Fusion 360 for a beginner

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Cogsy

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Video tutorials are great for general learning but I find that when you need specific information then Google is your friend. I haven't used Fusion at all (yet) but just for giggles I typed in "how to convert 3d to 2d drawing in fusion 360" into Google and the first result it gave had the info required and links to further explanations (here's the LINK). So if you've got a specific question, bang it into Google in natural language and you'll likely find it's been asked before on a forum somewhere and an answer exists.
 

lkrestorer

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Thanks Cogsy. I went there and read the official explanation. It's humbling to find out how I could have found the answer by myself - never thought of it. Thanks for the lesson in how to be smarter.
 

lkrestorer

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Well, since I got my 'Cogsy lesson' I've been digging into this a little (a lot!) farther. The link that Cogsy mentioned also takes you to some very good YouTube videos made by Autodesk that are quite detailed and explain all of this stuff. My guess is that they have others that explain the other topics, too. They do show an older menu version but I've been able to overcome that problem. (The videos that talk about converting to 2D are dated 2015.)

My assessment now is that if you were to follow Arnold Rowntree's lesson plan of modeling 16 progressively harder parts and then read and watch the Autodesk videos you could produce very nice 2D (and add isometric views) professional looking drawings. The flexibility and options available are countless (at least, I can't count them all).

It will not come overnight. I have a long road ahead of me yet. However, Fusion 360 looks like it may be a very good choice for hobbyists who want to make quality drawings. That's what I want to do. And, it's free - which makes it hard to beat.

The event that started me looking into CAD was that my Minnesota winter is being taken up by my recovery from total shoulder replacement surgery. I have been forbidden to venture out to my shop

Thank you to all who have encouraged me (er, kicked me in the butt!) o_O
 

kuhncw

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lkrestorer,

Thanks for mentioning the free Solid Edge 2D Drafting 2020. I downloaded it and drew a few lines. It looks like a good 2D package, once you learn the icons.

Good luck with the Fusion 360. I think you'll enjoy it.

Regards,

Chuck

 

Cessnadriver

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Hey if anyone in the this thread signs up for Fusion 360 and is getting all of the functions with it for free as a hobbiest please let me know. I had it for free and was contacted by Fusion and was told it would only be free to students that had a registered class with an instructor. I paid $450.00 for the year. I spoke to them twice about it. It maybe free for a period of time and than billable after?? I use the CAD and CAM and since I’m not selling ot making money using it I would hope they do the fair thing.
 

kuhncw

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lkrestorer

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These last couple of posts had me worried now that I've made such a big deal of learning Fusion. If you go to the two links that 'kuhncw' posted it explains everything. My copy says: Autodesk Fusion 360 (Personal - Not For Commercial Use) at the top left of the window. In the upper right corner it has my name and when I dig into the drop down list it says that I'm on the 'lkrestorer team' and I'm the administrator.

The key appears to not be connected in any way with a "team" that is a business and making money with the program. If so, you are considered "one of them".
 

nealeb

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Been some interesting comments here. There's a theme along the lines of "it's just about pretty pictures - gimme drawings!", another says "how do I move from 2D to 3D?", another is "it's all too complicated!" Sitting in the background is a complaint that Youtube tutorials and similar are great if you have an idea of how and what you want to do already and need a bit of detail, but are less useful for a novice who needs to be led a bit more slowly along the learning route.

This "just making models" point is interesting. Maybe the issue is with the word "model" - equates to "toy" for some people? I have a simpler view of 3D CAD (where the D is for design, not drawing). I use F360 to build my first prototype. Costs me zero in materials, just some of my time. That "model" on screen is the nearest I can get to something I can pick up, turn round, look at from near or far and from any angle. OK, if I'm drawing the frame for a loco it is, to all intents and purposes, a 2D object that just happens to have a bit of thickness. Don't really need a 3D model to show me that. But what about a cylinder casting? Or some of the frame stretchers in my current model that are fabricated from multiple pieces? Each piece is flat plate but the finished item is definitely 3D. And if I've already modeled the frames, I can assemble them all on screen to see how they fit. When I come to produce drawings, I not only have automatically created 3-view engineering drawings to take into the workshop but also a little isometric drawing in the corner to see at a glance how the bits go together.

