Automated nesting software transforms sheet and plate-based fabrication

Autodesk Fusion delivers a modern, cloud-connected CAD/CAM solution that helps fabricators, prototypers and engineers streamline the production of wood, metal, plastics, and composite parts.

Fusion delivers automated workflows for fabricators and engineers (video: 2:23 min.)

What is sheet-based fabrication software?

Fabricators and engineers need access to CAD/CAM software that supports their entire part design and manufacturing process.

From 2D to multi-axis, Autodesk Fusion provides professional-grade tools that can automate processes, optimize throughput, and enable cross-team or department collaboration for all fabrication needs.

Download a free 30-day trial and get access to all features and capabilities of Autodesk Fusion, plus the ability to trial Autodesk Fusion extensions.

Benefits of using Autodesk Fusion for fabrication

Saves time

Associative CAD/CAM tools automate the flow from 3D design to 2D nests and can automatically update when your designs change.

Replaces manual tasks

Intelligent nesting algorithms can replace the need for complex manual calculations and mislabeled parts, helping to save time and avoid mistakes.

Reduces waste

Multi-sheet nesting can process different materials, thicknesses, and part quantities to maximize yield and minimize waste.

Connects your team

Cloud-enabled collaboration tools help your design and production teams to work together seamlessly to avoid delays.

Industry leaders rely on Fusion

Everything you need to drive your fabrication business on a single connected platform


A comprehensive tool set allows for designs to be created with fabrication in mind along with the documentation and tooling needed in downstream processes.


Rapidly and efficiently arrange design objects into a sketch, face, or plane with additional controls over multiple sheets, orientation, and grain alignment.

Nest preparation

Shorten programming times with streamlined designation of nestable/non-nestable parts with automatic face-up detection based on surface area.


Aggregate and nest components from multiple, external designs to create nest studies with control to over-ride quantity, material, and sheet grain alignment.

Process material library

Enhance collaboration with cloud-based stock material to set and manage nest outcomes and reveal insights about material usage and cost for your team.

Grain direction

Improve process quality by controlling the rotational allowance to align grain direction for materials such as wood, brushed aluminum, and more.

Toolpath generation

Rapidly produce setups, tabs, DXF files, toolpaths, and NC code for your CNC routers, waterjet, plasma, and laser machines using a library of proven post processors.

Compare, report, and label

Compare multiple nest studies for efficiency and cost to determine optimal settings. Produce custom reports and printable labels for use on the shop floor.

Achieve your fabrication goals

Replace manual processing

Automated tools take the pressure off your fabrication engineers removing the reliance on manual processes that can cause errors, increase costs, and waste resources.


Reduce design to production time

Powerful automated workflows convert your 3D models into efficient 2D nested solutions, helping you to start part production sooner.


Increase yield by reducing scrap

Fusion calculates the most efficient way to nest multiple components into sheet stock to minimize waste whilst also saving remnant stock for later use.


Improve machine utilization

Offline CAM programming creates G-code files in parallel with production, avoiding the backlogs caused by traditional, controller-based programming.


Improve production consistency

Cloud-enabled templates allow your engineering teams to build shareable standards that allow production to achieve repeatably high levels of quality.


Reduce environmental impact

Create highly efficient production cycles that reduce the consumption of time, materials, and other precious resources.


Drive your fabrication machines with Fusion

Fusion provides offline CAM programming tools to create high-quality NC machining code for a variety of hardware types.

Image shows a close-up of a CNC router in action

CNC routers

Routers are commonly used in woodworking and can range in size and style from a desktop 3-axis to a room-sized 5-axis configuration.


Image shows a waterjet cutting machine in action

Waterjet cutters

Waterjet cutters range from 2D and 5-axis to multi-headed machines that combine high-pressure water with an abrasive media to cut through a wide range of material types and thicknesses.

Image shows a close up of a laser cutting machine in action

Laser cutters

Laser cutters are used to cut various types and thicknesses of materials. Ranging from different types of steel to plastics and fabrics.

Image shows a plasma cutter in action

Plasma cutters

Plasma cutters are used to cut conductive metals using a jet of hot plasma. These CNC machines offer high precision at low cost.


Our trusted technical partnerships deliver value

Autodesk partners with leading OEMs to build accurate 3D digital twins, post-processors, and integrations for your machines. Learn more about Autodesk technical partnerships (US Site).

Learn how investing in Fusion nesting can increase efficiency and reduce costs

Plans and pricing for every business

Flexible purchasing options to meet your current and future needs.


Autodesk Fusion

Integrated cloud-based CAD/CAM software with associative modeling and manufacturing tools, cloud-based collaboration, and intuitive workflows to help your fabrication business design and manufacture parts from sheet stock.




Autodesk Fusion for Manufacturing

Unlock advanced nesting workflows for sheet-based fabrication, and get even more CNC machining tools, metals-based additive manufacturing, and more. 

Start a free 14-day trial of the Fusion Manufacturing Extension.




