Living Up to Its Name, Fusion 360 Adds Sheet Metal, ECAD to MCAD > ENGINEERING.com

As the Autodesk updates roll out, the CAD company has just announced its August updates to its one-stop CAD shop, Fusion 360. The latest version adds electronics CAD (ECAD) and expanded browser client access.

Fusion 360’s updates underscore Autodesk’s vision of an all-inclusive software tool—a fusion of multiple disciplines all working in a single environment—that is needed in design and manufacturing. Whereas Fusion 360 may previously have covered purely mechanical design and manufacturing, the addition of ECAD acknowledges that modern products often have both mechanical and electrical parts. This means that users will ideally be able to move from sketching and modeling parts—including printed circuit board design, with various manufacturing processes in mind—to the actual production stage, either with drawings and tables or right to the CNC machines.

To learn more about the CAD software’s updates, ENGINEERING.com sat down with Autodesk’s Senior Product Manager Daniel Graham, who provided us with a demo of the software’s various features.

Sheet Metal Comes to Fusion 360

Fusion 360 now includes sheet metal design and manufacturing, considerably broadening its CAM capabilities. Although previously available only to specific beta testers, sheet metal is now available to all Fusion 360 users.

Graham explained that, by allowing private access to sheet metal, Autodesk was able to get feedback for the tool and then make improvements to it before the software’s public release. At the same time, some users were already able to begin leveraging the capability in their actual manufacturing process.

Fusion 360’s sheet metal application adds features that help the program catch up to existing sheet metal design software applications from other CAD vendors.

Multiple edges have been selected, extended and bent using a single tool. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

A contour flange is made in Fusion 360. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

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