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Changes to Fusion 360 for Personal Use

UPDATE Sept. 25, 2020: STEP Export stays in Fusion 360 for personal use

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STEP export will remain available for Fusion 360 for personal use. This removal of STEP export was previously announced as part of the changes to curb misuse of Fusion 360 for personal use by commercial users. This change had unintended consequences for the hobbyist community. For this reason, we have made the decision to continue to allow STEP export for personal, non-commercial users. It remains in product unchanged and will not be removed as other announced changes roll out this October and January.


We want you to know, while the changes to the personal use entitlement were necessary, we remain committed to our community. You will continue to see development and investment in Fusion 360 for personal use.


UPDATE Sept. 17, 2020: Answers to the top 8 FAQs from you

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There have been lots of discussions on social media and on our forums. We understand the emotions you’re all going through, so in the spirit of clarity, I want to break it down for you with the most accurate information about what is changing, directly from our team. Here are 8 quick answers to the most common questions we’ve seen in the community. If this is your first time seeing this announcement, we encourage you to watch the video and read the blog post below for the full context. 




Talk to us – we’re here to help


We understand that change can be hard, and that’s why we’re here to help. If you’re not sure whether you should get the paid subscription, stick with the Personal Use offering, or if you’re confused about any of the changes mentioned in this blog post, talk directly with one of our experts and we’ll gladly to help you make the right decision specific to your needs.








Since the day Fusion 360 entered the market, we set out to build a product firmly based on the philosophy that design tools should be available to everyone, always up-to-date, and easy to use. You and your teams should not be limited by where you’re located, nor by the OS platform you run on. We’re living in the future, and we want Fusion 360 to take you even further.  


Today, Fusion 360 encompasses all aspects of this philosophy, and one of the best things about building a product from scratch is seeing the incredible growth of our community over the past 7 years. In the beginning, like many startups, we only had a handful of users. Fast forward to now, and there are 645,000 of you actively using Fusion 360 every month. You’ve shown us how much it has become a part of your lives, and for that, we are eternally grateful.  


Fusion 360 for personal use remains free 


We recognize that Fusion 360 for personal use has enabled so many of you to turn a passion project into a viable source of income, and we absolutely want to continue to support you doing what you love. We hear discussions of how this offering is going away, or will no longer be free, and we want to take this opportunity to say that our commitment to you and the community has not changed. The personal use offering is still free for those of you solely doing home-based, non-commercial design, manufacturing, and fabrication projects.   


Fusion 360 is maturing at a rapid pace, and it has earned its reputation as the most affordable end-to-end product development tool out there—we want to keep it that way. As we continue to deliver more capabilities against the three major areas of focus in our roadmap update, we also need to have a clear distinction between our offerings for personal use and commercial use.  On our community forums and social media channels, we see a reoccurring sense of confusion of what is the difference between the offerings, what is free, what is not, and intentional/unintentional misuse of the personal offering for commercial purposes.


What is changing in Fusion 360 for personal use   


So let’s get down to business. Our rapid growth presents a new set of challenges for us to collectively overcome.  In order for us to lead the market as the #1 unified tool-of-choice in professional product development and manufacturing, we need to eliminate both the confusion and the misuse that exists within our offerings.  We need to make sure that we can scale in a sustainable way and support advanced capabilities for our professional subscribers, while, at the same time, staying true to our guiding principles of democratizing design for everyone. With this in mind, we will be defining clearer lines between what is available for Fusion 360 for personal use versus the other offerings.


Here’s what it looks like:  




1 – Is Fusion 360 for Personal Use still free?




Yes. Fusion 360 for Personal Use remains free. It’s not going away.



2 – What does the 10 active documents change really mean?




You still keep your data and can have unlimited number of documents (3D design, drawing, PCB) as well as projects (top level folders in your data panel) in your account. 


  • Today all your designs and documents are active by default. You can open any design no matter how old or new and they will open. 
  • What this change means: 
    • 10 active documents means that you have 10 spots for any document to open and be editable at any given time. All your other documents will be stored in your projects in a new inactive state. They will remain yours, saved in your projects. 
    • When you reach your 10 document capacity, and you want to revisit an older design and open it up, you can do so by deactivating an active document and activating the inactive one to swap places with. Again, you continue to keep all your designs and projects with no limits on how many you can have in inactive state.  
    • PDFs, images, presentations, spreadsheets, etc do not count towards the 10 active document allowance.
    • If you have an assembly with referenced designs in it, the assembly and each reference (if opened) will count as 1 document each. Assemblies can reference active and inactive documents. You will still be able to edit the referenced designs as long as they are also active. If your referenced designs in the assembly are inactive, you can still open your assemblies, but the references will be read only.
    • Electronics Design Library, schematic, 2D PCB count as 1 document.
  • How would this work?
    • The interactions of how you do this is still being worked on, and any existing experience around archiving projects from Fusion Team is not indicative of what this new interaction may be, that’s why it’s slated for January 2021. We hope that you understand that we are trying to put limits in place to stop commercial mis-use, while still enabling the vast majority of hobbyists to continue to design and make with little to no impact. 


