The Power of Fusion 360

This past week has been my favorite week so far. This is most likely because we finally started learning and using Fusion 360. From what I remember of Inventor, another CAD software, it’s extremely similar to Fusion 360. One thing that makes Fusion 360 such a great CAD program is the whole cloud system they are using, hence the title Fusion 360. We are currently shared on a class folder that allows us to save our project to that folder and let other students see what other students are doing. This is also great for collaboration with team members. I can see this being extremely useful when working on our semester-long project. We won’t have to email different versions back and forth. It will all stay in one place. In addition to their cloud system, the timeline at the bottom is fascinating. This timeline lets the user play to see their product from start to finish.

Jeff Smith, an instructor from Autodesk, gave us a workshop on the basics on Fusion 360. Personally, I believe he did a great job selling Fusion 360 to our class. He also taught me multiple things about Fusion 360 that I did not know about. I think the craziest, most mind blowing tool Fusion has to offer is the “create form.” I don’t remember Inventor having this tool so I wasn’t sure what this tool was all about. After Jeff’s demonstration on this, I was mind blown. The possibilities of creating objects are endless.

We all have different learning styles. I definitely prefer to be hands on versus learning from a text book and this is exactly what Lars Christensen’s tutorials are all about. Lars is the maker of the video we had to watch last week. I went ahead and watched his other videos and he’s been extremely useful. I enjoy how he takes the time to explain why we do certain things and how it works. Thanks to Lars, I have definitely been trying to learn the keyboard shortcuts and it has made my experience significantly better thus far. Click here to watch another useful video. I really enjoyed learning about saving and versions. Although this may sound simple, it’s important to know about this collaboration tool. Like stated before, I’m sure it will come in handy when our group members are modeling our idea. I was able to use what I learned from his tutorials to make my own product. I honestly had no idea what to make. I thought about making a water bottle but I figured many would be doing the same thing. I ended up making a flash drive. Here’s a gif from the start to finish. I haven’t had any complications when making this flash drive and the box. This is probably because of the exposure I had with inventor in high school.

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Overall, I’m extremely happy with this course. I can’t wait to keep using Fusion to make some complicated objects, like a Lego car made from scratch!

Design Thinking – Strategic Making Process to Solve Problems

Throughout my entire life, I never considered myself an artistic person. As a child, I did go through a phase where I would try to draw many book covers. However, I quickly realized I wasn’t any good. To this day, I have trouble with creating any sort of artistic design. Example A, our team’s logo.

I have friends who I can call and tell them what I what, and they can come up with multiple mock-ups within a short period of time. During this past week’s class session, Design for America came to give us a workshop in design thinking and help us solve real world problems. I think my favorite part of the workshop was the exercises they had for us to get us thinking creatively. In addition, this workshop made me realize the importance of having a diverse group of members. With a diverse group of members, we can all bring different ideas to the table, which can then be combined to solve the problem, which is exactly what happen when we were brainstorming ideas for how to help people with Parkinson’s disease.

Design thinking is a strategy-making process that examines human behavior in order to avoid collecting backward looking data and making risky bets on instinct, rather than evidence. In the article Design Thinking by Tim Brown, gives a great example of thinking outside the box. Shimano, a Japanese cycling company, hired IDEO, a design and consulting firm, to help them penetrate a market they haven’t been able to reach. They realized that this market consisted of people who enjoyed riding bikes during their teenage years but have now stopped because of high cost, dangerous roads, and intimidation. With IDEO’s help, Shimano was able to produce a coasting bike, a bike that took the complexity of a road bike and allowed users to just hop on and ride.

Overall, I’m looking forward to learning Fusion tomorrow. I have not worked with Fusion 360, however, I do have experience with Inventor. From the quick research I just did, there are many things in common. I hope that my experience with Inventor helps me learn Fusion 360 faster.


Interesting 3D Printing Articles

India’s first 3D Indigenous Jet Engine

I’m excited to see how 3D printing will revolutionize the aviation industry. The article states that by 3D printing the jet engine, it has saved them nearly 40% of the cost and about 10 months in preparing and assembly the jet engine. Not sure if those 10 months are accounted for in the savings but if they aren’t that means they are saving even more money! Click here to read more about this indigenous jet engine.


 I know someone in our Facebook page shared a video of a 3D skin printer but I wanted to share this article that explains in detail how that works. I personally believe that 3D printing will take off again because of the application of a 3D printer in the medical field. In my first reflection post, I talked about a Mexican startup company that is 3D printing personalized “breathable” cast. I just believe there is much more potential in the medical field because of the impact it can have on many lives.

Image of 3D skin printer

Image of 3D printed cast

Week #2 Reflection: The Future of 3D Printing

As we approach week 3 of the Digital Making class, I can say that this class has been extremely enjoyable thus far. There have been many things I’ve learned already and this is coming from someone who was going to buy a 3D printer about two years ago. I honestly think the IS/IT major should include more hands-on classes like this one. What makes this class great are the three pillars this course is built upon: Learn, Make, and Share. Along with that, I think the one of the things I learned this week were 3D Printing Sharing websites. Websites like Thingiverse, Pinshape, MyMiniFactory, and many others allow makers to make a design, upload it to one of these websites, and share it with the internet to allow others to download, add on to it, and 3D print the design using their own systems. These websites also allow people who don’t have experience with CAD software to be able to 3D print since they won’t have to design anything.

In addition to learning about these websites, my favorite “skill” I learned was how to take a design on a computer and turn it into an actual 3D print. This was one of the things I never got around when doing my research on what 3D printer to buy. It amazes me how far software technology has come. Scott, our guest speaker last Monday, did a great job teaching us and explaining what each process does. My first print, unfortunately, failed so I definitely experience that 20% fail rate.

I definitely believe that the 3D printing industry will take off again, especially in the medical field. While browsing Facebook one day, I came across a video on a startup in Mexico. This startup focused on 3D printing custom cast for people. The difference between a regular cast and a cast from this startup is that it will allow you to “breathe” by the strategical holes they have on the cast and it’s super lightweight. In addition, the cast is removable for cleaning. If you want to read more about the startup Mediprint, click here to read an article about the startup. The way they are able to do this is by 3D scanning the person’s arm or leg. Then they design a custom cast around those parameters. I keep constantly running into articles on medical startups that use 3D printing. This is why I believe 3D printing will take off again very soon.

Overall, I’m extremely excited to start working on my semester-long project. My group members and I have already started brainstorming ideas for the project and they all sound like they can help out many people.