Fusion 360 replacement

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chucketn

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Since the powers that be have seen fit to loose all my projects(at least I can't find them since the "Team" update), what is a free cad system that one can learn easily. My only successful experience with CAD has been with Fusion. It worked fine for a couple years, even got through the Gui update. Now all my work is gone... Even stuff I designed over the last few days...
 

XD351

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I had the same problem !
All is not lost i got mine back but it took a good part of an hour of stuffing around and in the end i fluked it i think .
I was fiddling around with some of the icons at the top of the left panel where your work is usually displayed and found if i clicked one of these my work would reappear then disappear again almost instantly - leaving the panel empty again - this frustrated me to the point where i was contemplating gutting the computer . Damned if i can remember what i did but they eventually returned , i think fusion has just removed the link between this panel and the folder where your work is really stored so try in there and i think as you open each file they return to the panel where they used to be . I know that when they did return they were ghosted and i had to open each one to get them back to their previous state .
I have no used for this stupid team thing and it is forced upon you by this stupid pop up message that keeps appearing [emoji35][emoji35][emoji35].
If this didn’t work i aways have a back up set on my pc in a folder that is seperate to any fusion files so i can call on them if Fusion gets wiped .
 

awake

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If at some point you really want to go with something else, you might take a look at FreeCAD; it is free and open source. It has a learning curve, and it is also not quite as capable as Fusion 360 - but it keeps catching up rapidly. If someone had tried it, say, two years ago or more, he or she ought to give it another whirl now - it is improving that fast.
 

Apprentice707

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I tried Freecad and couldn't wrap my head around it. I had the same problem with Fusion360 as others seem to have had, but got a message telling me to sign in which I did and my files came back. No idea where they went.
 

awake

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As I said, there is a learning curve! :)

Well, I suppose there is a learning curve with Fusion 360 as well, but as best I can tell it is steeper with FreeCAD. Once you begin to get the hang of it, though, it generally works well. As I alluded to above, one thing to be aware of is that FreeCAD is on a rapid development curve, so features that are missing today may well be in place before the year is out - actually, probably are already in place if you want to try the "development" version, but I generally stay with the "stable" version.
 

bikr7549

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I have been using Onshape for a while and really like it. There is a series of articles in lastest Home Shop Machinist on learning to use it.
 

kquiggle

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I've been using OnShape for a while now and I can recommend it. OnShape also offers (also free) a pretty good set of online tutorials for learning how to use it. I found that after about 10 hours of online instruction I was able to do something useful with it, but it took perhaps another 30 hour hours of use for me to get comfortable with it, and I'm still learning. I have been using OnShape together with my Prusa Mk3/S 3D printer and find it works well for creating STL files (see some of my work here: PrusaPrinters).

In addition to use with 3D printing, I use OnShape to create 2D plans for other machining work. For some of the work I have done, OnShape is over-kill, but using it to create plans is a good way to get some practice in. For me anyway, I find practice goes easier if I also working on a personal project.

OnShape doesn't make their free version too easy to find - look here: Free Plan | Onshape

OnShape works in your browser on much pretty any operating system. This is one of the reasons I chose it, as I use Linux exclusively. Make sure your hardware supports it : Hardware and Graphics Recommendations

Some while ago I did an overview of free CAD software; it's a bit dated now, but here it is anyway:

Free CAD Software - Overview - Academy of Lagado
 

xj35s

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I was using fusion 360 but when I started working with .STL files the whole brep mesh crap frustrated me. I now use design spark mechanical. You can import an .STL modify it and export it to Cura or .STL file to save. The usage is almost identical to fusion but many things are just way easier.
 

kquiggle

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xj35s: Took a quick look at Design Spark Mechanical; sadly - Windows only.

You raise a good point though. The choice of software to use depends in part on how you plan to use it. IF you want to design parts in 3D and then create STL files then OnShape and similar programs are a good choice. OTOH, if you want to take an existing STL file and modify it, then OnShape is not going to help you much(if at all).

For working with and modifying STL files, I have had some success with FreeCAD, but this is an area I have only just started exploring.
 

awake

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Yes, good point - different programs may work better for different tasks. Interestingly, I find that increasingly I do nearly all of my design for 3d printing using OpenSCAD, which is a much more programmatic approach. FreeCAD, Fusion360, and no doubt others pride themselves on being parametric ... but when you REALLY want to be completely parametric, including all sorts of calculations of parameters, OpenSCAD is hard to beat. But it is a totally different way of thinking than Fusion/FreeCAD/etc.
 

kquiggle

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OnShape has a programming language. I've only had a quick look at it, but it appears to be pretty powerful. You can use it, for example, to create custom functions like drafting gears.
 

awake

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Sounds interesting. FreeCAD allows one to program in Python, but I haven't done more than just a teeny bit of experimenting with that, for the sake of an animation.
 

kquiggle

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OnShape calls it FeatureScript - here's a link for anyone interested.


Here's the blurb:

"FeatureScript is a new programming language designed by Onshape for building and working with 3D parametric models. The language is built into Onshape from the ground up, providing the foundation of Part Studio modeling, including robust geometric references, powerful parametric tools, and a type system with types built for math in three dimensions.

The standard feature types in Onshape (like Extrude, Fillet, and Helix) are already written as FeatureScript functions by our developers. Custom feature types extend this same mechanism to all users of Onshape.

FeatureScript can be added to any new or existing Onshape document by creating a Feature Studio."
 

awake

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That sounds very much like FreeCAD's Python interface.

Isn't OnShape cloud-based? If so, I wonder how the scripting is actually run; is it running on the local machine, directing the cloud-based program to do various steps, or does it actually run on the remote machine??

Interesting ...
 

kquiggle

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awake - I think it is a combination of both local and cloud. Although it is browser based, you need to have decent graphics hardware to use it, so it is clearly offloading a lot (all?) of the processing work to your gpu. And of course you need to have a halfway decent Internet connection. All of your work is stored in the cloud (but you can export STL files and other file formats).

The downside of the free version is that all of your files must be public (meaning anyone can see your work, and other OnShape users can make copies). You can also allow other OnShape users to edit, so it is a good tool for collaboration projects.

I am very far from being an expert in 3D CAD, but my amateur impression is that Fusion 360 has some capabilities that are still lacking in OnShape, although OnShape is quickly catching up. Fusion 360 is not an option for me since it doesn't run on Linux.
 

awake

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Likewise, I run Linux pretty much exclusively. I do have a VM with a Windows installation to handle occasional things that just absolutely have to be done on Windows, mostly to coordinate with my institution. But I detest Windows even more every time I have to use it, so definitely not going the Fusion360 route. :) Meanwhile, my home internet is not entirely reliable, so even semi-cloud-based is not a good option for me. :(
 

kstrauss

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Onshape is interesting but my ultimate goal is to generate gcode to control my Tormach CNC to make 2.5D and 3D pieces. Mecsoft offers a free CAM for Onshape that seems somewhat limited. Is there any CAM, hopefully free, that works with Onshape and will let me generate HSM toolpaths, peck drilling, hopefully 4th axis, etc?
 

kquiggle

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kstrauss - there are a lot of 3rd party apps available (mostly not free, I think) but I have not really explored that area. Look here :


They are also online forums you could explore and put your question to people who know way more about OnShape than me.

 
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