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OT? Fusion 360 Questions: Project, Folder, File, Design, Location, Part, Component...

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  • OT? Fusion 360 Questions: Project, Folder, File, Design, Location, Part, Component...

    My logical mind wants to know just what the above terms mean in Fusion 360 and what is their relationships to each other. I have stumbled through several tutorials and have created and 3D printed several one part items, but I now need to start on something more complicated with a bunch of parts.

    When I am talking about Fusion specific terminology I will capitalize the word.

    On top of my ignorance of these terms, due to the recent hurricane I am on my 9 year old, low end laptop and had to install Fusion 360 on it for the first time. I do have access to my previous work thanks to cloud storage. But getting started on this new design is proving troublesome. What I need to understand is where is the best place to start in this sequence of terms? What is the first thing I need to name and/or create? And then what order after that?

    I think that PART and COMPONENT are the same thing. And a FOLDER is inside of a PROJECT. But what about LOCATION and PROJECT? Are they the same? Or is a LOCATION a FILE?

    A specific problem I had when trying to create this new project was that I was unable to create any new PROJECT names. I was able to do this in the past and have several PROJECTs in my cloud storage, but when I tried now it always comes back with an error message, "Operation failed". There was no explanation beyond that. Is there a limit on the number of PROJECTS with the free version? They do not say that.

    Any help in understanding this Fusion terminology and how the various elements relate to each other would be greatly appreciated. I can play by the rules, but I need to know the rules first.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

  • #2
    Part = Component. Folder is inside of a Project. As to location I don't know. I looked for Location and couldn't find that word used anywhere. Where are you finding Location and in what context? One important thing to do is first thing save your open design first before starting to actually design anything. That will name your top component. Think of the top component as an assembly file name. If you know for certain that you will only have one component in your design then it is alright to use the top component to actually design your part. BUT if you are making an assembly of parts always create a new component for each part including the first one. It is considered best practice to do so.
    Last edited by Black Forest; 08-30-2020, 01:34 AM.
    Location: The Black Forest in Germany

    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!


    • #3
      A project is the master location for a given design, the top level folder of the file tree pretty much. A project will store all the files you put in that specific project. Folders go inside projects for extra organization, say if you were designing a car and you wanted the engine stuff separate from the frame stuff.

      A component is all given things needed to create an individual part, not just the solid bodies but also any sketches, planes and whatnot that go into making the part

      Location is a weird term to have in there, only place that i can think of Fusion using it is deciding where you want a file to save


      • #4
        The best place to start is with Rule #1.

        A few other best practices:
        • Don't use the Move or Align to position bodies. Each of these need to be recomputed every time Fusion 360 computes the model. This happens whenever a change is made. Use joints to position components/bodies.
        • Don't make large patterns in sketches. Extrude or create a feature, then pattern the feature. (A feature is generally anything which appears on the Timeline.)
        • Avoid near coincident or near tangent faces.
        • Fix any warning or error in the Timeline before continuing to model. These can lead to hard to debug problems later.
        • Fully constrain sketches ( A red lock symbol will appear on the sketch in the Browser).


        • #5
          "Part" as used in F360 can be a component or a body, depending on context. The most common use in the tutorials is when you are importing a part model from another sources, such as McMaster-Carr.

          Components are the building blocks that make up assemblies, and a body is one of the elements that make up a component. Each component contains one or more bodies, as well as its own set of origin planes, sketches, construction geometry, joints, and other elements. In Fusion 360, joints specify movement between parts. An important difference between bodies and components is that joints focus solely on components, not bodies. Components are necessary to create drawings with bills of materials (BOMs). Each component has its own set of properties. This why it's important to think of each body, or set of bodies, as a component of a project.

          Projects are, well, projects. They contain folder and files that pertain to that project. The only reference to "location" I can find in F360 is where projects/folders/files are saved, either the cloud or the local computer.