When it comes to moving from using 2D to 3D CAD, I'm not sure that the best advice isn't to start by forgetting all you were taught about producing engineering drawings in 2D! I know that that's a bit contentious, but it's because what look superficially like 2D "drawings" that are used en route to building a 3D model are not drawings at all. That's why F360 calls them sketches. They represent "design intent" - not itty-bitty detail that is highly relevant when you come to make it but which is not at all relevant at the design stage. One of my simple recommendations to beginners - don't even try to use snaps and similar to place lines, circles and points on the drawing. That is 2D CAD thinking. Select, say, the rectangle tool, roughly drag out a rectangular box somewhere near where you are going to want it, and then add the constraints that define exactly what and where you want it and the software will move it about on screen to match. The design intent is not that the bottom LH corner is at (X,Y), for example - it's that it is aligned with some other point on the drawing and the actual coordinates really, really, don't matter. So use the coincident constraint tool to lock the rectangle's corner to the point in the sketch where it should align. "Yeah, but... It's the same thing!" Oh no it isn't! Let's say that this new rectangle is now locked to a point that might move as a result of some design or dimension change downstream. If you had located the rectangle by coordinates, move the reference point and you now need to separately move the rectangle and do any knock-on changes. Lock the rectangle corner to the reference point, move the reference point, and the rectangle moves without any further effort. As does anything else locked via (coincident, parallel, concentric, etc) constraints. Perhaps your design intent is, say, to create a square 70mm on each side. Don't draw a rectangle with both sides set to 70mm. Draw a rectangle with one side set to 70mm, and then set the second side using the "equal" constraint. Then, if your design changes and you want to make it a 60mm square, you only change one dimension, your design intent remains intact, and you have reduced the likelihood of missing out all the other knock-on changes. F360 lets you go back and change history because you can make that kind of change to earlier details even when the rest of the design is much more developed and the effects will just roll through and show on screen. I used to use TurboCAD for 2D and 9 times out of 10 I would redraw something because making a change when I needed to alter an earlier dimension was just so difficult.

There's a bunch of other things mentioned, like how to import DXF to a sketch, and "where's the way in to the drawings module?" Not to mention all the CAM stuff (and I use CNC for anything I can in preference to manual machining, so that bit's important to me). Once you've got the basics under your belt, those things are suitable for online tutorials, or (as someone pointed out) Google searching. Frankly, I find using the official Autodesk documentation very difficult and if I want to know how to do something, I go to Google. Which often takes me to the right place in the Autodesk docs much faster than via the Autodesk site!

I think that it's really important to get off on the right foot and use the tools the way they are intended to be used because without that, you are likely to find yourself going up blind alleys as your models become more complex, and you will miss out on a lot of the power of the software.
 
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lemelman

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I've found that I tend to make most progress from having to finish a personal project rather than by following tutorials. I then discovered the Autodesk Community of the Philippines (see https://tinyurl.com/yyzno8ye).
This was quite different. It's actually a series of monthly challenges designed with the aim of awarding a certificate to those who register and complete the series - of 10, I think. It is not necessary to register in order to see each challenge - I didn't.
Each challenge is a bite-sized project designed to introduce one or two new concepts. If, like me, you don't register, you have to wait for the end of the month to see the challenge and it's solution, which is presented in a very clear manner, with each keypress fully described. Challenges from earlier months or years are a good source of information.
 

Brian Hutchings

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The comment above about using personal projects is absolutely true for me. I used the tutorials by Lars Christiansen of Autodesk to get me started but then used a project of my own to get further. I made a 3 inch to the foot steam traction engine model some years ago and now wanted to make another at half the size. I have all the drawings I made originally and used these to redraw in Fusion 360. This taught me a lot as well as providing me with the drawings and the 3D models.
You can get lots of help by looking for answers on the Autodesk community site or by asking the question, which can include a copy of your sketch.
Brian
 

barryc43

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Thanks Cogsy. I went there and read the official explanation. It's humbling to find out how I could have found the answer by myself - never thought of it. Thanks for the lesson in how to be smarter.
Hi, I posted a reply to your question on making 2D drawings from 3D models under Software and Programming titled " Fusion 360 - Printing 2D Orthogonal Drawings" hope this helps as it's a step by step routine. Sorry it wasn't posted as a reply to you directly! regards, Barry
 

lkrestorer

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Wow, it looks like I'm just barely scratching the surface of this program.

