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  • Fusion360 vs Solidworks

    I started with Solidworks, learned it well, survived from it for a few years. Then came along Fusion360 and the price was right, so started using Fusion. Years go by and I get my hands on a student edition of Solidworks and and am super excited to use it again.
    I hate to say it, but I really like Fusion better now, especially with the built in CAM...
    Autodesk is going to kill Solidworks by offering their stuff for free to hobbyists and startups, people won't even bother learning Solidworks. And Solidworks has this stupid idea where you can only install ONE copy of the student edition, so pick your computer! Not an issue with Fusion!

  • #2
    Not sure if it's the same on the student version, but with my 2018 seat I can load it on multiple computers. It only works on one at a time, so you need to "deactivate" it from one computer and then "activate" it on the other. The activate/deactivate option can be found by clicking on the little arrow to the right of the help icon to open a drop down menu. Of course, you will need internet to activate things. They don't make it easy to find this out...
    George
    Traverse City, MI

    Comment


    • #3
      I have not tried Solidworks so I can not provide any comparisons. I am learning Fusion360 and like it. One feature that I like a lot is Parametric Design. What that means is that when you draw a feature and dimension it, you do not need to choose a definite and final number for that dimension. Fusion360 has a table of Parameters which you can define. You can add to them as you proceed with the design and you can change then later without a need to change the drawing. I am creating a fixture to hold standard bolts and I want to be able to make these for several sizes of bolts, both English and metric. I am creating parameters for each of the dimensions, most of them are based on the basic sizes of standard bolts: diameter, hex head size, etc. Fusion's Parameter table allows the use of equations for new parameters so a radius can be defined as the diameter parameter divided by two.

      What I am winding up with in this design/project is a Parameter Table where I can change the values three or four parameters and have a complete design for a new sized bolt. All of the remaining parameters will automatically adjust based on these few values and the drawing is instantly transformed to the different size. So once this drawing/design is complete, I should be able to 3D print a bunch of these fixtures in custom sizes. To me, this is a great feature. I don't know if Solidworks has it.

      I have not tried to use Fusion360 on more than one computer, but it is web/cloud based and I suspect that I can log in from anywhere, even the local, public library or an internet cafe. This could be a security issue for some industrial/professional users as the files are not on a local hard drive. I am not a big fan of cloud based computing, but in this case, the advantages do outweigh the potential problems.

      PS: Photos and screen shots are being taken and I do plan to use this project as the basis of an article for one of our sponsor's magazines. And if anyone wants to learn Fusion360, I highly recommend the videos of Paul McWhorter on YouTube. Here's one:

      You guys can help me out over at Patreon, and that will keep this high quality content coming:https://www.patreon.com/PaulMcWhorterIn this series of Tutorial...


      Of course there are many, many others. Learning Fusion should be easy.
      Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 12-12-2018, 07:49 PM.
      Paul A.
      SE Texas

      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
      You will find that it has discrete steps.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by RB211 View Post
        Autodesk is going to kill Solidworks by offering their stuff for free to hobbyists and startups, people won't even bother learning Solidworks.
        That is exactly why the are doing it.

        In the early days of Autocad there wasn't any copy protection on it and it was widely pirated. When desktop CAD took off companies didn't have trained people to use these programs EXCEPT for Autocad, (all the people that learned to use Autocad on pirated copies went to work as CAD operators for these companies) so that is what they bought and Autodesk took off as a major player in the market. People are going to hack the copy protection and pirate these programs for home use anyway so Autodesk just gives it to them for free and that means more people able to use their programs. They arn't losing anything because the people that used them for free frequently didn't buy the programs anyway.
        The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

        Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

        Southwestern Ontario. Canada

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
          I have not tried Solidworks so I can not provide any comparisons. I am learning Fusion360 and like it. One feature that I like a lot is Parametric Design. What that means is that when you draw a feature and dimension it, you do not need to choose a definite and final number for that dimension. Fusion360 has a table of Parameters which you can define. You can add to them as you proceed with the design and you can change then later without a need to change the drawing. I am creating a fixture to hold standard bolts and I want to be able to make these for several sizes of bolts, both English and metric. I am creating parameters for each of the dimensions, most of them are based on the basic sizes of standard bolts: diameter, hex head size, etc. Fusion's Parameter table allows the use of equations for new parameters so a radius can be defined as the diameter parameter divided by two.

          What I am winding up with in this design/project is a Parameter Table where I can change the values three or four parameters and have a complete design for a new sized bolt. All of the remaining parameters will automatically adjust based on these few values and the drawing is instantly transformed to the different size. So once this drawing/design is complete, I should be able to 3D print a bunch of these fixtures in custom sizes. To me, this is a great feature. I don't know if Solidworks has it.

          I have not tried to use Fusion360 on more than one computer, but it is web/cloud based and I suspect that I can log in from anywhere, even the local, public library or an internet cafe. This could be a security issue for some industrial/professional users as the files are not on a local hard drive. I am not a big fan of cloud based computing, but in this case, the advantages do outweigh the potential problems.

          PS: Photos and screen shots are being taken and I do plan to use this project as the basis of an article for one of our sponsor's magazines. And if anyone wants to learn Fusion360, I highly recommend the videos of Paul McWhorter on YouTube. Here's one:

          You guys can help me out over at Patreon, and that will keep this high quality content coming:https://www.patreon.com/PaulMcWhorterIn this series of Tutorial...


          Of course there are many, many others. Learning Fusion should be easy.
          Parametric modeling is precisely why I like Fusion and Solidworks.

          Comment


          • #6
            AND when those software pirates create or need to create things for their employers, those employers DO BUY legitimate copies of the software because they NEED THE LEGITIMACY and the SUPPORT.

