My Confusion with (AutoDesk) Fusion

This week, we were blessed to be able to have a real instructor for Autodesk Fusion 360, and boy did I need one. Let me just say, straight off the bat, how difficult it was to navigate without watching proper videos and having proper instruction! Our first assignment from last week was to try and modify an existing template design (I choose a utility knife) or design something completely new from scratch. The first thing I did was struggle to even make any additionals to the utility knife. I kept accidentally removing the body or slicing away a part of the inside of the knife that was necessary. Frustrated with even the simple task of changing the color or type of material, I gave up modifying the utility knife and combined a couple shapes to make a haphazard “screw” (if you could even call it that.) I knew I was desperate when I hit the one hour mark left before class and my utility knife looked exactly the same as it did when I downloaded the example… Attempt #1 at Autodesk Fusion 360. Lovely.


My two major takeaways from this week:

1.) Designing takes (a lot more) time (than you think)! 

Such a simple takeaway, but one that is dramatically underestimated. Even in class when we had 3 hours to listen to instructions (well articulated, clear instructions) about how to navigate Fusion 360, I still had trouble keeping up with the pace! As Toheeb said, this class went from 0-100 in about 1 class period. I struggled to even keep up. I’m going to need a lot more outside practice to get up to the pace of designing as everyone else, but I look forward to the challenge. I also can’t underestimate how much time is needed for a project. If I want to make something by scratch, I have to understand that it takes hours and hours of outside class work, just to get an elementary sketch into the computer. And the complexity of all the different layers means you really need to be able to compartmentalize all the different parts that go into an object as simple as a pen.

In the end, I was super happy with my lamp and ran downstairs to show everyone in BIF, although I’m not sure they were as impressed with my handiwork as I was… It’s because they don’t know the sweat and toil that go behind creating something!


2.) There are resources everywhere. (Youtube is the best). 

This one cannot be overstated. WATCH YOUTUBE! There are so many great resources to teach you so many different skills of Autodesk Fusion! Youtube literally saved my life last week when I had to desperately design something new. The screw took a little bit of time getting used to, but I hope to upload videos in the future for different design techniques instead of just watching them. There are a lot of gurus online though, and it is a great community to learn from if you are a visual learner like I am.

Ben-Tommy Eriksen was a great example that I watched. He really helped me in a pinch.

Overall, I can’t wait to see what ideas my classmates have for the rest of the semester. Fusion seems like a lot of work at first, but it’s a great way to visualize the feasibility of your design and tweak a model without paying for the material cost of design.


One thought on “My Confusion with (AutoDesk) Fusion

  1. Hey Annie!

    I like how you structured your post here, with key points that you learnt that will better help you plan your design work in future, after acknowledging the trouble you had.

    On the trouble note, don’t worry if it’s hard going at first with CAD! It’s a steep learning curve to start with, but once you begin practicing and visualising parts in terms of how you make it in the software, it gets easier. These things do take a lot of time: I easily spend a couple of hours on each small design, and I’ve been doing it for a while!

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