Greetings! My name is Taylor Stein, and I’m the newest hire to the Fusion 360 team – and your new Tech Evangelist! I’m a Bay Area native, a recent Mechanical Engineering graduate of UC Davis, and – like many of you – new to Fusion 360. I’m incredibly excited to get to know and interact with all of the awesome designers that we have here in our online community.
But enough about me, let’s jump into the juicy stuff: 3 of the most important tips I’ve found for getting the most out of your Fusion 360 experience.
1. Think out loud in the Sculpting environment
Have a rough idea of what you want to design? Good. That’s all you need to get started. Rather than sketching (and erasing) away in your notebook, give the sculpting environment a try for your early conceptual design stages.
Go grab a primitive shape and start pressing and pulling on your model. Don’t be shy, add some symmetry, additional edges and creases if you like! I have found that I can efficiently iterate through an incredible amount of designs in the sculpting environment and even come up with new designs that I would never have initially considered.
2. Take advantage of the intuitive creation tools in the Modeling environment
There often comes a point in your design where you have to put down the toys in the sculpting environment for a second and transition over to solid modeling. Have no fear! There are plenty of other shiny toys waiting for you in the Modeling environment. These tools allow you to add an incredible amount of complexity to your (already awesome) design.
One of my favorite tools is the Coil tool. Want to model a nice shock for your mountain bike fork? Select the coil command and visually create the perfect shock. You have control over your coil’s diameter, length, thickness, number of revolutions and many more characteristics. These are great, but the cherry on top is the intuitive interface that allows you to move sliders and choose the design that fits your needs: no more guessing and checking parameters! Simply drag the various sliders to iterate through possible designs until you’re satisfied.
3. Make your designs functional with Boolean operations (Join, Cut, Intersect)
Creating a beautiful design in Fusion 360 is great, but bringing a level of functionality to your design with Boolean operations makes them even much more powerful! Want to ensure that your two solid bodies fit perfectly together? Look no further than the Combine tool.
While its name may sell it short, the Combine tool gives you access to three Boolean operations: Join, Cut, and Intersect. These three operations very well might be the most useful tools in the modeling environment. For example, I was recently creating a custom dock for my iPhone, and I wanted to ensure that the slot in the dock’s base perfectly fit my phone’s lightning cable. Using the Cut command, I cut away a hole in my dock that matches the size of the adapter. With one simple tool, I was able to turn my form-focused design into a much more functional product.
So what are some of your best practices? We’d love to hear the tips that have helped you create your designs.
Thanks, and looking forward to getting to know you!