Is Fusion 360 the Future of 3D CAD?

Cloud Based, Parametrics, History Free, NURBS, T-Splines and more… for $40 a Month???

About 4 years ago, the Autodesk’s EPT (Emerging Products & Technologies) Group were given a project to build the next generation 3D Mechanical CAD Modeller from the ground up and in June, 2013, Fusion 360 was born.

It’s runs on thin client architecture, so it’s cloud based but you can run it in offline mode too, so you don’t need to run high end hardware and it’s available on PC or Mac. Being cloud based, you get real-time collaboration and revision control too.

Fusion 360 1

As a designer who needs mechanical design and organic, aesthetically pleasing surfaces, Fusion 360 covers this with a Parametrics for history, feature based solid modelling and the freedom of NURBS with T-Splines achieving G2 continuity to easily create the modern surfaces consumers crave.

I really love the freeform features allowing you to push pull faces, lines, loops and vertices.

Fusion 360 3

Fusion 360 4

In no time you can start creating amazing models, like this


You can run scripts via the Python API, import/export most major CAD files and view your files from your mobile devices and with your Autodesk 360 account you get 5-25GB Storage to store anything you want.

So what is the future for Fusion 360? For now the functionality is basic, let’s be honest, it’s not as good as a full fledge 3D Mechanical CAD modeler or Surfacing Tool like Inventor & Alias, or has the workflow of Product Design Suite but Autodesk listen, and with a big budget and owning all these technologies, functionality and the GUI will get better, and they’ll bring in G3 continuity aka Class A Surfacing.

Since it’s launch, it already has a Key-Shot plug-in for rendering and a fast growing community. CAD Modellers like this might have me out of a job, but, it’s cool technology and I had to spread the word. I hope we see this type of technology in Autodesk Inventor!

Try it here for 90 days.

To learn more on how Fusion 360 was conceived and how it will evolve here   

If you have any queries, would like advice or more information, please contact me here, call on +61 3 9210 4428 or email me at

Fusion 360 2