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Auto fusion 360 any good ?

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I want to see if I can put my rx seat rails into cad to get familiar with cad. 
autofusion 360 looks good and is free for personal use. I fired it up and tried to see if I could draw anything without a tutorial. I can not. 
So looking for forum guidance and experience on what’s the current best way to (relatively cheaply) dive into CAD ?

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Fusion 360 seems to be quite popular as a free alternative. I'd have a quick look at a few tutorials it'll speed it up quite a bit.

I've got a copy of Inventor Pro so don't tend to use the online stuff but it'll be the same way I guess. Start a sketch on a particular plane, draw some shapes - extrude them to make them a 3D object and away you go.

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I think you have to spend a bit of time to get into it,.. I have tried and failed a couple of times and it's one of those things I keep meaning to go back to, ... maybe the next lockdown :ph34r:

I have quite a bit of 2D drafting experience... (mainly self taught unless you go back to my O-level technical drawing and early Apple mac)... I often use an old Autocad 2007 to template stuff, .... and I was expecting it all just to fall into place, ...it didn't, ...it would help me a lot to spend an hour with someone to start me off because I have yet to find a video that suits my tempo, temper and language skills.

Worth persevering with though, I would love to make use of the stress analysis functions, and 3D print stuff.

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Fusion is very popular amongst the Workshop Crew here - mainly because it's free!  We design in Solidworks, but the fabricators having a tool they can use for simple jobs and to be able to view models of ours is fantastic.

Fusion, for most users is as good/useful as Inventor or Solidworks.  The only realy useful thing it lacks is 'Frames' (called 'Weldments' in Solidworks) which is a very quick & easy way of designing metal frameworks out of standard sections.  However, you can still design frames using slower techniques.

I love being able to try stuff, without cutting any metal.  Being able to design linkages and see they move correctly first - then being able to have parts Laser cut or CNC Machined exactly to the design.  With your own CNC, you can go from an idea to a lump of metal within 15 mins!

It's definitely worth the time to learn it!  As Ed suggested, follow the built in tutorials - they are a great start.  I thought I ought to know how to drive it at least - so thats what I did. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a long term Solidworks user, but I recently installed Fusion 360 at home to see what it's like.

I've actually found it (as an experienced CAD user) very intuitive and easy to pick up. Knowing the 'correct' way to construct a model is definitely an advantage, and I can see that for a CAD noob it could seem a little daunting. Fusion handles assemblies a bit differently to SW, but I quite like it, and even prefer some features over SW.

As Si mentioned, weldments are a very useful tool if you do a lot of tube fabbing.

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