Product Design in Autodesk Fusion 360 from idea to prototype

Design a product starting from first sketches to complex forms, assemblies and CNC machining
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  • Lectures 33
  • Contents Video: 4 hours
    Other: 1 min
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English, captions
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English Closed captions available

Course Description

******* Major upgrades to the course completed as of July 13, 2016 ******* 

Check the announcements section for more details.

Ever wonder how to develop your idea with an easy to use yet powerful and flexible CAD package?

In this course a student will get started with product design in Autodesk Fusion 360. During the course you will learn how to sculpt your idea, then move to parts and assembly modelling, and, as a final steps, create drawings, renderings and prepare for manufacturing on CNC machine or 3D printer.

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD/CAM tool for collaborative product development. Fusion 360 enables exploration and iteration on product ideas and collaboration within distributed product development team. Most importantly, Autodesk Fusion 360 combines organic shapes modelling, mechanical design and manufacturing in one comprehensive package. We encourage you to learn more about Autodesk Fusion 360 at the official website as well as download the product. Students, educators, enthusiasts and startups (no commercial product available yet) are entitled for a free licence.

After completion of the course, you will be able to design your own product from idea to prototype.

The course contains 4 hours of video lessons, written step-by-step instructions and datasets. On average, a student needs around 16 - 24 hours to complete the course. Install Autodesk Fusion 360 and Start Learning Now!

What are the requirements?

  • Basic 3D design skills with any CAD product are recommended, but not mandatory

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Navigate through the user interface of Autodesk Fusion 360
  • Understand design process in Autodesk Fusion 360
  • Create conceptual design and organic forms using T-Splines
  • Design mechanical parts using solid modeling tools
  • Create mechanical assemblies and motion studies
  • Collaborate with other members of the project and manage the data in the cloud
  • Create drawings and renderings
  • Use CAM module to setup 2.5-axis milling of a part

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone interested in product design using CAD, including industrial designers and mechanical engineers as well as secondary students interested in design and technology.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction to Autodesk Fusion 360
15:51

Hello and welcome to the introductory section of Autodesk Fusion 360 course! Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD/CAM tool for collaborative product development. The tools in Fusion enable exploration and iteration on product ideas and collaboration within a product development team. All your designs are stored in the cloud, which means you and your team always access the latest data. Fusion also tracks versions of your design as you work. You can use Autodesk A360 to view each version in your web browser and promote an old version to the current version. Finally, use Fusion and A360 to share your designs and track design activity. You can even provide controlled access to your designs without requiring an Autodesk ID.

Before you start, you need to install Fusion 360 thin client on your machine. In order to do that, please follow the instruction provided in the external resources section of this lecture.

In the first lecture you will learn how to make your first steps with the product. After completing this module you will be able to:

  • Create a new project in Autodesk Cloud environment - A360
  • Upload existing dataset to the project
  • Create a new design

Please download the dataset and step by step zip files which includes all the files that will be used throughout the course.

08:31

Many features that you create in 3D start with a 2D sketch. In order to create intelligent and predictable designs, you need to have a good understanding of how to create sketches and how to apply dimensionsional and geometric constraints. Fusion 360 does support 3D sketches although, in this module we will cover basic sketching tools to create and edit a 2D sketch.

In this section you will learn how to:

  • Create a 2D sketch
  • Create geometry in a sketch

  • Use constraints to position geometry

  • Use dimensions to set the size of geometry

    Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

17:19

In this lecture you will use 2D geometry as well geometric and dimensional constraints to create 3D model of real part: rocker arm.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

Section 2: Aesthetic design and solid modelling in Fusion 360
12:43

Modeling in Fusion 360 is quite a different experience from how you would model in conventional history-based CAD software. Some users have expressed that it is a different mindset, but once they get it, it makes so much more sense to them. Modeling in Fusion 360 is essentially a series of workflows that include a whole bunch of different commands, and when they’re used together, it makes the experience faster, easier, and more intuitive. In many cases, bodies, sketches, and planes in Fusion 360 can be used not only to help create additional geometry, but also help subtract geometry. In this module, you are introduced to this mindset.

In this section you will learn how to:

  • Create a new design in the model workspace
  • Create bodies
  • Modify your design
  • Add features to a sculpted body

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

09:26

In the Sculpt Workspace, you can rapidly explore forms by simply pressing and pulling on subdivided surfaces. This “hands-on” approach to 3D modeling allows for fast iteration and early stage conceptualization within Fusion 360.

