Realities of Fusion 360 in a Machine Shop? - Page 5
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  1. #81
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    I really don't worry about trusting Autodesk when the competition is charging 10x plus what they are charging for not enough more value for the work I do. I'm just not worried about them suddenly jacking the price. Why not just take advantage of the cheap price while its available rather than worrying that one they dominate the market they will jack the price up? A lot of the new users that are using Fusion 360 may have never used anything else in the first place because the barrier to entry is too high. If I had to spend several thousand dollars on CAM and pay yearly maintenance, I'm not sure if my business would have even got off the ground. Let them compete and bring the prices down. If some companies die off, well they should have lowered their prices or offered something better. I'm still on the lookout for other options if their prices are reasonable. I'm willing to pay more but the ROI has to be there

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    Hi Lazyman:
    I get what you're saying but there are a couple of problems with your point of view that are worth mentioning:
    First, when you have a huge data base of CAD and CAM files it's neither fast nor cheap nor easy to switch if things go south with the system you've invested in, so the long-term reliability of your relationship with your software vendor does have importance.
    Autodesk has not been a considerate partner in that regard; I understand their motivation but the risk they bring to the relationship is out of the ordinary and they've proven their self-interest at the expense of their customers over and over.
    So what you agree to today is not what you may wake up to tomorrow.

    The subscription model makes this worse; a truly stand-alone software has major advantages as a fall back if they screw you over, despite the disadvantages of having to choose to maintain the software if it's stand alone.

    Just as a point to reinforce; the dental lab industry already follows the model pointed out by Gooose so it's really only a matter of time before ADesk tries to find a way to do the same; here's a snip:
    "Wait till they refine the monthly sub into a direct pay per use subscription. Imagine having to pay for each posted piece of gcode. Don't scoff at the idea, they are basically on the way there now with clouds credits use for computation or renders."
    That's like a mortgage you can never get out from under, and with so many other business processes going the same way it's like death by a thousand cuts for your business; just ask those who are leveraged to the hilt with machine payments what it feels like.

    The quality of the software and its user friendliness and its power is really not the issue; it's being walked blindly down a path where the pay per use scenario becomes a real possibility at which point the option to disengage becomes very hard and very expensive.
    If they've got you by the short and curlies at that point with ten thousand CAD CAM files they have some control over, you as a business are well and truly screwed.

    So much as I see your point about making hay while the deal is good; this is a bit like a marriage and I believe you have to see it as such.
    She's not going to always be as good looking as she is right now while you're hot and horny...she's got to be a good long term partner too and ADesk doesn't smell so nice under all that makeup and big hair.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining

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    You mean when the alcohol wears off in the morning and she doesn't look nice in the light of day. Yeah that cloud credit thing is a looming dark cloud that is just going to get darker. First advanced renders, generative designs, and simulations. Next advanced 5 axis post processing, then what? I love Fusion but am not blind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    Hi Lazyman:
    .....
    If they've got you by the short and curlies at that point with ten thousand CAD CAM files they have some control over, you as a business are well and truly screwed.

    So much as I see your point about making hay while the deal is good; this is a bit like a marriage and I believe you have to see it as such.
    Not having used it I see it as a cloud based CAD/CAM with all your prints, models and such "out there" sort of not the filing cabinet in your building for storage.
    Can one export to compatible or other formats and store on your local hard drive? Say mostly prints and 3-D models.
    One would care less about the CAM side if you went other ways.

    Bob

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    Hi CarbideBob:
    Here is how I work and many of my colleagues do much the same.
    This applies only to my repeat customers of course
    .
    I will model the part, dump it into a machining assembly in Solidworks, create the stock models set up the WCS (one or more as needed by the part geometry), create second and third op stock models etc etc, and save the whole works to my customer's file directory.
    I start the programming and begin cutting and programming....write some toolpaths, post them out and cut them, write some more while the machine is humming etc etc.

    All that work is kept, only the actual G code is ephemeral because I can just regenerate it at will from the CAD CAM file, so whenever I get a repeat order I just re-post the code and dump it into the control.
    Since it's all within Solidworks running HSMWorks the bulk of that work is lost if I export a part file to another format.

