During a noon-time webinar today, Autodesk unveiled V2 of its Fusion 360, a tool that combines mechanical, industrial and conceptual design into one easy-to-use, cloud-based tool. The company reports that Fusion 360, which is purchased on a monthly subscription basis, now has over 30,000 users.
Getting started in Fusion 360 is relatively simple. Users start by either using direct modeling intuitive push-pull commands to create a shape or can drag and drop an existing model created in any CAD format from their desktop. Pretty simple. When users are working on a design, they can create and add new components to quickly make that design an assembly.
Data management is done in the cloud. Once users start creating geometry, every iteration or change is “saved” and maintained in a version history that sits in the cloud. When users open up an existing design, they can access any iteration of it. Each design and iteration has a visual snapshot so users know what they are opening.
The product was released with direct modeling tools built in, but was noticeably lacking in parametric modeling tools. V2 offers a variation of history-based iterative design as well. With this version, users can still perform direct modeling, but can also capture key commands in a historical, dynamic and editable design timeline.
Here’s how that works: users can start by bringing in a reference image, a sculpt body or start modeling with solid primitives. The timeline captures their commands as they progress; direct manipulations (edit form and patch commands) are not. If users need to make a change to the original sculpt body, they right click on the body creation instance and select edit to make the changes. The design as a whole will update and make the necessary changes.
The new version also touts a revamped version of the dashboard for design collaboration. Design participants no longer have to switch from hub to hub; they are now all organized in their Projects section, and activities in those projects will all show up in their activity stream. Users can also now take advantage of the Rendering as a Service (RaaS) technology, which enables them to see how their design will look in various background environments, and to set custom resolutions for direct download.
Users can also now input text as a sketch, which is then selectable for all profile-consuming commands, such as extrude, revolve, etc. A new joint command, As-Built Joint, gives users the option of joining two components based on their current location, and not their snap points. A Sculpt pipe command has also been added that enables users to define a T-Spline body based on a set of sketch elements or T-Spline edges.
Get more information on Autodesk Fusion 360 here.