Autodesk is a successful and highly respected software company that has developed numerous CAD, CAM and CAE packages and platforms used in a variety of industries across the globe. This article is far more than just a Fusion 360 price guide. We will take a detailed look at the benefits of using Autodesk’s product development package, including the ground-breaking generative design tool and all the other new features contained in the 2018 release. So before we get into the Fusion 360 price, let’s have a look at what it can do.
What is Fusion 360?
To put it simply, Fusion 360 is software that combines and coordinates CAD, CAM and CAE processes, to create a highly efficient product development cycle. It is compatible with both PC and Mac and is available as a subscription package with various points of entry.
In a nutshell, Fusion 360 allows you to design, simulate, prototype and fabricate with one central tool. It has been designed to facilitate collaborative and remote working, allowing different parties to work on a design simultaneously from anywhere in the world.
In practice, Fusion 360 assists each stage in the following ways:
- Design: designs can be easily optimised using the built-in drawing, sculpting and modelling New generative design tools can be applied to automate iterative optimisation.
- Simulation: realistic and detailed 3D rendering can be used to simulate assembly, test-fitting and component motion.
- Testing: Fusion 360 combines with additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing to easily create working prototypes.
- Fabrication: toolpath scan be optimised for more efficient machining.
The entire product development workflow is expedited and benefits everybody along the way, including designers, engineers, fabricators, andmanagers.
New Features for 2018
Generative Design Technology
The long-awaited inclusion of generative design technology has finally arrived.
For those who don’t know, generative design involves the software automatically performing thousands of iterations to optimisethe design within user-defined parameters. It harnesses the power of cloud computing to generate the immense processing power required to run this task quickly.
The results can be astonishing. Some people have described the designs as futuristic or even alien-like, but one thing is for sure – generative design is great news for both manufacturers and consumers as it will mean higher-quality products made with less waste.
In the Fusion 360 May 2018 update, you can now click a button marked ‘Generate’ in the workspace toolbar that takes you to a download page for Autodesk Generative Design Installer. Once this has installed, you can set your parameters, run your Fusion 360 model through the sophisticated algorithms and obtain dozens of design variations to choose from.
At the moment, this feature is only available to Windows OS users on the Fusion Ultimate Subscription (see below for more details on this).
Autodesk promises future developments with the generative design tool, including tighter integration into the platform (i.e.,no need for a separate installation).
Modelling and Sketching
A variety of improvements have been madeto the modelling and sketching capabilities of Fusion 360 including:
- the option to add a thread to hole sketches in a single command
- improved control over edge continuity
- ability to mirror sheet metal flanges
- inclusion of single-line fonts for etching procedures
- general sketch engine improvements
- compatibility with more file types including SolidWorks 2018, Solid Edge up to ST9 and Inventor 2019.
Simulation processes have been improved in the following ways:
- include 2D graphs and probe data in result reports
- simplified sending of models to Autodesk CFD and Moldflow
- promote shape optimised results directly to a simulation model
- perform non-linear static stress studies
The following enhancements have been madeto 2D drawing tools:
- select a variety of snaps when placing dimensions
- insert reference images into drawings
- automatically create balloons for tables
- enhanced centreline and centremark grip tool
Manufacturing process tools have been improved in the following ways:
- improved adaptive clearing
- improved toolpath support
- enhanced turning features – g. ability to peck at contour for chip forming
- enhanced tool libraries
- improved drilling options
Fusion 360 Price Plans
As mentioned previously, there are two levels of subscription when it comes to the Fusion 360 price guide: standard and ultimate.
The only difference between the two is that the Ultimate subscription includes advanced simulation and machining tools, as well as the new generative design feature. For more information follow this link: https://www.autodesk.co.uk/products/fusion-360/compare
At the time of writing, subscription prices are as follows:
|Monthly||1 Year||2 Years|
|Fusion 360 price||£36||£294||£588|
|Fusion 360 Ultimate price||£180||£1434||£2868|
These prices include the estimated VAT for a single-user standalone licence.
Also, please note that students, educators, and academic institutions can sign-up for free access to Fusion 360 here: https://www.autodesk.co.uk/products/fusion-360/students-teachers-educators