In this lesson you will learn how to modify t-spline bodies. 

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

12:31

Modeling with T-Splines is unlike any other subdivision-modeling tool. One of the main advantages of T-Splines is the ability to add detail only where necessary. This may not sound like much, but this is one of the biggest challenges in most subdivision 3D modeling tools. By only adding data in necessary locations, a single T-Spline surface can be incredibly smooth, while still having areas of high detail and remaining easy to manipulate.

In this lesson you will discover how to add details where necessary and keep the geometry complexity under control. 

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

16:19

In this lecture you will learn how to create a T-Spline form based on a calibrated reference image. With the freeform capabilities that come along with sculpting Fusion 360, this is a very common workflow.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

12:19

Modeling in Fusion 360 is quite a different experience from how you would model in conventional history-based CAD software. Some users have expressed that it is a different mindset, but once they get it, it makes so much more sense to them. Modeling in Fusion 360 is essentially a series of workflows that include a whole bunch of different commands, and when they’re used together, it makes the experience faster, easier, and more intuitive. In many cases, bodies, sketches, and planes in Fusion 360 can be used not only to help create additional geometry, but also help subtract geometry. In the next 2 modules, you are introduced to this mindset.

In this lesson you will learn how to:

  • Create a new design in the model workspace
  • Create bodies
  • Modify your design
  • Add features to a sculpted body

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

20:13

In this lesson we will explore adding solid modeling features to a sculpted body.  First, we will add thickness to the sculpted body through the shell command.  Next, we will add 3D webs to add rigidity to the sculpted body.  Last, we will split the body and combine halves.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

Section 3: Collaboration and assembly design in Fusion 360
08:30

Fusion 360 organizes and manages data using a centralized, cloud-based, collaboration platform. This enables designers and engineers to work more easily and efficiently together. Use this powerful and secure set of tools to dramatically improve the way you design, visualize, simulate, and share your work, on demand.

In this section you will learn how to:

  • Create Fusion 360 designs and save versions.
  • Create and manage Fusion 360 Group Projects.
  • Add and remove users from Fusion 360 Group Projects.
  • Find, view, and manage files within Fusion 360’s collaborative web browser environment and the in-application dashboard.
  • Access Fusion 360 data from a mobile device.
  • Import and export files from Fusion 360.
  • Publicly share data with external stakeholders.

Tips for this exercise:

  • To complete the mobile section of the tutorial, install the Autodesk 360 App to your mobile device.
  • Partner up with a friend who also has Fusion 360. There is an exercise where you have the option to grant access to your project.
  • We recommend installing Google Chrome to best utilize the collaborative capabilities of Fusion 360 (the in-browser 3D viewer is not yet supported for IE, Firefox, and Safari).

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

04:31

In this lesson we will invite collaborators into a Fusion 360 project, view discussion threads, and use Live Review to collaborate with others in real-time.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

04:21

In the next a dew lectures you will learn how different components can be put together to create an assembly. We will use several tools in Fusion 360 to make sure that these assemblies are constrained appropriately and that they function like they are supposed to. Motion of different parts with respect to each other will also be explained.

Fusion uses a top-down design approach, which is essentially the breaking down of a system to gain insight into its compositional sub-systems. In a top-down approach an overview of the assembly is formulated, specifying but not detailing any base level parts. Each subassembly and part is then refined in yet greater detail, sometimes in many additional levels, until the entire specification is reduced to base elements.

In top-down assembly design, one or more features of a part are defined by something in an assembly, such as a layout sketch or the geometry of another part. The design intent (sizes of features, placement of components in the assembly, proximity to other parts, etc.) comes from the top (the assembly) and moves down (into the parts), hence the phrase "top-down".

Components and bodies

If you’re more familiar with a CAD system that references external parts in an assembly, the first thing to know is that Fusion’s equivalent to a “part file” is a “component,” and all components exist in the same working Fusion file – there are no external references. Component groups act like sub-assemblies, and bodies are physical objects that exist either in the global space, or in a component. There can be multiple copies or instances of one component, and in that case, modifying one will modify all other instances similarly.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

02:41

In this lecture, we move and align components in space, but do not lock them into their new location. Joints (in an upcoming exercise) move and align components, but also restrict their movement based on that definition. Moving and aligning simply shifts position in the global space. In many cases it simplifies the assembly process.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

