Realities of Fusion 360 in a Machine Shop? - Page 6
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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    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!
    A) You have the G-code in the control, not seeing how anyone takes this away from you. Easy to store if you have memory limits.

    B) Plenty of other CAM programs where you can regen toolpaths if you have the models if you don't like "new" pricing or policies.
    You know the cuts and tweaks that work, duplicating such in another is not a real big deal.

    I've been tweaking toolpaths to remove a few seconds here and there for decades on parts.
    We know what, where and why. Have changed vendors a few times without much problem other than learning the new UI which is by far the biggest pain.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    A) You have the G-code in the control, not seeing how anyone takes this away from you. Easy to store if you have memory limits.

    B) Plenty of other CAM programs where you can regen toolpaths if you have the models if you don't like "new" pricing or policies.
    You know the cuts and tweaks that work, duplicating such in another is not a real big deal.

    I've been tweaking toolpaths to remove a few seconds here and there for decades on parts.
    We know what, where and why. Have changed vendors a few times without much problem other than learning the new UI which is by far the biggest pain.
    Bob
    Storing posted g code is not a satisfactory alternative to storing cam data. A saved gcode file means you are tied to the same machine, tools, fixtures etc. as it was created for.

    "regen toolpaths" as you say, I assume to mean recreating the cam data from scratch, as there is no cam software that I am aware of that will import existing cam data from another system and regenerate toolpaths.

    On a complex part, that can be a lot of work. Far less trivial than you are making it out to be.

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    So this super cheap software might not be the best for your high value programs that you put a lot of work into? Damn, that's a surprise. My parts are usually fairly simple. If I had to I could reprogram most in 10-20 minutes tops, evens the 4th axis ones. Production programs are saved as gcode anyway since I have manually edited them to save a few seconds per cycle. Hey, since I run these programs thousands of times those few seconds add up. If Fusion goes tits up like my last cad/cam software then it's not that big of a deal, other than having to pay through the nose for "real" software. I will still have my models since I do back the ones up I care about. For $300 a year for this capability it fits MY needs better than anything else out there that I have noticed. Goes nicely with my 20 year old cnc mills, nice and cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    A) You have the G-code in the control, not seeing how anyone takes this away from you. Easy to store if you have memory limits.

    B) Plenty of other CAM programs where you can regen toolpaths if you have the models if you don't like "new" pricing or policies.
    You know the cuts and tweaks that work, duplicating such in another is not a real big deal.

    I've been tweaking toolpaths to remove a few seconds here and there for decades on parts.
    We know what, where and why. Have changed vendors a few times without much problem other than learning the new UI which is by far the biggest pain.
    Bob
    I save zero G-code. The most programs you will ever find in any of my controls is 3.
    I re-post everything. Like gregormarwick pointed out. Lots of variables that affect what you need the code to do. Even on repeat parts.
    Not to mention soft-jaws, and fixtures. I can't imagine not being able to open the CAM file before running a part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freds View Post
    gregormarwick,

    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.
    I think the point about file export was the file being useful in other software after the fact. Exporting an f3d file is only useful if you have Fusion. No other CAD/CAM software will open an f3d file...which is kind of the whole point once you've canceled your fusion subscription

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    With all the back and forth I've had on an ongoing project with outside contractors using Solidworks, Cimatron, or Pro-E we have been using STEP files into and out of Inventor and Fusion with zero issues. Do other CAM systems have ways to output a feature tree or CAM setup tree into other software? Not a single salesman or applications engineer mentioned it to me from any of the CAD/CAM companies I solicited before choosing some Autodesk products for our immediate needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    I think the point about file export was the file being useful in other software after the fact. Exporting an f3d file is only useful if you have Fusion. No other CAD/CAM software will open an f3d file...which is kind of the whole point once you've canceled your fusion subscription
    There was no 'point' involved. Gregormarwick's question was:

    "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?"

    And the answer was intended to show that the locally exported .f3d file was equivalent to a 'Save' to the default location (in this case the cloud) with the data intact. A simple 'Save' in all applications that I am familiar with is a save to the native format for that application only.

    As to the usefulness of other export formats, I'll defer to Rick Finsta's remarks in post #106 above.

    Fred

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freds View Post
    ...the answer was intended to show that the locally exported .f3d file was equivalent to a 'Save' to the default location (in this case the cloud) with the data intact. A simple 'Save' in all applications that I am familiar with is a save to the native format for that application only.
    That was the point of the question, yes. Nothing more. I just wanted to know if F360 was able to save locally now, vs. exclusively "in the cloud".

