Get a sneak peek at what’s to come and understand the ‘why’ behind our investment areas in the 2024 Autodesk Fusion Roadmap.
2023 was a big year for Fusion, and 2024 is just as promising. At AU 2023, we further elaborated on our plan for the Fusion industry cloud for manufacturing, which will represent a new era of connected data and collaboration for individuals, teams, and entire organizations to design and make anything. In 2024, we’ll take even more steps in this direction, on both company-wide and individual product feature levels. Let’s dive into how the Fusion industry cloud vision is driving our 2024 initiatives.
DISCLAIMER: Roadmaps are plans, not promises. We’re as excited as you to see new functionality make it into the products, but the development, releases, and timing of any features or functionality remain at our sole discretion. The projects mentioned in this roadmap are highlights and do not account for ongoing efforts like bug fixes, platform, and service maintenance. These roadmap updates should not be used to make purchasing decisions.
Fusion 2024 focus areas: Three key pillars
This year, we plan to focus on three core pillars: Cloud Data and Collaboration, Core Capabilities, and AI & Automation. These pillars will help move us further along our current path toward connecting cloud data, unifying workflows, and increasing quality and performance throughout Autodesk Fusion. The specific features we’re working on all contribute towards building a more mature, resilient, and open Fusion industry cloud experience.
Data fuels collaboration, automation, and insights on any project, and it’s the foundation of our strategy to unify CAD, CAM, CAE, PCB, PDM, and PLM. We are continuing to evolve Fusion so that its capabilities and experience can support teams and external collaborators in a flexible and scalable way. We will continue to strengthen our data collaboration capabilities and our underlying data model to represent more design and make processes and provide an experience that delivers the right information, to the right person, at the right time.
We’re currently focusing on three data and collaboration areas: Improving administration, introducing Bill of Material (BOM) capabilities, and expanding what you can do with the API.
Improved administration for team collaboration
Ad hoc, real-time collaboration has been an integral part of Fusion from the beginning. We started with a highly simplified, trust-based model. We introduced projects as a mechanism to effortlessly organize all work related to a design, including team members and shared assets. This is similar to Microsoft SharePoint or Google Drive, but specifically tailored for design and manufacturing: it automatically manages references, views engineering data, updates renders, and more.
However, larger teams often require a higher degree of control. We’re working on enhancing Fusion’s existing capabilities by adding advanced options such as new roles (e.g. “reader” role for view, copy, and download permissions) more granular access at the folder level, and customized groups to save you time. These capabilities combined will be a huge benefit for larger organizations that need to quickly assign access within their teams or manage external collaborators. It will also help in scenarios involving standard or re-used content, where you need to grant read-only access to certain data and only allow it to be copied before being modified.
Bill of Material (BOM) to collaborate with your stakeholders more effectively
Currently, Fusion workflows requiring BOM typically rely on the Autodesk App Store or Excel. With the criticality of creating a BOM, updating it based on design changes, and sharing this real-time info with stakeholders, we are working on a built-in BOM experience for our desktop client. The BOM will be shareable, viewable, and exportable all from our easily accessible web client. This feature is already available in our Insider Program, which you can join here.
A powerful API to further unlock your company’s data and unique use cases
APIs are critical for automation, customization, and enabling connectivity with other systems used to run a business. We aim to provide an API that is easy to use, open, and extensible so Fusion can adapt to meet specific needs and be integrated into a broad ecosystem of tools used together throughout the end-to-end design and manufacturing process.
You can currently read, write, and extend Fusion data directly via the cloud using the Manufacturing Data Model API. Similar to REST but with information organized in graphs and accessed via queries, this GraphQL style API allows you to securely navigate your Fusion models and access related information directly from another web service or web page, without requiring the use of a Fusion client.
This past year, we expanded the information graph with mass and material properties, added basic project and user administration capabilities, and opened up the ability to export neutral geometry files such as STEP. We’re working to further expand data available through the API by adding support for features like configurations, as well as introducing write capabilities so you can add custom properties to a Fusion model. This will make it possible for sustainability insights, supplier information, or data from ERP systems to be written to a Fusion model so you have everything pertaining to a model in one place.
On the client side, we’re working on expanding the Fusion client API with additional feature coverage. We’re also working on opening new capabilities specifically for API users, such as new interface, geometry, and graphics controls. The combination of our cloud data model with increasingly powerful client-side APIs will open the door to more powerful custom applications and integrations in the future.
We understand the importance of continuing to provide a robust set of tools that cater to the ever-evolving needs of various industries and disciplines. Most of our core capability-focused initiatives are based on your direct feedback, which has helped us identify and prioritize areas for improvement across the Design, Manufacturing, and Electronics Design workspaces. Here are just a few of the many core capabilities projects we have in the works that will hopefully streamline your daily workflows.
We always aim to develop design features and workflows that help you significantly cut down the time it takes to actualize your ideas. Continuing our momentum from years past, we will keep investing in Fusion’s core capabilities throughout the design environment. Think of the features you already love but bigger, faster, and stronger than ever in addition to new goodies focused on improving your pre-existing workflows.
Streamlined daily workflows
We’re working on improvements surrounding assembly design that aim to increase efficiency and alleviate some of the stressors involved in the design process. This means extended edit-in-place capabilities and investments in assembly performance improvements. Understanding and managing change is key to production workflows, we are working on more granular and intelligent out-of-date notifications that will make it easier than ever for teams managing change to deliver the right products faster.
