Fusion 360 for Personal Use Changes

Keqing Song
Keqing Song September 25, 2020 9 min read

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

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

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 mean?

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

3 – Can I still machine parts?

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

4 – Can I still 3D Print?

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

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

Save As DXF is still available from sketch. 

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 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. 

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. 

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

There are no changes to these offerings.

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. 

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.

[icon name=”question-circle” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] See the FAQ

Prefer to speak with someone? Contact a sales representative.

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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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