It's No SOLIDWORKS, That's For Sure!

By RJ, Posted October 24, 2017

It's no SOLIDWORKS, that's for sure!  I can't even export an STL from it.  The only file it will create is an f3d.

As the words floated through the air and struck my eardrums, I dropped everything.  That was, in fact, false.  I regularly use Fusion 360 to generate STL files for my 3D Printer at home, and the process is so easy it almost completes itself.

If you feel like I'm continuing a story you didn't hear the beginning to, you might be.  Check out my previous blog post, then you can come back and read this one.  Just before this all started, I had been asking the student about the design he was trying to get started on the the Makerbot.  You see, I heard he had designed it in Fusion 360.  I wanted to know how he felt about Fusion 360, how long he'd been using it, what else he had designed with it.

"Do you have Fusion 360 here, with you?  If not I can show you on my Lenovo," I said to the student.

"Over here, I have the design I'm printing right now."  He opened his Macbook and pulled up Fusion 360.  Just a few clicks of the mouse later, and he had his STL file ready to go.

Autodesk Fusion 360 Make Autodesk Fusion 360 Make animated GIF

This isn't the blog I thought I was going to be writing.  I planned on getting some photos of the lab, talking with the users about Fusion 360, and hopefully getting some new converts to download and try it out.  I wasn't sure I'd even find any F360 users in the lab.  But I did, and hopefully by just showing one more tool that was hiding in plain sight, that student and others in the lab will now give Fusion 360 another chance.  Sometimes you just need someone to show you what you're missing.

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Fusion 360 really is the perfect companion for the type of projects they were running in that Prototyping lab.  And with the Eagle integration that's now available, even better.  (Stay tuned to my good buddy Daniel's blog posts for more on Eagle in the future!)  I regularly use the Make tool to generate STLs and even launch and load them into Cura for slicing.  You don't even have to save an STL file, the design transfers straight from Fusion to the slicer of your choice for 3D printing!  Now that's pretty cool.  It cuts the files I need to manage in half.

Overall, I had a great time at both Oregon State and Portland State Universities.  A challenging, eye-opening, but ultimately positive experience.  Is there anything you have been looking for in Fusion 360 and just can't find?  Is there a feature you wish it had but you just can't find?  Maybe it's there hiding in plain sight for you too!  Don't hesitate to reach out in the comments below, or through our Autodesk support team.  D3 is here to help.

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