I have a built-in sleeping formula. If there is a project I'm working on and I'm deeply involved or am being puzzled by I tend to dream myself to sleep with it. Last night I was wondering about how to combine the pieces I'm drawing into a finished model of my project. After reading the last couple of posts I went to the videos from the folks in the Philippines. The first one I looked at showed how to put a project together. I realize I'm not laying the groundwork for this by the way I'm making drawings but it opened my eyes to what can be done.

'nealeb' mentioned using the constraint function rather than coordinates to locate parts of the drawing. I had seen this mentioned elsewhere and he explained it better.

I will be taking more baby-steps but it's getting more fascinating as I progress. Again, everything is there - you just have to find it. These hints and tips do certainly help.
 

Jack3M

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Ikrestorer....yes you need to use the constraints, which can be a PIA, but down the road they are imperative. You using the "join" or "joint" function to put these together? I am sure there are many ways. Personally with what I do I split most of my drawings down one plane in the middle as I make casting plugs.

For example, I effed up some holes on these two parts, one not straight, one wrong drill for the tap, anyhow, human right? (I haven't been using 360 that long, maybe a year or two, so I know little, but somehow seem to be able to figure it out. That is one of the nice things, with the basics under your belt you can pretty much figure out how to get anything done.) So contacted the seller of the kit, no response. I am not one to wait around so in about a half hour I drew up one - printing now.
20200120_121605.jpg
As you can see, well not so well, but it is a very complicated part. Yes, I drew on most of my knowledge of 360, but looking good on printer so far. Here is photo of drawing. Haven't figured out how to get into PDF yet, but down the road....LOL
20200120_122310.jpg
 

lkrestorer

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Jack3M,
This is the link that got me into making the finished drawings. It's the one that cogsy mentioned. When you get to the Drawing page the pdf output icon is right on the top.

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/fusion-360/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/How-to-create-a-2D-drawing-from-your-CAD-file-in-Fusion-360.html

I'm curious about your user name. Is the '3M' taken from the company? I spent the last 29 years of my working life fixing some of their production machinery.
 

Jack3M

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LOL, no my last name is Martin and I am a III of the same name. My sister at one time in her life put in about 10 years selling their business solutions to the big companies.....she retired after the Y2K. Not with that company but another that delt with Y2K stuff. She had 7 figure year in the two preceeding Y2K.
 

lkrestorer

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Just thought I'd ask. 3M is one of those companies that has a quite large number of employees. I'm always surprised by the things I hear when I tell people I had worked for them. One is: "Oh, do you know so-and-so? They worked for 3M, too." (Yeah, right! Did they even work for them in this country?) The other response is: "That's nice. They make really good tape (or sandpaper or whatever)."

They were really good to work for and I get a nice check from them every month.

Sorry, I didn't want to hijack the thread. This is all I'll say about that.
 

Jules

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I tried Fusion for a short while and started to get to grips with it.
Not sure what they have done with it now but I cannot even draw two lines that connect together at a given angle.
The angle is shown as is the length but as soon as you enter a length, the angle box disappears !!!
What have they done to this software. It now completely baffles me.
 

Brian Hutchings

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They changed the appearance of Fusion 360 quite a lot but I found it easier to work with as there was less to remember.
I should say that I am a relative beginner but I found it easier to work with actual personal projects once I got through the 3 parts of Lars tutorial.
I still find things that baffle me but found the people on the help site were VERY helpful.
I still have problems sometimes but I'm getting there and I'm sure this is the way of the future.
I should point out that I am not using Fusion 360 in industry but as a maker of models of very early road vehicles (in England). and am hoping to progress to CNC machining using the models created in Fusion 360; mind you, I'm quite a long way off that!
Brian
 

RonGinger

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Maybe some guys are having trouble on the difference between CAD and solid modeling. With fusion you dont want to draw LINES, you want to draw solid objects, like cubes and cylinders. You then manipulate the objects by doing things like extruding, cutting. It is very much like you do things in the shop- you start with solid objects and hack away at them until you get a part. Fusion has the one huge improvement over the shop in having the long needed 'putting on' tool.

Think Solid object, not lines and arcs.
 
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