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Using Fusion 360 in Schools

Updated as of June 10, 2015

This document describes certain features of Autodesk Fusion 360. It is intended to help educational institutions, teachers and administrators (collectively “Educators”) determine how to meet their obligations to protect student educational records under the U.S. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). This document is provided for informational purposes only. The features of Fusion 360 change from time to time and may have changed since the date of this document. Educators are solely responsible for their own review of Fusion 360’s current features, including confirming if any updates to Fusion 360 are relevant to their review. The information in this document is subject to change and does not contain any legal advice or recommendations. No representation is made about the accuracy or completeness of this information.

Fusion 360 is an amazing 3D CAD/CAM product with built-in cloud-based collaboration and data management. The following is a discussion of certain features that may help teachers/administrators/institutions use Fusion 360 in their classrooms.

Using Fusion with Projects

All data is stored and maintained in the account of the project owner. To facilitate collaboration on designs, students or teachers may set up projects and invite project members. The content of any project will be stored and maintained in the account of the project owner. For example, if a teacher were to set up a project and invited all class students to be members, all designs, wikis, comments, links and other contributions to the project will be stored and maintained in the teacher’s account, even after any individual student is no longer a member of the project. Likewise, if a student sets up a project, all contributions to the project will continue to be stored and maintained in the student’s account, even after the project is finished and any invited members are no longer members.

High Trust Environment with All Members Having Similar Rights. Each project is a high-trust environment meant to foster free collaboration among all project members.

Project members’ profiles (editable only by the individual member) are viewable by anyone within the project, and may be copied and shared by any member. Members can abbreviate their names or use screen names, although their accurate email address will always be available to all project members.

All members have the same rights to add, copy, download, export, delete, edit, change parameters and settings, post files, schedule events, add links, comment on and otherwise collaborate on any item added to the project.

Each member can also edit properties that control access to any item. Accordingly, item properties are only valid as of the last setting change by any member.

Deleting data within a project. Any member may at any time delete any design, file, wiki, event or link in any project, regardless of the original contributor. A member may also delete the member’s own comments. The activity stream currently is the only item that may not be deleted. The project itself may be deactivated at any time, which will make it and any remaining contents inaccessible to any member until the owner of the project reactivates the project. Projects may not be deleted only deactivated.

Adding Project Members and Sharing Content. Project members may invite any person to join a project, subject to approval by the project owner. For example, if a teacher is the owner of a project that includes only students, the teacher can prevent any student from inviting parents or other third parties from being project members. This does not prevent a student from downloading, copying or exporting any content from a project or providing an email link to particular content.

Removing Project Members. The project owner may remove any project members at any time. Removal of a project member does not erase any data already contributed by the former member. The project owner may do a search for the items contributed by a former member and delete such items manually from within the project.

Access to Data. Any project member may view all items (including all files, comments, wikis, calendar events, activity streams, polls and profiles) in a project. Members may also correct or revise and repost all items, except other member’s profiles, which only the actual member may change. Accordingly it is recommended that no confidential information or information that is not intended to be shared among all project members be stored in or shared using Fusion 360. At the end of a project, the project owner may remove all other members from the project and deactivate a project. The project owner will still be able to access the data at a later time by reactivating the project.

Appropriate Data for Fusion. The open, collaborative environment of a project in Fusion 360, which is so powerful in encouraging collaboration, makes it an inappropriate place for any sensitive information requiring control of access or revisions. Accordingly, confidential information, official records, records directly relating to a particular student, final submissions of student work, teacher or student evaluations and assessments, and other similar types of information not suitable for sharing with the entire project membership should not be stored in or shared using Fusion 360.

Use of Fusion on an Individual Basis

Fusion can also be used on an individual basis without the creation of any shared projects. Individual students log into their individual accounts and can create, model, sculpt, test, assemble render and animate their own designs. All files can be saved by the student to the student’s own individual project (with no other member) and can be shared by exporting, embedding or linking.

In this scenario, all data will be under the control of the student, except to the extent the student decides to share this information with anyone.

A student will always have the option of setting up shared projects with others privately through the student’s individual account, in which case the student will become the project owner (see above) and have the capabilities outlined above.

Third-Party Services, Public Galleries and Forums

Fusion 360 allows users to collaborate with useful third-party services, including printing/milling services that will manufacture a user’s design; parts suppliers from whom a user can download CAD files for use with a design and purchase off-the-shelf parts; CAD-sharing services and other similar third-party services. Such services generally require registration and an email address and are subject to their own terms and conditions. Any such service is made available for the convenience of the user and is optional.

Fusion 360 is also connected to public galleries where users can display their designs and get inspiration and tips from other users. Fusion 360 also has a forum that contains support information and help. Generally, if a user doesn’t post to a gallery or forum, the user’s identity is not revealed to any other gallery or forum user. However, upon posting of a design, comment or question, user profile information will be publicly available to a general audience.