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Unread 02-03-2017, 07:44 AM
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Inventor vs. Fusion 360

My team had a meeting with Autodesk yesterday and they were really pushing Fusion 360. We have been using Inventor Professional for a couple years now, mainly because the engineering class at our high school teaches it.

So my question is; what are the main differences between the two and would it be worth the switch next year?
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Unread 02-03-2017, 08:07 AM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

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Originally Posted by Hazelhoff View Post
My team had a meeting with Autodesk yesterday and they were really pushing Fusion 360. We have been using Inventor Professional for a couple years now, mainly because the engineering class at our high school teaches it.

So my question is; what are the main differences between the two and would it be worth the switch next year?
My main thing against fusion 360 is the lack of the constraint commands. I'm fusion you can only joint parts.
The thing that fusion does have on inventor is accessibility, being able to get i to a project that you worked on at school, at home is a benefit. That feature can be achieved with programs like grabcad.

Other than that the two programs are pretty similar, with that being said after trying fusion I definitely prefer inventor.

Good luck and CAD on!
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Unread 02-03-2017, 08:27 AM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

Autodesk is really putting a ton of resources behind Fusion, with the ultimate goal of claiming back market share from Solidworks. All the newest updates are coming for Fusion first, and it's a recommended download on the Inventor download page. I've been told that at some point in the not-too-distant future, Inventor will be no more, and everything will be in Fusion.

I find Inventor to be a mature, professional, enterprise-class product. It's been around for 20 years. Fusion has come a long way in the last 2 years, but does not match the mature "feel" of Inventor. Also with Fusion, you do not choose your updates, Autodesk chooses for you. You may launch your software one day, and something is totally different from yesterday, which is super annoying. Also, I much prefer the hierarchical tree of the Inventor browser to the Fusion feature timeline which I find to be confusing. That said, both softwares essentially do the same things now.

Data management is different. In Inventor, you have the option of running Vault. And if you run Vault on Amazon EC2, that's the hot ticket and is fabulous. In Fusion, you get the Autodesk cloud backend, which can be a little flaky, but is getting better. However, there is no PDM checkin/checkout workflow yet for Fusion.

Long story short, like it or not, Fusion is the way of the future, and you can either jump aboard the train or watch it pass you by. For now, I'm choosing the latter.
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Unread 02-03-2017, 08:51 AM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

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Originally Posted by sanddrag View Post
Long story short, like it or not, Fusion is the way of the future, and you can either jump aboard the train or watch it pass you by. For now, I'm choosing the latter.
This is the tech world. We can choose a different train .

One plus for Fusion is having it on a tablet in the shop. One of our mentors has a cheap one and uses it to verify measurements, assemblies, etc, without going back-and-forth multiple times.

Personally I do not like auto-updating software. If it updates in the middle of build season and totally screws with our process or models, the entire software suite would be worthless.

It's the same thing with building software for production. Don't accept update to dependencies right before production release.
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Unread 02-03-2017, 10:45 AM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

Having used Inventor for years I'm somewhat biased, but I tried to use Fusion 360 once when I needed some CAM software (before I found out about HSM), I got so frustrated with the non-intuitive controls that I eventually just gave up and uninstalled it. You also cannot import native Inventor models to it (which seems insane to me given they do basically the same thing and are made by the same company).

There are of course some advantages (and disadvantages) to having everything cloud-based, but personally I find Inventor to be much easier to use and a much more powerful tool overall.

[/2 cents]
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Unread 02-03-2017, 11:54 AM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

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Originally Posted by sanddrag View Post
I've been told that at some point in the not-too-distant future, Inventor will be no more, and everything will be in Fusion.
How reliable is this information and how soon is "not-too-distant future"?
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Unread 02-03-2017, 03:26 PM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

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Originally Posted by Hazelhoff View Post
How reliable is this information and how soon is "not-too-distant future"?
Direct from Autodesk people I've encountered here and there. Inventor is still being developed, with new features and refinements being added, but my personal guess is that 5 years from now, Fusion is where everything will be.
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Unread 02-03-2017, 03:34 PM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

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Originally Posted by sanddrag View Post
Direct from Autodesk people I've encountered here and there. Inventor is still being developed, with new features and refinements being added, but my personal guess is that 5 years from now, Fusion is where everything will be.
Hope they improve the usability, else I'll have to start learning Solidworks. >_>
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Unread 05-08-2017, 04:50 PM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

So while the debate of what CAD system is the best continues to rage on, my larger question is has anyone used Fusion 360 to design an entire FRC bot?
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Unread 05-08-2017, 08:30 PM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

Fusion 360 can't be any worse than Siemens NX/UG.
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Unread 05-08-2017, 09:05 PM
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Fusion is the future. The collaboration/version control features are huge for an FRC team and they add new features every month.

I'm a long time solidworks user but I switched to fusion for all my personal stuff and some work. I can barely stand Solidworks now.

Multi platform compatibility is also a huge deal for an FRC team trying to reach out to as many students as possible.
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Unread 05-08-2017, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangert View Post
So while the debate of what CAD system is the best continues to rage on, my larger question is has anyone used Fusion 360 to design an entire FRC bot?

As lead (only) designer for 1155's robot this year, I can attest that yes, someone (me) has designed an entire FRC bot entirely on Fusion. Let me talk for a bit about my experience.

100% I love how they have done cloud integration. It absolutely promotes collaboration and is great at keeping all of your previous revisions (more than once I had to revert because a rookie decided to experiment using THE MAIN ROBOT FILE). If there is any one reason to use Fusion, this is it. No hassle, works like it should, and keeps everything safe.

Autodesk is throwing tons of money at the program right now, meaning you have an extremely active and supportive development team. There are constantly new tutorials coming out on YouTube and plenty of help on the forums. And yes this means they are pushing updates constantly but I never had that interfere with my design at all during build.

In terms of potential, I think Fusion has the potential to be a better CAD program than solidworks or inventor will ever be. But it might not be there yet. Is it good enough for FRC? Definitely. Will it annoy the $#!+ out of you at times because a certain feature you expected to be there isn't yet and as a result you need to take a roundabout method to accomplish your goal? Also definitely.

So the million dollar question: do you make the switch? Obviously for my team the answer was yes. Cloud integration and active support outweighed the inconveniences. For others, I honestly think it is a matter of time before we are all forced to switch, either by shutting down inventor or by Fusion totally eclipsing inventor in every way. There is little doubt that Fusion is the CAD program of the future. The real question is when you bite the bullet and leave behind the comfort of inventor.
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Unread 05-09-2017, 08:54 AM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

I know our team is actively investigating switching to Fusion from SolidWorks because of the cloud features. Right now, only students who have their "own" computers can work on CAD, or it can only be done on our single computer at the lab.

Given that our school gives every student a Macbook Air, switching to Fusion would allow anyone to contribute or view what is going on.. we think. Still checking it out. It seems one hurdle is going to be signing up for all of these individual licenses instead of one large block.
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Unread 05-10-2017, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
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It seems one hurdle is going to be signing up for all of these individual licenses instead of one large block.


If you have .edu emails Fusion automatically grants you a license when you make your account. It's free for students.


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Unread 05-10-2017, 10:06 PM
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Re: Inventor vs. Fusion 360

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If you have .edu emails Fusion automatically grants you a license when you make your account. It's free for students.


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We don't, sadly. Hence I think we have to wait for them to approve every single person, as far as I understand.
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