How to Animate a Design in Fusion 360 [Update 2022]

jodom4 November 2, 2022 2 min read

When do animations come in handy for designers? How do you animate a design in Fusion 360? Look no further than this comprehensive tutorial.


When you think of animation, you probably envision the timeless classics of Dreamworks or Pixar; but, as we all know, animation can encapsulate a variety of different genres. As such, animation has more applications than just entertainment. Animation is an important tool to analyze aspects of a design before actually producing a physical prototype. It serves as a digital representation of a potential real-life scenario or object.

Animation in industrial design

Animation is an important tool during the industrial design process because it helps communicate the assembly design to collaborators, stakeholders, and customers. What better way to understand a 3D design than to break it apart into multiple different views? Stakeholders definitely want to know whether or not your product design functions correctly before approving it for production.

Animations can also be used to understand the functionality of a moving part. Perhaps you are designing a product that has two interlocking joints and want to test the spatial tolerances of said joints. By animating the joints, you can see where one joint might collide with the other. You can edit the trajectory and the speed at which your animation plays. 

Software, like our very own Fusion 360, provides animation tools to test certain parameters and functionality.

Animating with Fusion 360

Fusion 360 provides several options when animating a product design. You can create exploded views, edit an already completed animation, add trail lines, add annotations, publish, and share the animations by downloading a video file or viewing them in a web browser using Fusion Team. 

To get you started, here are simplified steps on how to create an exploded view animation using Fusion 360. For this example, envision a 3D box with a sphere in the middle.

1. Design the components of the product you wish to animate. In this case, we have the AU Factory 2022 device.

2. With your design file open, make sure the Workspace is Animation.

3. Rotate and center the 3D design on the screen.

4. Drag the playhead on the timeline to the Scratch Zone. The Scratch Zone is the small space to the left of the beginning of the animation timeline.

5. Click the ViewCube in the faces of the design.

6. Pan / zoom to center the design.

7. Move the playhead forward on the timeline (1 second in the gif below)

8. Click on the desired component, then click the Transform command.

9. Move components to a position where they’re not hidden by other components, then zoom / pan to center the design.

10. Play the animation and review the timeline. Make adjustments accordingly.

Note: These steps are basic and serve as an example of where to start your product animation.

For more in depth information on how to create an explosion animation for your product, refer to Activity 1: Create an Animation of the Fusion 360 Animation Tutorials.

Not sure where to go from here? No problem. Fusion 360 comes with additional tutorials and step-by-step articles to help you animate any product design. 

Try Fusion 360 today if you haven’t downloaded it already!

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