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Finsta View Post
    With all the back and forth I've had on an ongoing project with outside contractors using Solidworks, Cimatron, or Pro-E we have been using STEP files into and out of Inventor and Fusion with zero issues. Do other CAM systems have ways to output a feature tree or CAM setup tree into other software? Not a single salesman or applications engineer mentioned it to me from any of the CAD/CAM companies I solicited before choosing some Autodesk products for our immediate needs.
    In all cases that I am aware of, importing a native model from another system results in a dumb solid, no features, no parametric history. There may be exceptions to this rule, I know that some developers have been working on interoperability at a higher level. I don't know if any of them are there yet. Given the complexity and the significant differences between systems, full interoperability seems like an unreachable goal to be honest.

    So it does appear that F360 is at least no worse than any conventional system for migrating (cad) data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    That was the point of the question, yes. Nothing more. I just wanted to know if F360 was able to save locally now, vs. exclusively "in the cloud".



    In all cases that I am aware of, importing a native model from another system results in a dumb solid, no features, no parametric history. There may be exceptions to this rule, I know that some developers have been working on interoperability at a higher level. I don't know if any of them are there yet. Given the complexity and the significant differences between systems, full interoperability seems like an unreachable goal to be honest.

    So it does appear that F360 is at least no worse than any conventional system for migrating (cad) data.
    Not true.

    Many CAM softwares are able to use the design trees created in other CAD systems. The best implementation I've seen of this is with Esprit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    That was the point of the question, yes. Nothing more. I just wanted to know if F360 was able to save locally now, vs. exclusively "in the cloud".



    In all cases that I am aware of, importing a native model from another system results in a dumb solid, no features, no parametric history. There may be exceptions to this rule, I know that some developers have been working on interoperability at a higher level. I don't know if any of them are there yet. Given the complexity and the significant differences between systems, full interoperability seems like an unreachable goal to be honest.

    So it does appear that F360 is at least no worse than any conventional system for migrating (cad) data.
    In Autodeskspeak that technology is called AnyCad. Here is a brief (3 min.)bit of marketing for how it currently works in Fusion:

    AnyCAD for Fusion 36

    Fred

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Not true.

    Many CAM softwares are able to use the design trees created in other CAD systems. The best implementation I've seen of this is with Esprit.
    I wasn't talking about cam. I'm not sure what benefit is provided by having access to the parametric history in cam anyway? Or are you talking about design features instead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freds View Post
    In Autodeskspeak that technology is called AnyCad. Here is a brief (3 min.)bit of marketing for how it currently works in Fusion:

    AnyCAD for Fusion 36

    Fred
    Fred, I watched the video. That still imports a dumb solid and starts from there. Whatever follows is analogous to synchronous/direct modelling in other cad software.

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    If a CAD vendor won't allow you to even convert a file to a recent previous version file, what are the chances they'll allow interoperability with another system?

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    Hi gregormarwick:
    You wrote:
    "I wasn't talking about cam. I'm not sure what benefit is provided by having access to the parametric history in cam anyway? Or are you talking about design features instead?"

    The benefit of being able to access the feature tree is the ability to suppress or reveal model features at will.

    One of the things that makes these integrated CAD CAM platforms so nice to use is that they are responsive to any changes you make to the part model and the stock model, as well as the ability to define the stock or part model differently for each operation.
    So for example I can make the soft jaws into my stock model when I want to cut them, and turn them into a feature of my part model when I want to prevent cutting into them once my part is loaded and I'm working on cutting the actual part.
    Ditto for features within the part model or different configurations of part models within my assembly.

    This is a whole different way of programming; it's not like standalone CAM at all, and it benefits greatly from having access to the feature tree of both part and stock models.
    It's a great new way to program once you get it figured out; the biggest drawback to the Fusion 360 version as compared to the Solidworks/ HSMWorks version is the dependence on the Fusion version on the continued goodwill of Autodesk.

    So long as you can be robbed of your previous capability and way of working by any stealth "upgrade" from Autodesk, you're vulnerable, and that's the crux of the problem.
    The fact that you can take advantage of different part models and different stock models in lots of different combinations only is a shortcoming if someone takes away your ability to post from your original assembly files but it's a total show stopper as soon as they do.

    That's why dumb copies of the original part file are kind of pointless; they are such a small part of the whole package that they're almost valueless on their own if you hope to preserve all of your work and guard it from predatory business practices by your software vendor.