    Fusion 360 has much the same workflow, it's essentially a CAD program with HSMWorks integrated into it just like HSMWorks is integrated into Solidworks.

    The point I'm making is that the whole file including the operations and the stock models is the bit that's of value; the part file is just a small part of that, so there is no way to transfer all of that work by exporting it..
    That reality takes the option of just saving a copy of the part as a STEP or Parasolid file off the table.

    So long as I have a working copy of Solidworks with a working copy of HSMWorks resident in it, I can unplug the communications cable from the idiot box but still keep the machines going.
    With Fusion 360 I can't yank the umbilicus in the same way and still keep on truckin'.
    When they put on the bandit mask again at Adesk by changing Fusion so it becomes pay per use, I can just tell them to go pound sand...the Fusion junkies can't.

    That's what I call peace of mind.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining

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  10. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    When they put on the bandit mask again at Adesk by changing Fusion so it becomes pay per use, I can just tell them to go pound sand...the Fusion junkies can't.
    Yep. And when all the eager supporters have a few years of legacy data invested in Fusion I doubt they'll view the situation with such triviality.

    Important to remember; undercutting all the competition is the reason the entire world is now encumbered with Windows, rather than something better. The cost of that is incalculable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    Yep. And when all the eager supporters have a few years of legacy data invested in Fusion I doubt they'll view the situation with such triviality.
    Maybe if some of them would pay attention to what you guys are preaching here:
    they would understand why I (and a bunch of other FeatureCAM users) are soo damn pissed off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    Hi CarbideBob:.....

    The point I'm making is that the whole file including the operations and the stock models is the bit that's of value; the part file is just a small part of that, so there is no way to transfer all of that work by exporting it..
    That reality takes the option of just saving a copy of the part as a STEP or Parasolid file off the table.
    .....
    So there is no export as STEP, DXF, anything as any option? No way to have any of your work local?
    No workaround? Not the CAM side but the CAD side.
    Toolpaths or cutting not a concern. Many ways to get that end done on the floor. Solid or even 2D models different.
    If somebody takes down the net you have nothing to rebuild from?
    I'm a linked computer user since before it was called the internet but darn it I want my own copies of stuff.
    I am in no way concerned about security in the cloud (think that silly), just that I may not be able to get to it.
    On the road in some places I have no way to connect.
    Can you even run such a system at dial-up speeds? What happens if you move your shop to a area with crappy or no net access? Is everything gone?
    I live in a populated area of Michigan, darn cell phone will not work at my location and I have to drive it 1/2 mile in any direction to make it come alive. T-mobile is not a small coverage carrier yet I'm in a dead spot.
    I have cable net but it goes down time to time in the middle of the night. Assume they do this when the fewest users will be affected but if you run a 24/7 operation how can you post code to a machine?
    Most shops would be in the 1 to 2 dollars per minute of downtime.

    A seductive idea at a decent price and I do like it with maybe some down sides.
    It's all good.... until it isn't. That "isn't" may never happen, but "Murphy" is alive and well and living in my shop.
    I go with "trust everyone but always cut the deck". Is there no way to cut the deck here?

    I do think they are a good company and I may try this side as a project so this post has piqued my interests.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Toolpaths or cutting not a concern. Many ways to get that end done on the floor. Solid or even 2D models different.
    WTF are you talking about?! "not a concern"?! I have repeat parts that the ONLY reason I make good money on them is because the programming is done.
    I have many repeat parts I have been tweaking on for years (literally). It would crush me to loose the CAM on all those parts!

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    Hi again CarbideBob:

    You wrote: So there is no export as STEP, DXF, anything as any option? No way to have any of your work local?
    No workaround? Not the CAM side but the CAD side.
    Yeah, that's about the gist of it; the problem is not saving the individual files it's the way they integrate with one another that cannot be captured.
    In HSMWorks, the CAM program sees the part model, sees the stock model and can subtract one from the other.
    This allows you to effectively say "Cut away everything from the stock that isn't model in little nibbles"
    The CAM is able to write toolpaths from those instructions that will not violate the model, but it needs to have both the part model and the stock model in the proper relationship to one another sitting in the CAD file, with the Work Coordinate System set up so the CAM software knows where the origin is and which side is the top.
    None of those things can be captured when the part file is translated or even when the assembly is translated, so if a file becomes unusable for some reason, a translated assembly needs to have those now missing instructions reconstructed, even if the assembly has been translated cleanly and can be properly reconstructed by the CAD program as a "dumb solid".

