How Cloud-Based CAD Helps You Work Faster and Smarter

Emily Suzuki Emily Suzuki October 25, 2021

3 min read

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German) 日本語 (Japanese)

Cloud-based CAD software like Fusion 360 is an all-in-one repository for data that makes online collaboration between engineers and designers easy. Learn all about how cloud-based CAD works faster and smarter than other solutions in this article.


Cloud-based CAD software is slowly taking over the way data is stored and transferred during the design process. There are many benefits to adopting 3D CAD software — it’s fast, reduces cost, increases productivity, provides better security, is more reliable, and is scalable on the global market. Cloud computing allows engineers to streamline their design process through 3D design and modeling features, enhancing the overall product development system.

What is the Cloud?

There are several different types of cloud computing, including public, private, and hybrid. There are also other types of cloud services, such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), serverless computing, and software as a service (SaaS). Cloud computing is more or less self-explanatory. Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party provider, which includes all hardware and software. Private clouds are used exclusively by a single business or organization. Organizations can centralize them on-site or have them on their own data center. A hybrid cloud intertwines public and private clouds and allows data and applications to transfer between them.


IaaS is the most basic category of cloud computing services. IaaS is where you rent IT infrastructure from a cloud provider. PaaS is a service that supplies an on-demand environment for developing, delivering, testing, and managing applications. Serverless computing overlaps with PaaS, to a degree, by building app functionality without spending time managing the server. SaaS is a method for delivering software apps over the internet where cloud providers host and manage the software application and infrastructure.

Want to learn more about the cloud? Check out the below series of articles:

Ten Ways Cloud Computing Will Streamline Your Business
Five Benefits of Cloud Collaboration for Remote Engineers
What is Cloud Computing Security? Is My Data Safe on the Cloud?

Autodesk Fusion 360: A Cloud-Based Platform

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based platform easily accessed through a web browser. Data lives in a central location (the cloud) for on-demand access to system resources without user management or multi-platform communication. Cloud-based computing provides a less rigid infrastructure that engineers, designers, and hobbyists can easily access from anywhere and use from project to project for streamlined product development.

CAD/CAM Software Integration

Computer-aided design (CAD) centralizes a product design and development into an automated 3D environment. Design starts in CAD. The data is then migrated to computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software to produce the final product or 3D print a prototype. The cloud-based environment facilitates easy access to saved schematics, schematic symbols, 2D drawings, 2D footprints, and 3D models all in one repository.

MCAD and ECAD Software Integration

CAD consists of two software subsets: electronic computer-aided design (ECAD) and mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD). Some CAD software providers offer MCAD and ECAD separately, while Fusion 360 provides an integrated platform. Applications for ECAD and MCAD vary depending on the project. For instance, engineers can design and manufacture printed circuit boards (PCBs) without needing third-party software extensions. 

Benefits of Cloud-Based CAD Software Like Fusion 360

There are several benefits to using cloud-based CAD software like Fusion 360. For example, designers and engineers can design from anywhere and are not bound to their PC that houses the installed software. You can draft, edit, and view CAD designs on several different devices. All you need is your sign-on credentials. This easy process also cuts down on communication and brings the design team together. 

With streamlined communication comes streamlined workflows. Track projects, add comments, share files, and take projects on-site.

Fusion 360 is a complete and robust upgrade from your current CAD and CAM software. Download Fusion 360 today to unlock all the potential cloud computing has to offer.

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