    Cheers

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    I wasn't talking about cam. I'm not sure what benefit is provided by having access to the parametric history in cam anyway? Or are you talking about design features instead?


    Fred, I watched the video. That still imports a dumb solid and starts from there. Whatever follows is analogous to synchronous/direct modelling in other cad software.
    That video, wow, lots of marketing woo in there lol. You could shorten that video down to 1 sentence....'you can import dumb solids in fusion and work with them'

    To expand a bit on what Marcus said in regards to solid history, information about feature types is also a biggie. Is that 5/16 hole reamed, drilled, tapped 5/16 fine or coarse, tapped 3/8 course??? If CAM can see the model history thats a pretty simple hole, otherwise you'll need manual input to define the hole type/process. Same can be said for pockets, bosses, etc. All the rage these days is MBD, model based data. Including data such as GD&T info from CAD into a CAM environment is another game changer.....I know, getting off topic but just thought I'd mention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    'you can import dumb solids in fusion and work with them'
    That is not simply not true. There is a difference between importing a file and linking to it with ANYCAD. This technlolgy was released about a year before the SW version called SolidWorks 3D Interconnect. I would suspect these are licensed technologies and other cad vendors have or will have similar.

    217 What's New in SOLIDWORKS - SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect

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    Quote Originally Posted by csharp View Post
    That is not simply not true. There is a difference between importing a file and linking to it with ANYCAD. This technlolgy was released about a year before the SW version called SolidWorks 3D Interconnect. I would suspect these are licensed technologies and other cad vendors have or will have similar.

    2�17 What's New in SOLIDWORKS - SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect
    I believe you are right on the license technology Lonnie. AnyCad was first released in Inventor 2012, so it has been around in Autodesk products for quite a while. It is a more recent addition of Fusion 360 though.

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    Here is the thing of this whole discussion - the severity of your vulnerability to Autodesk being predators scales proportionally with the nature/volume of your work.

    If you're a hardcore aerospace shop banging out a high mix of mission critical aerospace parts? You would be pretty fucking stupid to be using Fusion for about a hundred reasons. Go buy NX and be done with it, the investment in software is a pittance compared to your capital asset spend and raw margins.

    On the other hand, if you're a small company with a catalog of 10-20 parts you bang out on your Haas, you're a fool to be spending tens of thousands of dollars upfront on SolidWorks/HSM Works right now. Fusion is a gods damn bargain and works amazingly well at that scale. If Autodesk goes full Senator Palpatine and turns to the dark side? Well, export your parts/fixtures as dumb solids and grind out reprogramming for a couple of weeks. Sucks, but totally worth the $20k you'll have saved in the meantime.

    Of course, most of us all fit somewhere between these extremes, which is why this debate is so vehement. I'm on the latter end of the continuum, so not only does it make total sense for me to use Fusion, but it's such a solid choice, I'm a bit vehement in defending it. Having said that, I also see how it's totally logical that if you were in a different line of business, the downsides of Fusion's model might be total showstoppers, and you can't comprehend how anyone could put up with them.

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    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.
    Implex, I don't disagree, and just to clarify. I don't use Fusion 360 for CAD at all with the exception of doing small modifications to parts. I only use the CAM portion and that's the only thing I find it useful for. I believe the CAM works very well especially for its price point. I'm a very small shop so my perspective is much different. This risk is very low even if I were to be held hostage. The way I see it is the software industry is moving toward subscription and other companies are going to adopt this business model sooner or later and we will all be held hostage on some level. The bottom line is whether we like Adesk or not, they are creating competition and will probably drag prices down overall, which is a good thing.

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    Thought this deserved a bump with the recent update. Finally allow you to export to different files types like .dxf!! YAY!

    So I will just open this one person's .dxf , modify it, and export it to my machine as .dxf right. right.?

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    I assume that's a question, correct? Yes, you should be able to "upload" a file, (which should already save it), then modify/save and "export" the DXF.

    In my experience, I have given up (for now) trying to edit complex DXF geometry (2D) in Fusion. I've corresponded a few times with A-D about Fusion's (lack of) ability to handle DXF profiles that contain a lot of elements, and they are well aware that this is an issue (and apparently "working on it").

    I personally use a very old version of an Ashlar CAD program when I have to work with DXF profiles with many hundreds of elements (typically a combination of lines and arc-sections). That program handles it instantly, and Fusion will just choke on it and sometimes crash.

    "horses for courses", I suppose...

    PM


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