Beginning 3D CAD with Fusion 360

AutoDesk’s Fusion 360 is a professional 3D parametric CAD program that can produce 3D models for machining, visualization, and 3D printing.  In this class we’ll cover the basics of creating a 3D part using the common sketch-extrude-modify method.

By the end of this class, you will

  • know what the software does, when to use it

  • be able to make simple 3D parts

  • know how to export the design for fabrication

  • have a foundation for further exploration

Specifically, we will cover

  • purpose of Fusion 360 CAD

  • how it compares with other 2D and 3D CAD programs

  • the basic 2D sketch -> 3D feature -> modify sequence of creating a 3D part

  • using the design history and timeline for efficient modifications

  • using dimensions

  • basic and intermediate 2D sketching

  • using constraints

  • generating 2D and 3D files for fabrication (e.g., 3D printer or a milling machine)

  • using parameters and equations

  • repeating sketches and features

Bring to class:  Nothing is required.  If you wish, you can install Fusion 360 on your own computer, but we will have computers with the software already installed for your use in the class.  (See the class description on our website for any .zip files that may be used in this class.)

You will need to establish an account with AutoDesk to use the software.  Fusion 360 can be evaluated for free for 30 days by anyone–we will try to keep this class well under that limit.  Many people can continue to use the program for free (as of this writing), including students, startups, hobbyists, and so on.  Please refer to AutoDesk’s website for more details.  We should have time at the start of the class to create the account, but it will be faster if you create it beforehand.

Even if you choose not to use Fusion 360, the concepts in this class are widely applicable to parametric 3D CAD in general.  There are variations in details, but the general ideas should give you a good foundation regardless of the actual program you end up using.

Provided:  PCs with Fusion 360, example files.

This is a learn by doing class.

Maker Works has Fusion 360 installed on our common room workstations and our computer lab computers.

1 class: 3 hours
Class size: 5 people

Data files for this class (place on your desktop):