    Another obstacle is that HSMWorks can use configurations in which you can reveal or suppress features that you don't want in certain operations.
    Suppose you want to rough a part that has a hole in it; HSMWorks by default will want to drop the cutter into the hole because it's part of the stock that's not part model.
    By suppressing the hole for the roughing operation only, you can keep the cutter from making those unwanted movements.
    You lose all of that when you save to a different file format that creates a "dumb solid" without a feature tree.
    If you've been programming that way, you need to re-construct all that and you can't just suppress unwanted features; now you have to patch them because with a dumb solid there is no feature tree from which to select the bits you want to suppress or reveal.
    So for example, a simple fillet around the edge of a part becomes this major problem if you want it gone for a certain operation but you want it to return for the next one.

    That power is super useful, but it really restricts your options when it comes to backing up in different formats.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
    Last edited by implmex; 12-02-2018 at 02:30 AM.

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    Um...you can export from Fusion to local disk:
    archive format .f3d
    IGES
    SAT
    SMT
    STEP (.stp, .step)

    You can also cache locally current projects, so momentary loss of internet connection does not stop work. Also, one can go 'offline' and work for significant periods of time (say two weeks) without internet connection.

    Not looking to change any minds, just tossing out a few facts

    Fred

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freds View Post
    Um...you can export from Fusion to local disk:
    archive format .f3d
    IGES
    SAT
    SMT
    STEP (.stp, .step)

    You can also cache locally current projects, so momentary loss of internet connection does not stop work. Also, one can go 'offline' and work for significant periods of time (say two weeks) without internet connection.

    Not looking to change any minds, just tossing out a few facts

    Fred
    All true. And I am well aware.
    But, "two weeks" is squat.
    I have a 20 year old seat of MasterCAM, on a 20 year old computer, that still works great. As do all the M-CAM part files on that machine.
    And, it has not cost me one damn dime since it was paid for!
    Come tell me in 20 years about your relationship with Autodesk. Pretty sure I know what to expect.

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    Wheelie,

    At my age, if I have a relationship with anything in 20yrs it would be a miracle

    Fred

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    Hi Freds:
    Yes, you can make backup part files in the formats you describe.
    So what!
    The loss of a part file is nothing if you follow even rudimentary backup protocols or if your part files originate with your customers.

    But if you lose access to the CAM work, you have to start all over with the translated part file in another CAM system.
    I'm arguing that's a bigger loss and all it takes to suffer that loss, is for Adesk to try to hold you for ransom with Fusion at some future date.

    To speak directly to your observation that you can archive Fusion files or export part files to common formats like IGES and STEP:

    You can't use the archive format without Fusion; no other CAD or CAM software can read Fusion files directly.
    You can't extract the programming information with any of the other formats.

    So Adesk can extort whatever unreasonable demand from you they want, so long as you value all the work you put into programming the parts.
    For easy parts in small numbers it's no big deal....screw it, swear at Adesk and start over with a different software.
    For big libraries or complex parts with dozens or hundreds of operations, you intend to cut over and over, it's a major inconvenience.

    You expose yourself to that risk (and it's not a trivial risk) as soon as you allow any business partner to control your files; either your access to them or your ability to use them.
    By investing in Fusion, building your file library in that format, spending time and effort to get good at it and trusting Adesk not to change the rules on you when it suits them, you accept that risk as part of your business practices, and past experience with Adesk indicates it's a significant risk.

    Of course you may choose to use the software to build a business, either because your business doesn't depend on having continued access like mine does, or because you've been seduced by the low entry price.
    Your call, but I smell bad things coming, and if I'm right it's gonna hurt and there will be NOTHING you can do but curse and start over.

