up for the full licence and they get a real sh1tty on if you don't also pay for "support". Ask for a quote for both and then see how that sits with you....
    For whatever it's worth, I'm an EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) member and Dassault considers members "students" and you can get SolidWorks for free. An EAA membership is $40 a year.

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    Fwiw .. after 30 years very much into 3D graphics and cad originally from age 14..

    Rhino3D is by far the easiest and fastest 2d and 3d cad program I have ever seen.
    And most especially for curved/organic shapes.
    But it does not do parametrics, associated dimensioning. Major fail.
    Or easy db links. Major fail.

    And even Rhino fails on some simple complex curvature, like modelling castings with 2 profiles and large non-linear radius.

    The short answer to the OP is yes.
    Learn Fusion.
    Learn it well.
    After that, everything is vastly easier.

    Example.
    Model a ballscrew and ballnut, 32x5x300 mm.
    Precision 1 micron, gothic curves in the arc, right ball sizes, return tube curvature, etc.
    It must be manufacturable via current tech (grinding).

    After You can make the model efficiently, explain model sizes, rendering speeds, workarounds, precision.

    It takes me about 1 hr in Rhino, less, and a 30MB model, +/-, for the screw.

    I suggest one will spend about 2 months learning Fusion well, at 6 hours per day.
    Rhino takes a bit less, 3D studio took a bit more.

    Microsoft office word/excel takes about the same 300 hours.
    Programming, vb, automation, sql links, native drivers for sql, macros, etc.

  22. #58
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    To the old guys, and I am one, complaining about the lack of written manuals, I say this:

    If you had one, how long would it take to find the answer you want, if it's even there?

    I use Fusion 360, and rather than try to find what I want on their site, I just google "Fusion 360 how do I ..." and usually what I want is in the first couple of results, and may be on the F360 site or a helpful youtube someone uploaded.

    *Way* better than a written manual IMO.

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    ^^^^agreed.
    Most manuals from any mfg make me crazy anyway.

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    I use Fusion almost every day. I make money with it. I had zero CAD/CAM experience when I first started. Personally, I don't think the basics are all that complicated, but that obviously varies from person to person. I think with a lot of software, it depends on how savvy you are with a computer/similar programs/whatever else. I learn new tips and tricks every day. I watch videos, I talk to people that I've met through machining about tips and tricks and methods. I would love to learn Solidworks or any other software just to learn, but I don't have access to them and can't justify purchasing a seat. Whatever complaints there might be about Fusion, there is literally no argument that it's not worth downloading and learning how to use. It is extremely powerful as far as value goes. Any software will have it's quirks and work arounds.

    There's no doubt you should get a student copy of Solidworks or whatever else you can get access to. Try as many as possible. If you already have the concept of working in 3D and going from sketches to a model to CAM, you're already ahead. If not, start with basic videos and follow along. The software side is the same as the machining side. There are usually numerous ways to create a part. Some harder, some easier, but usually multiple paths to get the same result. You will look back in 6 months at parts you designed starting out and realize you can do it so much quicker/more efficient/more structured. That's just the way it goes with the learning curve. One of the best things I've found that helps me out is re drawing the same model over and over and just trying out which plan of attack works the best.


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