            Giving the software away to the users who are not making a profit from it is SMART MARKETING. It is the SMARTEST marketing and mature software companies realize that.

            I did that with an early version of a spreadsheet program several decades ago. I had a pirated copy and I learned how to use it, including using macros for customizing the spreadsheets to do specific things. I created a spreadsheet that performed ONE job very easily for my employer. Based on that single use, my employer purchased at least two legitimate copies of that spreadsheet software and used it for many years for that and other uses that I and others created. That was a WIN, WIN, WIN. And it was all because I learned to use and used a pirated copy. This is why software companies provide free or cheap software to students. They want the students to learn and use THEIR software.

            It is not the only time that one of my employers purchased software based on an application of that software created on a free or pirated copy or using software that I had personally purchased. It has happened over and over in my career. And the software companies are the ones who benefited. Well, everyone did, but they benefited with additional sales: actual dollars into the front door.

            Another part of the reason for switching users to the web/cloud based system is that security against pirates is easier. They can do a check-out of the registered users and if any of them seem to be abusing the privilege, they can just turn the faucet off, right there in the cloud. So if General Motors or a small company that is going ballistic on the stock market is using a free copy, they just may contact them about it. But it's going to be a while before they make any calls or send any e-mails to me.

            It really is a very smart strategy.



            Originally posted by loose nut View Post
            That is exactly why the are doing it.

            In the early days of Autocad there wasn't any copy protection on it and it was widely pirated. When desktop CAD took off companies didn't have trained people to use these programs EXCEPT for Autocad, (all the people that learned to use Autocad on pirated copies went to work as CAD operators for these companies) so that is what they bought and Autodesk took off as a major player in the market. People are going to hack the copy protection and pirate these programs for home use anyway so Autodesk just gives it to them for free and that means more people able to use their programs. They arn't losing anything because the people that used them for free frequently didn't buy the programs anyway.
            Paul A.
            SE Texas

            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
            You will find that it has discrete steps.

            Comment


            • #7
              So now I know that Solidworks has it too. Thanks.



              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
              Parametric modeling is precisely why I like Fusion and Solidworks.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                So now I know that Solidworks has it too. Thanks.
                I'll even go as far as to say that for myself, CAD is useless without parametric modeling. I use CAD as an open sandbox to test ideas. To me at least, other cad programs lacking parametric modeling come across as you needing to know the dimensions already.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Does Fusion natively handle parametrically defined log spirals (r=a*e^b*theta)? 90% of my machining is log spiral cams, and I was over the moon happy when SW decided to handle it natively. Doing point clouds in Mathematica then importing was a royal PITA and did not handle fillets well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All the serious 3D programs have what is somewhat incorrectly called "parametric modeling". Solidworks, Fusion, Alibre, etc.

                    Some, like Turbocad, do not, and they are just not very useful.

                    Basically, if the program is "parametric", then all parts and assemblies can be edited after creation. Without it, they have to be "re-drawn", which is a different thing entirely, putting the burden on you to figure out what changes have to happen because of some dimension changing.

                    If you have a cube with a hole through it, and a parametric program, and the cube is used in a larger assembly.... You can change the size of the cube, or the size or even location of the hole, by opening that part, and changing the numbers for whatever dimensions you want to change, and it will still assemble in the same relation in the assembly (it might not FIT, but the program will try to put it in with the same orientation and location).

                    If you make the cube into a rectangular shape, stretching it out in the direction of the hole, then if the hole has been defined as a through-hole, it gets longer with the part automatically. You do not have to re-define it manually.

                    If another part goes onto the far side of the cube in the assembly, then it will be automatically moved to still go onto the far side, if the cube has been changed to a rectangular part so that side is in a different place. You do not have to do any more drawing and changing things. The assembly adjusts as the parts change.

                    Yes, it is a huge boost to productivity.
                    Last edited by J Tiers; 12-12-2018, 08:59 PM.
                    CNC machines only go through the motions.

                    Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                    Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                    Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                    I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                    Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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                    • #11
                      Paul, Fusion 360 is installed software with the files being stored in the cloud. In order to use it you have to have the program installed on the computer you are using. So you wouldn't be able to use it at the Library unless the Library has it installed on their computers. Now if they did you could log in under your username and have at it. OnShape is a browser based CAD program that would allow you to log in from any computer and work. It is not locally installed software.
                      Location: The Black Forest in Germany

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                        AND when those software pirates create or need to create things for their employers, those employers DO BUY legitimate copies of the software because they NEED THE LEGITIMACY and the SUPPORT.

                        Giving the software away to the users who are not making a profit from it is SMART MARKETING. It is the SMARTEST marketing and mature software companies realize that.
                        And that right there is why asian counterfeit cd's and licenses of windows were ignored for decades, and why every download site out there seems to have a cracked copy of solidworks for download and use on a offline only computer if you were so inclined...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post

                          Another part of the reason for switching users to the web/cloud based system is that security against pirates is easier. .
                          But any company with a half ass-ed IT department would not allow cloud based programs for security reasons no matter how good the "cloud security" is claimed to be. Companies have to much invested in designs to take a risk like that whether it is data loss or theft. It could be interesting to see what happens when CAD company A tells Design Company B that they have to go to the cloud model to use their CAD product.
                          The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                          Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                          Southwestern Ontario. Canada

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Isn't cam an extra cost for solidworks?

                            Fusion is the only reason I am still running a windows virtual machine...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by skunkworks View Post
                              Isn't cam an extra cost for solidworks?
                              Not an extra cost upfront, but you need to have a current maintenance contract for it to work. The CAM on my work box disappeared as soon as our contract ended. I never did cut anything with it, as I use Fusion at home.
                              George
                              Traverse City, MI

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