01:43

In this lecture we going to create Rigid Groups in Fusion when we need to constrain multiple bodies to each other that have no capability of movement relative to themselves. So instead of creating multiple Rigid joints, it’s easy to use the Rigid Group command and constrain multiple objects at once. The Rigid Group function locks the relative position of the selected components. The components are then treated as a single object when moved or when joints are applied.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

03:13

In this lecture, we’ll use the joints tool to align a component to others in an assembly. These joints will also define the degrees of freedom by which these parts can move. Joints are enacted between components, but are defined by certain features within the component, like a body face or edge. They ultimate define how components can move and animate, and they drive motion studies.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

02:21

An as-built joint is used in the case of imported geometry or top-down design when the components to be constrained are in the correct positions relative to each other, i.e. they don’t need to be moved. An as-built joint maintains the position, and defines the relative motion.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

01:40

Contact sets designate which components do not interfere once they contact each other. A contact set can be used to define the limits of motion allowed because the motion stops when the components come into contact.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

03:33

A motion study in Fusion 360 allows the user to animate the motion of the design based on the joints and limits placed. In this lesson you will learn how to set up the motion in Fusion 360.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

05:58

Fusion uses a top-down design approach, which is essentially the breaking down of a system to gain insight into its compositional sub-systems. In a top-down approach an overview of the assembly is formulated, specifying but not detailing any base level parts. Each subassembly and part is then refined in yet greater detail, sometimes in many additional levels, until the entire specification is reduced to base elements.

In top-down assembly design, one or more features of a part are defined by something in an assembly, such as a layout sketch or the geometry of another part. The design intent (sizes of features, placement of components in the assembly, proximity to other parts, etc.) comes from the top (the assembly) and moves down (into the parts), hence the phrase "top-down".

In this exercise, we’ll be designing a rocker and applying as-built joints to dynamically connect it with other parts of the assembly. We’ll be working with existing geometry from existing components to sketch and extrude a new component. By designing in one space alongside existing components, we eliminate the need to toggle back and forth between part files, as we can easily drive component features based on the existing assembly. We can also easily add an as-built joint to define the relationship between the parts.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

Section 4: Rendering, animation, and drawings
10:49

Rendering is the process of generating an image by combining geometry, camera, texture, lighting and shading (also called materials) information using a computer program.

Before an image can be rendered Appearance Materials are applied to the various parts of your design to visualize how your design would look in the real word. Materials contain the visual properties of plastic, glass, metal, paint and wood to create photorealistic images. In this module you will learn:

  • Assign materials to your model
  • Edit and replace materials

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

05:45

Rendering is the process of generating an image by combining geometry, camera, texture, lighting and shading information using a computer program. In this lecture you will learn how to:

  • Place decals on your model
  • Change the environment settings and background color
  • Change environment effects
  • Render an image using the Real Time Ray Tracer
  • Create images using the A360 Cloud Render feature

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

07:47

The Animation workspace allows users to create automatic or manual exploded views, as well as to have direct control over unique animations of parts and assemblies. Animations can be used to evaluate and communicate designs and functionality of your designs including assembly or repair operations.

In this lesson we will create a camera motion path, move components along a timeline, animate the visibility of a part, create a storyboard, and create a video of the animation.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

04:47

There are two methods of exploding a model: Automatic and Manual. Automatically exploding a model uses an algorithm to smartly and quickly create an exploded state of your model. Alternatively, using the Manual Explode command allows for more precision on the axis in which certain components explode.

In this lesson we will create transform actions on components, add a manual explosion between components, create camera transitions, and preview the animated sequence.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

07:08

Drawings functionality allows you to create 2D drawings from your Fusion 360 designs and supports core drawing tools, which give the ability to generate PDF and DWG documentation of your Fusion 360 model. When you create a drawing, it is created as a derived document of a Fusion 360 model, and it shows up in the Data Panel as a unique derived item in the active project. In this lecture you will learn how to:

  • Create a Drawing of a model
  • Create Views
  • Create & Edit Annotations
  • Drawing Settings and Preferences
  • Output the Drawing

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

Section 5: Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
09:51

CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing.

CAM is the step where you convert the part model into a language that can be used for the manufacturing process (usually G code). This process might be for milling, turning or laser cutting and might be done in wood, plastic or metal, depending on the application. The CAM environment in Fusion 360 is designed from the ground up to work inside Fusion 360. 

