For Designers and Engineers
Even before a global pandemic, access to platforms that successfully enable remote cross-team, cross-departmental collaboration has been an asset. Rarely have we seen platforms that de-silo engineering and product design fields into a single tool. Recently many companies have seen a decrease in efficiency and throughput that at its best, impacts release and delivery dates. At it’s worse, it can equate to sizeable revenue losses, until now. Fusion 360’s cloud-based services allow any team to work concurrently on any project at any time.
Say what? Yep…it’s true.
Fusion 360 has and will continue to de-centralize the product design and manufacturing industries by empowering companies and users to work remotely without impacting efficiency and throughput. Follow along this three-part series to see how you can deploy Fusion 360 as a high-value asset to increase productivity, lessen the risk of missed release and launch dates, and hopefully add an increase in throughput to help your bottom line.
Designers and Engineers, Share the Load
In part one, we’ll be covering design concurrency and the power of componentry. We’ll show you why designers and engineers should start with components and utilize cross-team component editing using our Edit in Place feature.
Here’s the outline for parts 2 and 3 for reference:
- Part two: We will share with managers how to deploy Fusion’s web-based information sharing to highlight comments, security, and annotations.
- Part three: We will focus on the specifying role or PM’s and how they can automate technical drawings and wiki creations for any project.
I’ve worked in many different design and engineering roles, from a designer to a machinist, or manager to founder. Each of these positions has taught me that the most powerful tool for successful hardware projects is good practices around collaboration and data sharing. One problem I’ve had is that for most of my career, I used app after app to increase my productivity. I had software for modeling, a different one for CAM, then another for data management. It became so overwhelming my productivity declined.
I have no reservations telling you that Fusion 360 can manage most, if not all, of your company’s design and engineering needs. And it can all be deployed from individual contributor to CEO.
Components in Fusion 360
The component function is where it all begins and where it should stay forever. By utilizing this function, you can deploy all the needed information to your collaborators without lifting a finger.
The power of components lies in the ability to compartmentalize information and references into neat packages. It takes the information found in the model tree-like sketch, solid bodies, and origins and creates a package of that information. Every project should be an assemblage of multiple components. Think of it as a pizza; you have the crust, then the sauce, the cheese, and the toppings. You don’t just throw them all into one mixture, you layer, and each layer is a component of the overall delicious design. Creating components as I’m about to show you is the single most powerful tool used in collaborating with managers, PMs, and other designers and engineers. It’s what will allow you to automate an entire portion of design revisions too.
Working in Components
Before creating a sketch, click the drop-down and select create component. Now, all the information moving forward is encapsulated into one accessible place. It may seem simple, but this tool is incredibly powerful, and once you use it, you’ll never question its impact.
Let’s start with a hypothetical: You’re working on a design for a watch. You’re in charge of form factors. However, someone else in your group is leading the mechanical hardware portion. To keep the project moving forward, you want to send the 3D body you’ve created to your counterpart to ensure the mechanisms fit within the body package. You know the external surface isn’t finished. However, you do know the interior volume of the product is set in stone. By following this workflow, you can ensure that engineering can build the mechanisms while having the most up-to-date form factors to work within.
With the March 2020 release, we’ve introduced an absolute game-changer for teams collaborating on a single design. Our newest edit in place feature delivers design concurrency for companies that are miles apart. Our focus is on allowing multiple teams or members to work concurrently in a single model without impacting the other’s workflow.
To use this in your existing design:
- Create a new component that you want to share.
- Open your data panel on the right, and select the tab People. Invite whomever you wish to your design. Once invited, that person will have access to the part where they can work concurrently with other team members.
Once your newest team member is ready to work – follow these instructions.
- Click the pencil icon to the right. This command will highlight that component and lock all others.
- You can also select the component and right-click the part you wish to edit and click Edit in place.
- Make the edits you wish, right-click, and choose End Edit in Place or select the green checkbox at the top of the model window.
BOOM! Edits are made across the entire platform. Your collaborator is notified that an edit has been made, prompting them to update.
Edit in Place allows you to collaborate with any number of people while maintaining those edits that reflect the current revision number.
Any company that uses these tools can see a direct impact on de-siloing your practice. The flow of information in a timely and concise manner makes every aspect of the product journey easier. It transforms what could be a complex hardware process into something more akin to supereasyfunware.
For more tutorials or ways Fusion 360 can change your entire team’s workflow, follow this link. And, remember, this guide is just a starting point. Spend some time working through these examples, and you’ll find much more powerful ways to employ this one-size-fits-all tool for your practice.
Start collaboration with Edit in Place today. Wait are you not using Fusion 360 yet, download now for the next level in CAD collaboration!