3 – Can I still machine parts?




Yes. 2, 2.5 and 3 axis milling will still be available in the new Personal Use offering. 

  • More advanced manufacturing functionality such as 3+2 axis, 4 axis, and 5 axis milling will only be available in the paid subscription. 
  • Toolpath simulation in the Manufacture workspace is not going anywhere and will still be available. 
  • Automatic tool change capability will not be available, and rapid feedrate are limited to cutting feedrate.



4 – Can I still 3D Print?




Yes, STL Export will still be available in Fusion 360 for Personal Use.

  • You can still use Fusion 360 for 3D printing with File > 3D print > send to print utility of your choice, File Export > STL or Save As STL



5 – Can I still laser-cut or do 2D routing?




Save As DXF is still available from sketch. 

  • DXF will not be a supported file format from File > Export, but you will still be able to right click on a sketch in the browser and select Save As DXF for your laser cutting and routing needs.



6 – Can I still export my designs as STEP?




Yes, STEP export will still be available from the in-product File > Export dialog as well as Fusion Team.


Export of STEP will be not be available from the in-product File > Export dialog on Oct. 1, 2020. After Oct. 1,  You can still export your designs as STEP file formats via Fusion Team in your browser. This workflow will remain until Jan 19, 2021. 

  • To get to your Fusion Team page, open the data panel, go into one of your projects, and click on the “Open on the Web” icon.



7 – Does Extension Access mean Scripts and Add-ins?




No, you still have access to scripts and add-ins downloaded from the Autodesk App Store, there is no change here. 

  • You will still be able to leverage our API as well as the add-ins available on our App Store.
  • Extensions in this context refer to the Manufacturing Extensions available to purchase. These are the capabilities like Probing, 4 axis Rotary, 5 axis Steep & Shallow Strategies that extend your manufacturing capabilities with more convenience, faster machine times, and higher quality finishing.  



8 – Are there changes to Education, Startup, Trial & Paid Subscriptions?




There are no changes to these offerings.

  • Just to clarify, this change does not impact the trial, Education offering, Startup offering, or the Paid subscription. Product updates will continue to be delivered to all of our offerings, additional advanced functionality may be excluded from the Personal offering moving forwards.
  • We will continue to support the Personal Use offering with product updates, improvements, fixes, as well as new features moving forward.




When is this happening 


If you’re currently using Fusion 360 for personal use and need to export your designs out as any of the formats mentioned above, you have until October 1st, 2020 to do so. The 10 active document allowance will be in effect on January 19, 2021. After this date, you will have the option to select which 10 documents you would like to remain active, and the rest will be stored in your account in an archived state. You can swap an archived document for an active document at any time. There is no limit on how many archived designs you choose to keep.


The Education and Startup offerings remain as-is and are available through an application and verification process. Students and educators can still get free one-year educational access to Autodesk products and services, renewable as long as you remain eligible. If you’re paying for Fusion 360 already, nothing is changing for you. 


If there are specific features or functionality you need that are no longer included in Fusion 360 for personal use, we want to give you the opportunity to get the full version at a discounted entry price, either as a 1- or 3-year subscription. 


Learn more about the offer


We’re here for you—now and into the future


Change can be uncomfortable, but without change, we cannot grow as a business and still deliver industry-leading value to you and our community. If we can’t grow, we become stale, and if we become stale, we’re no longer making Fusion 360 the best it can be. From day 1, your feedback has always played a pivotal role in the product strategy and roadmap direction of Fusion 360. We’ll continue to support you on the journey however we can, and we whole-heartedly appreciate your understanding around this change.  


We thought you’d have questions for us, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of FAQs. You can access it via the link below.


See the FAQ


Prefer to speak with someone? Contact a sales representative.


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Other European Countries: +0808 169 9659


Your local resellers are also able to help you answer any questions you may have, so feel free to reach out to them as well. 


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