    If, on the other hand, you close your ears to the bullshit Adesk is selling you about the way overhyped benefits of "always being up to date with the latest and greatest" and invest in quality, stable, stand alone software that will make your parts for you efficiently, you can more easily dodge that particular bullet so long as the computer you have it on is still working, and with just a little care, that can be for a good long time.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining

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  23. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freds View Post
    Um...you can export from Fusion to local disk:
    archive format .f3d
    IGES
    SAT
    SMT
    STEP (.stp, .step)

    You can also cache locally current projects, so momentary loss of internet connection does not stop work. Also, one can go 'offline' and work for significant periods of time (say two weeks) without internet connection.

    Not looking to change any minds, just tossing out a few facts

    Fred
    I haven't touched Fusion recently, but as I understand it you can locally store (cache) only a small number of projects, correct?

    Is the archive format (.f3d) a complete, parametrically and feature intact, save of your model? As in, equivalent to a simple "Save" in conventional software terms?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freds View Post
    Wheelie,

    At my age, if I have a relationship with anything in 20yrs it would be a miracle

    Fred
    I guess I was wrong. That is not what I expected.

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    I think 360 is the shit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freds View Post
    Um...you can export from Fusion to local disk:
    archive format .f3d
    IGES
    SAT
    SMT
    STEP (.stp, .step)

    You can also cache locally current projects, so momentary loss of internet connection does not stop work. Also, one can go 'offline' and work for significant periods of time (say two weeks) without internet connection.
    As others have mentioned, yes you can export in those formats but those will be dumb solids and they will contain no toolpath information. So, from a design standpoint, if you need to edit the part or assembly, most likely you will have to re-model. If you need to do anything with toolpaths, obviously you will be recreating from scratch. Hopefully those who put some thought into their businesses are looking 5+ years out and realize the impact this could have on their business. Like I've said before, only use Fusion until you can afford something else...it will cost you more in the long run.

    If you really want to know the type of company AutoDesk is, go have a look at their investment page.
    Investor Overview | Autodesk, Inc.
    Read some of those documents over there, listen to some of the earnings calls. As an AutoDesk customer you are nothing but a number. The talk of increasing Annual Recuring Revenue, aka money from subscriptions, forcing people out of perpetual, the projected increases in revenue, etc etc. As a company they don't give a shit about your business. Thats why they done away with resellers. Its not some forward thinking business model...its just cheaper if they don't have to provide direct support.

    Once the subscription numbers stop increasing, which they will, the price increases will start as those investors will need to see consistent growth (more money). Remember all those bad investment group names we all heard during the shit storm of '09, ya, those are the same people that are heavily invested in AutoDesk. Out of straight principal, with what that did to our profession, you should run from companies like this.

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    gregormarwick,

    Can't say about a file limit. The cache is based on how long a file will be held locally after it is first opened in Fusion; and this number (of days) can be set in user preferences. It defaults to 14days but many have put it around 30-60days.

    I occasionally go to the Fusion CAM forum to answer questions. The favored way to provide a comprehensive answer is to have the OP export to the .f3d format and attach the file to a second post in the forum. It can then be downloaded to my local machine, then uploaded to Fusion and opened with all the data intact; then worked on as if it originated on my computer. I have yet to experience a situation where the file is incomplete.

    RE: some of the other comments. As I mentioned,I have no interest in changing anyone's opinion. Some of the posts were worded to indicate Fusion was a closed system and being able to archive locally was not an option - just wanted to correct that.

    The OP asked the question 'can' I use Fusion in a shop environment; and the simple answer to that is 'sure'. However, the question 'should' you use it is totally different as it speaks to a myriad of qualifiers such as suitability of the cloud (which the OP listed as a concern), is most of one's work 5 axis simultaneous, does one absolutely hate Autodesk, do you consider raising the price of a product a disgusting business practice, ad nauseam. My only intent was to deal with perceived misinformation, not to comment on overall suitability of other opinions/posts.

    Fred

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    Cached files can be held up to 359 days from the last time it was opened and as far as I know there is no limit on how many files can be cached. A few updates ago I lost all of my cached files so started fresh. No problem unless there is an internet/server failure. You can pick a bunch of files and cache them without opening which is pretty fast.


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