Autodesk Fusion

A subscription to Fusion includes:



  • Sketching
  • Direct modeling
  • Surface modeling
  • Parametric modeling
  • Mesh modeling
  • Freeform modeling
  • Rendering
  • PCB design integration
  • Sheet metal design
  • 2D and 3D arrange
  • Assembly modeling


  • 2D and 2.5D machining
  • 3-axis machining
  • Multi-axis positional
  • Turning
  • Turn-mill
  • Workpiece co-ordinate probing
  • Toolpath simulation
  • Machine animation

Additive (plastics)

  • Create toolpaths for fused filament fabrication
  • Associative programming
  • Part orientation
  • Library of 3D print hardware, including Ultimaker, EOS, and Renishaw
  • Manual part orientation
  • Standard and customized print parameters
  • Infill patterns for hollow parts
  • Toolpath and build simulation
  • NC code export


  • Static stress
  • Modal frequency
  • Thermal and thermal stress
  • Buckling
  • Non-linear stress

Data management and collaboration

  • User management
  • Administrative tools
  • File export
  • Version control
  • Cloud storage
  • AnyCAD 3rd party file open
  • Public/private sharing
  • Commenting and redlining


Autodesk Fusion for Manufacturing

All the features of Autodesk Fusion plus:


Sheet-based fabrication

  • Multi-sheet nesting
  • Nest preparation
  • Grain detection
  • Thickness detection
  • Quantity detection
  • Compare and report
  • Customizable reporting
  • Configurable part labels
  • Advanced 2D and 3D arrange
  • Toolpath generation for laser, water-jet, and plasma cutters, and CNC routers

Advanced CAD

  • Feature-based modeling
  • Parametric boss modeling
  • Automated snap-fit modeling
  • Customizable library of features
  • Geometric patterning

Advanced CAM

  • Automatic hole recognition
  • Automatic drilling
  • Whole-part machining strategies
  • Interactive 3+2 tool axis orientation
  • 4-axis machining
  • 5-axis simultaneous
  • Automatic collision avoidance
  • Toolpath modifications
  • Geometry probing
  • Surface inspection
  • Report generation
  • Automated part alignment

Additive (metals)

  • Toolpaths for metal powder-bed machines
  • Automatic part orientation
  • Associative support structures
  • Library of 3D print hardware
  • Standard and customized print settings
  • Toolpath simulation
  • Hybrid manufacturing (combine additive and subtractive workflows)

Speak with a Fusion representative

Simply fill in the form, and an expert will contact you to discuss Fusion and find a solution to best fit your company’s fabrication needs.

FAQs: Sheet-based fabrication with Fusion

What is nesting software?

Nesting software is commonly used by fabricators who use CNC machinery to produce components from sheet and plate-based stock. The goal of nesting is to automatically calculate the best way to arrange multiple, individual components within one or more sheets of stock so that parts can be produced with maximum yield and minimal wasted material.

Does Autodesk offer sheet metal design software?

Yes. Autodesk Fusion is an excellent choice here as it provides a comprehensive suite of 2D and 3D modeling tools to help design sheet metal parts. An intuitive user experience simplifies modeling with specialized tools based on sheet metal rules (material type, thickness, K factor, seam gap, bend radius/relief, corner conditions, and more). Fusion also includes tools to automate the modeling of flanges, chamfers, and holes and can flatten 3D designs into a 2D shape with a single click. Once designs are complete, Fusion can produce detailed drawings, nest parts into sheet stock, generate nest reports and customizable labels, as well as create cutting strategies for production using CNC machines.

What’s the difference between Fusion and the Fusion Manufacturing Extension?

Fusion is the starting point providing all the essential tools you need for 2D, 3+2, CAM, and 3D printing, as well as cloud collaboration tools. For more advanced needs, Fusion subscribers can also choose to upgrade to include the Fusion Manufacturing Extension. This extension unlocks additional, advanced capabilities within Fusion to help streamline common workflows used by fabrication engineers. This includes multi-sheet nesting, customizable reports, and automated detection of material, thickness, and part quantities.


The extension also includes advanced CAM programming tools for 3-, 4-, and 5-axis machining, as well as features to support the use of metals-based additive manufacturing.

Can Fusion program CNC machines?

Yes. Fusion is an excellent choice for those needing CAM software to drive CNC routers, waterjet, plasma, and laser cutting machines. A subscription to Fusion includes access to a library of accurate 3D models of commonly used CNC machines to help with part programming and machine animation.


To see the list of machines included in Fusion, visit

Can Fusion generate G-code?

Yes. Fusion is CAM software that can create high-quality CNC machining code for many types of CNC machine and NC controller. A subscription to Fusion includes free access to a library of editable post-processors that can be used to create code to suit your specific machine and business needs.


To see the list of free Fusion post-processors, visit

Is there a trial for Fusion nesting software?

Yes. You can download a 30-day free trial of the base version of Autodesk Fusion by clicking here. Additionally, you can download a 14-day free trial of the Fusion Manufacturing Extension by clicking here. It is recommended that you start your Extension trial only once you're familiar with the Fusion essentials.

What resources are available to get started with Fusion for nesting and fabrication?

Get started with Fusion for nesting and fabrication by following along with these video tutorials and accessing the in-depth product documentation.

See more FAQ