Within configurations, we’re working on enhancements that will allow you to configure features as you design, increased flexibility around the ability to configure non-parametric features and performance updates to all areas of configurations. Additionally, our Fasteners Library has been well received since its recent launch, and we’re excited to invest in more content, library editability, and increasing associativity and placement options this year. And over in the Drawings workspace, we’re working on helpful features like curve X/Y extent dimensions, dimensions format painter, breakout section views, and perspective views.
The success of any tech-enabled consumer product hinges on getting the electronics design right. Fusion offers a seamless 2D to 3D PCB design experience that integrates with the electromechanical design workflow. Fusion empowers designers and engineers to collaborate more closely than ever before.
We’re focusing on enhancing our component consumption and management workflows, fostering more vital collaboration between mechanical and PCB engineers, and offering an expanded range of electronic design tools to ensure that your PCB designs meet your design requirements. Improvement to our simulation capabilities, component management, closer interaction between board and schematic, additional options controlling trace properties, and, as always, performance and usability remain a high priority for us. This list reflects our commitment to meet and exceed industry standards while promoting a user-centric approach.
Autodesk Fusion is at the forefront of investing in manufacturing. We want to ensure manufacturing teams always have the flexibility and information needed to respond to changing market demands and unforeseen circumstances. To do so, we’re continuously investing in features that focus on helping you simplify processes, reduce errors, identify bottlenecks, and gain even more control over manufacturing operations.
We’re planning to dramatically improve the way you manufacture using Fusion across all areas of manufacturing, including milling, turning, the tool library, CAD/CAM, Inspection, fabrication, automation, and more. We are not only investing in new features but also enhancements to tools and workflows you already love.
Even more efficient manufacturing
You can expect investment in features that aim to make your manufacturing processes safer and more energy and material-efficient. Features like new advanced touch/avoid milling strategies, additional drilling support to eliminate gouges and collisions, and more. We’re also working on Collision Detection during the machine simulation of milling toolpaths, which will give you the ability to see more accurate information on where collisions occur and what is currently in a colliding state.
Enhanced control over the way you machine
Additionally, we’re working on new advancements that help keep you in the driver’s seat when it comes to manufacturing your parts. With improved roughing strategies, advancements in milling finishing capabilities, and numerous turning enhancements in the pipeline, we are incredibly excited about what the future holds. If we take a closer look at the tooling library, you’ll see additional control over your Holder Gauge Length and Threading Inserts, and circle segment tools support.
An integrated CAD/CAM experience
From Design to Simulation to Manufacturing, Fusion provides a truly end-to-end platform for your entire product development cycle. We will continue to make advancements that provide you with a seamless CAD/CAM experience. One example of how we are aiming to do this is through our investment in creating material-aware setups and associated tool presets that help you automate your workflows and save time in the process.
An example of how we’re considering manufacturing automation is our development of automated threading. This feature will enable the transfer of threading data between the Design and Manufacturing workspaces. So, when a thread is created in the Design workspace, the information about the thread can also be accessed in the Manufacturing workspace. This means that you will be able to automate your threading process, accommodate deviations from standard procedures, when necessary, avoid manual threading calculations, and easily access and comprehend your threading data across workspaces.
For over ten years, Autodesk has prioritized investment in AI because we recognize its transformative power for design and manufacturing teams. We’re currently developing Autodesk AI, our ongoing commitment to developing technology that augments creative exploration and problem-solving, automates tedious and repetitive tasks, and analyzes project data to offer predictive insights. Autodesk AI works alongside you, like an assistant, to ease otherwise time-consuming tasks and help you get where you want to be faster. It helps customers meet the moment—not just by increasing productivity, but by providing tools to be more ambitious and creative.
Autodesk AI encompasses our general vision for AI as well as specific product features, including but not limited to a feature that’s on the near horizon…
We’re excited to share that Automated Drawings is arriving very soon. This game-changing feature will save you significant time by automating the tedious steps of creating a drawing. It’ll offer a plethora of handy benefits, including automatically creating and laying out your drawings, rotating components to the best orientation for documentation, placing sheet metal flat patterns and bend tables, generating dimensioning strategies, and much more. Automated Drawings is targeted at prismatic machined parts, but we’re also working on enhancing the capabilities to extend use cases, adding more features and additional AI tools to automate tasks that are traditionally time-consuming.
Automated Drawings is one of many examples of how we’re pioneering new intelligent and efficient solutions for design and engineering workflows. We’re continuing our investment in discovering ways to automate time-consuming tasks, so stay tuned for exciting updates and advancements in this area.
A bright future together
We commit to optimizing performance to provide a seamless and responsive Fusion user experience. Each year, we undergo rigorous testing, bug fixing, and continuous improvements to deliver a stable and robust software experience that acts as your trusted partner at every stage of the product development process. We also value maintaining resilient and robust servers that enable you to get your work done when and how you want to, all while safeguarding your data. We will also continue to prioritize listening to user feedback, as your experiences continuously shape what we choose to prioritize next.
Thank you for your continued support. As your team grows and as an increasing number of organizations adopt Fusion, we’re committed to growing with you and staying at the forefront of industry trends. Our goal is to empower your team to reach its maximum potential, and we look forward to sharing all that’s to come for Fusion as the year progresses.
Remember, the projects shared here are just a few of many. Keep an eye out here on the blog for more updates soon and consider joining the Fusion Insider Program for exclusive insights into how Fusion will continue to evolve in the future.
Want early access to new Fusion features?
The Fusion Insider Program gives you access to updates before they go live, exclusive content, and a direct line to our team.