CNC milling toolpaths are broadly classified as either 2D, 3D, 4-axis, or 5-axis, depending on the number of axes involved and how they move. The term, 2D, is a bit of a misnomer because all modern CNC machines control at least three axis and all three axes move at one time or another for every 2D machining operation. A more accurate term, 2-1/2D, is commonly used in CNC manufacturing. In this lecture we will use the CAM workspace in Fusion 360 to introduce you to 2-1/2D axis milling techniques.

In this section you will learn how to:

  • Create setups
  • Create drilling operations
  • View and edit tool library
  • Simulate toolpaths and stock material removal
  • Copy toolpaths
  • Produce NC code via post processing

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

09:20

Define a number of general properties for a set of machining operations. 

A Setup defines a number of general properties for a set of machining operations - including the work coordinate system (WCS), the stock geometry, fixtures, and the machining surfaces.

Every setup is represented as a separate item in the CAM Browser using the Setup icon . Any operations located under this item use setup settings by default. To create operations in CAM, you will need at least one setup. You create a setup manually by clicking Setup on the CAM toolbar.

Remember: If you do not create a setup manually before adding your first operation, a setup with default parameters is created for you automatically.

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

14:51

A Drill operation provides access to a whole range of drilling, tapping and hole making operations. 

The input geometry for these cycles can be selected directly from the features of part geometry, and consistent with other 2D operations, input geometry can also be selected from a sketch, (for example: center points of arcs).

When working with solid models, the easiest way to use the drill feature is to select the cylindrical faces of the holes to drill directly. This automatically sets the correct stock height and depth for each hole, and allows having holes in different planes and different depths in a single drill feature. Observe also that when drilling from cylindrical faces, the Select Same Diameter option is available, and allows easy - and automatic - selection of many similar holes. 

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

04:27

The Tool Library lets you manage tools for your individual documents and operations, as well as libraries of predefined tools. 

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

02:08

Using the Create Derived Operation feature, you can create a new operation based on an existing operation.

If, for example, you wish to follow a parallel strategy with a contour strategy using most of the same settings (stock to leave, tolerance, stepover, boundaries, etc.), it is easier to use a derived operation instead of an entirely new operation.

Essentially the derived operation is a duplicate of the original operation, but with the strategy type changed. Observe that parameter values are copied, and are therefore not associative when using a derived operation; i.e. if you change the stepover in one operation, it will not change in the other. 

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

07:35

The Simulation feature allows you to verify that the generated toolpath is as intended. 

In the Simulation mode you can control the current tool position on the position slider located on the Simulation player at the bottom of the simulation view.

The simulation operation is started by first choosing the operations of interest from the CAM Browser and then right-clicking and selecting Simulate from the pop-up context menu. Alternatively, it is possible to double-click on a single toolpath item in the CAM Browser to simulate the corresponding toolpath. The operations are simulated in the original order as they appear in the CAM Browser. Once started, the Simulate dialog box is opened and the active model viewport is changed into a dedicated simulation view with the Simulation player displayed at the bottom of the view. 

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

03:52

Post processing is the process used to convert the machine-independent cutter location data into machine-specific NC code that can be run directly on CNC machines. 

When post processing operations, the cutter location data and associated metadata, like the job description and operation comments, are transferred into the post processor. It is the full responsibility of the post configuration to convert all this data into meaningful NC code. The configuration is free to ignore any of the input data or to output extra data not directly derived from the cutter location data.

CAM ships with customizable post processor configurations for all the commonly available CNC controls/machines. Generic post processors include Fanuc, Heidenhain, Haas, Hurco, Mazak, MillPlus, Okuma, Siemens, Yasnak, and many more. The post processor configurations can be updated to fit your exact requirements.

CAM includes a highly flexible and fast post processor based on the JavaScript programming language to perform this critical task. JavaScript should not be confused with Java which is a very different programming language. The post processor is used for both NC programs as well as setup sheet generation.

The post processor has been designed primarily for the purpose of text-based output, so whenever you need to interchange data with other applications you should choose a text-based format to simplify the post development when possible.

The post processor has been highly optimized for performance and you should generally see your NC programs being generated within seconds (with the output commonly exceeding 6-7Mb/s). Naturally, the actual performance depends highly on the individual post configuration. 

Note: Datasets and step by step guide zip files are located in Lecture 1.

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Instructor Biography

Today's challenges will be solved by tomorrow's designers. That's why Autodesk gives students, educators, and educational institutions free access to our design software, creativity apps, and learning resources. A market leader for more than 30 years, Autodesk offers the broadest and deepest portfolio of products in the design world. Autodesk helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Everyone—from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists, students and hobbyists—uses Autodesk software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges.

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