Yesterday, we told you how Autodesk Fusion 360 helps you CAD like you've never done before. Now, we’ll show you four ways your peers are already using it for everyday tasks like CAD feedback, editing, and creation. Your company can use Fusion 360 to reduce design cycle time and communication errors. A tool like GrabCAD Workbench, which connects with apps like Fusion 360 and integrates with your existing CAD software online is a great way to get started.
1. Get your design ready for manufacturers
Many designers and engineers have learned that the shape of the "designed state" of a mechanical part is just different enough from the "ready-for-manufacture state" to cause some problems. This means a few back and forth exchanges with your manufacturing team, which can take a lot of time through tools like FTP and email.
What are the top causes your design would be marked as not ready to manufacture?
- The geometry of a manufactured part often has to take into account changes in shape due to manufacturing and post-manufacturing processes. Plastic shrinks and warps when cooling after an injection molding process. Metal stretches when it is bent.
- Sometimes the shape of a part has to take into account the realities of the manufacturing process. The walls of a molded part need to be tapered or angled so that the part can be removed from the mold.
- Sometimes a part is simply not “manufacturable.” For example, it is very difficult (read: expensive) to manufacture plastic parts that have “undercuts.” You need to find any tough to manufacture conditions on your design and make the necessary edits.
- Often neutral format geometry has surfaces that don’t quite meet at common edges or don’t intersect properly. Fusion 360's powerful “healing” functionality lets you correct these inconsistencies in your imported model.
The direct modeling capabilities of tools like GrabCAD Fusion are perfect for implementing these types of shape modifications. You can modify any model. You don’t have to have a seat of expensive CAD software. You don’t have to worry about the feature tree. Just edit the shape. As a bonus, the Fusion 360 app can be used to generate STL files for 3D printing or neutral geometry formats, like STEP or IGES, for export to other manufacturing apps.
2. Keep things simple for engineering analysis
When performing an engineering analysis (e.g. structural, radiation, CFD) of a mechanical model it is sometimes better to keep it simple. In cases when design details are unimportant for analysis and the original geometry is time consuming or cost prohibitive to incorporate, it is okay to simply use the general envelope of a body. You could save time and money if you “defeature” the model by removing details (like holes) that don’t significantly affect the analysis results.
Again, the Fusion 360 app on GrabCAD is perfect for these types of shape modifications. Simply select the details that aren’t important and delete them. No need to worry about how the original part was modeled, just click and delete.
3. Present a design concept or modification
When you are collaborating with your team, you may want to demonstrate a design modification or design concept to someone else. You could build a new model from scratch. Or, you can modify the shape of an existing model in Fusion 360. When you're done, save the changes back to GrabCAD Workbench and present the model in 3D to whomever you want, whether or not they have a CAD seat.
Our Fusion 360 app has robust solid modeling functionality and surface modeling functionality. And Fusion 360 is great for creating multi-body assemblies. Not only can you model shapes in Fusion 360 but you can see how they work. Fusion 360 allows you to model the joints and degrees of freedom between bodies, exploring how products move. You can perform kinematic analysis and interference checking.
4. Industrial design and mechanical parts work together
Engineering is a team sport. When the mechanical parts of your design are complete and you want to add an organic, free form industrial design to complement it, look to Fusion 360. With its unique and innovative “sculpt” functionality (based on T-Spline technology) you can create free form shapes with ease. These shapes can be easily combined with solid models to create mechanical parts that have beautiful, organic shapes. This is a powerful tool for industrial design.
So, how would you use Autodesk Fusion 360? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments. You can also watch the Fusion 360 app on GrabCAD in action, here."