Whoa. Can you believe it’s been 7 months since our last Drawings blog update? Time sure flies when we’re having fun! Well, it’s high time for a check-in, so hang with us as we review the last 7 months and look forward to what we’ve got in store for 2018.
If you want to skip all the chit-chat and just see what we’re working on right now, go on and skip ahead to dig into the Drawings Roadmap Mural.
In the last Blog update, we gave you a sneak peek into 2 key projects: Sheet metal support and our vision for more automated workflows. Since then, we’ve made good progress toward rounding out basic functionality needs as well as moving boldly in the direction of automated workflows in a way that the industry hasn’t yet seen.
Some highlights from the past several months have been: sheet metal support (views, bend notes, bend tables, etc.), pattern center marks, edge extensions, a whole bunch of dimension enhancements, and smart templates.
The Future is Now
If you haven’t already heard about all the Drawings goodies that went out in the September Update, then you’re in for a real treat.
We heard your feedback regarding some of the hackathon demos we posted earlier in the year, and we put it directly into action to start bringing you some futuristic automation to your drawing workflows… starting with templates. In fact, the improvements to Drawing Templates were so big, that we had to give them their own name – Smart Templates. We all know that, used well, templates can make life easier and help to reduce errors, but we wanted to take it even further. In talking with all of you, we noticed that a lot of time is spent simply setting up your sheets with the views, parts lists and tables necessary, and that on top of that, you all tend to have your own “style” or “pattern” in how you like your sheets set up and how you like your sheets ordered. This turned into a perfect opportunity for us to add some needed functionality into improving our templates, but in a way that would take some of the mundane, burdensome tasks off of you in the meantime. So, not only can you add views and tables to your templates now, they are all representational of the types of assets in your design which allows us to know if that table you put on Sheet 4 should be a parts list or if it should be a bend table – without you having to tell us.
With these new improvements, your templates can auto-magically generate the layout of your entire drawing package – including pulling in different view types like flat pattern views or exploded views. Let that sink in a moment. . . then watch it in action.
Where we’re going
2018 is right around the corner, and we’re actively storing up some juicy nuggets for winter. We want to make 2018 even more productive than 2017 – a tall order indeed – but we’re up for the challenge. We know just how important being able to create the perfect drawing is to the success of your business so we’ve spent the year talking with many of you in detail about what that means. Customers like Swissomation, Photosynth, Advantic, Creative Conners and AKO Inc. are just a few examples of companies who have been generous with their time and opinions with us, and they have been instrumental in keeping us honest and helping us to define our roadmap.
From listening to all of our customers across US, Asia, Europe and Australia, two major themes continue to ring true – which leads us to our areas of focus:
- Continue rounding out and building the necessary features that our customers need to create documentation that’s required for them to bring their products to market.
- Automate or offload as much of the mundane tasks as makes sense so our customers can spend their time on the details where it really counts.
Everything we have done this year, and everything we will continue to do in 2018 will meet one or both of those criteria for our Mechanical Engineering customers. This keeps us focused as foxes.
On that note, let’s pull back the curtains so you can see what the team is currently working on, and what’s on their plates for early 2018 that you can look forward to. You’ll notice that there are a variety of projects – some big and meaty, some small improvements, and some that will help out with that aching feeling that the Drawings workspace is still a little “weird” compared to the rest of Fusion 360. This variety is intentional. We do our very best to make sure that we’re balancing the work so that it’s never long before you see something in the product that’s altogether new and useful or something that makes an existing tool or workflow better.
The December update of Fusion 360 is, quite literally, right around the corner and it will include some doozies for Drawings. Here’s a sneak peek, but remember to check out the What’s New blog for more juicy details after the update goes live.
PRINT A DRAWING
I know, I know… “It’s about time!”
After the update, just look for the Print command in your file menu and you’ll know what to do.
EXPOSED SKETCH GEOMETRY
For all of you who have sketch geometry in your model that you’d like to use on your drawing – you’re in luck! The first iteration of sketch geometry support will allow you to turn on and off the visibility of sketch geometry in drawing views through the Browser. All sketches can be dimensioned and annotated and will render on screen with a phantom line type indicating the geometry is reference geometry. More control and options will come at a later date.
TRAIL LINES FOR EXPLODED VIEWS
If you thought exploded views from the Animations workspace were nice before, you’re really gonna love the addition of trail lines. Trail lines will officially show up in your Exploded View in Drawings if they are toggled on in the Animations workspace, plus we did some enhancements and clean-up in the Animations workspace to make working with them so much more slick.
Check out the What’s New blog for all the deets when we go live.
2018 Sneak Peek
And last but certainly not least… here are the 3 top projects that the teams are currently eating away at that will take us into the New Year.
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! For a detailed breakdown of what the teams are actively working on, please visit the Roadmap Mural – it’s our single point-of-truth and we keep it updated anytime anything changes.
The most important ingredient to the Fusion 360 Drawings recipe is YOUR FEEDBACK! We love hearing from you – the good, bad and ugly. Here are a couple of ways that you can get involved and engage directly with us to make sure we’re delivering a product that you’re excited about using on the regular.
- Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on the Forum – we read it ALL.
- Participate in our Office Hours and join the Drawings team for a casual video chat. Bring a project you need help with or some general feedback and even get a demo of new features and a sneak-peak into features under development. Hope to see you there! Fusion Drawings Office Hours are held every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sign up HERE!
- Want a direct line to the product team? Email me directly at email@example.com or use this handy link to put time on my calendar to chat http://autode.sk/2izM032
- And as always, stay up-to-date with what the Drawings teams are working on by visiting the Drawings Roadmap Mural as frequently as your heart desires – we update it on the regular.
Thanks for coming along on this ride with us, we’re grateful to have customers who are so passionate and willing to engage with us as deeply as you do.
– Timera Hart & the Fusion 360 Drawings team
FDoc Priorities by Timera Hart
You will be able to edit this mural.
- Roadmaps are plans, not promises. We’re as excited as you to see new functionality make it into the products, but the development, release, and timing of any features or functionality remains at our sole discretion.
- These roadmaps should not be used to make purchasing decisions.