Whoa! Can you believe it’s been 6 months since our last Drawings blog update? Time sure flies when we’re having fun! Well, it’s high time for a check-in, so hang with us as we review the last 6 months and look forward to the rest of 2017.
If you want to skip all the chit-chat and just see what we’re working on, go on and skip ahead to dig into the Drawings Roadmap Mural.
We’ve been laser-focused
During the past 6 months, we’ve stayed true to our focus of delivering functionality that meets the basic needs for Part Detail & Detail Assembly drawings. We’ve made some big leaps in this area by releasing some meaty features like the browser & multi-sheet (can I get a hallelujah?!). Recently, we’ve continued to be focused on working on features necessary to complete Part Detail drawings, and we’ve also been working on features that will support the much-anticipated sheet metal functionality in Fusion 360, so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when Sheet Metal is released publically.
Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on filling the gaps necessary for you, our users, to successfully create your manufacturing drawings, but we’d also like to take this “opportunity” to make the whole chore of making drawings effortless.
What have we been doing
Hopefully you’ve seen some of our friendly faces around the forum, and thank you for always keeping it with us in letting us know how we can mold this drawings package into a productive and compelling tool. Your feedback has helped us to deliver a nice chunk of features since last October. It went by so fast that if you blinked you may have missed something, so let’s dive in for a quick overview.
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What are we working on right now
At this very moment, we have the bases loaded and a whole lot more on deck.
As you can see, we’re churning through a bunch of features to support the upcoming Sheet Metal functionality in Fusion 360 – by the time we’re done this summer, you’ll be able to create detailed drawings of your folded and flat pattern views, complete with associative bend notes, tables & datums – here’s a sneak peak:
So, how do we decide what to “move onto the field” and prioritize what to work on, anyways? Well, we get feedback from a whole bunch of sources, including the Forum, the IdeaStation, Fusion 360 Drawings Office Hours, Autodesk University, our Sales and Evangelist channels, and of course through direct contact with customers that we get the chance to meet as well. For instance, we met our friends over at KMP Motorsport at AU last November, and they’ve helped us to define some enhancements to the dimensioning tools, like dimension breaks and the ability to stretch a group of them at the same time.
We still have a ways to go with the Drawings workspace, but hopefully you’ve seen some of your requested items get delivered so far. In thinking ahead, we want to do more than just deliver individual features – we want to deliver smart features that help you get done with your drawings in a fraction of the time and, dare we say, maybe even have some fun doing it.
We hear all the time how Drawings are a “necessary evil”, and we accept the challenge of turning those tables (shout-out to @O.Tan who encouraged us to explore automated workflows for Drawings).
In that light, we recently took 5 days out of our normally scheduled program to do a hackathon and explore some ways that we can deliver the right features that you need, while pushing the boundaries of workflow automation. We asked ourselves, specifically, “how can we get 80% of our customer’s work done for them, so they can spend their time putting the finishing touches on and be done with their day faster?”
We had some amazing entries (18 to be exact), some of which you’ll start to see sooner than later come into Fusion 360 Drawings (hint: a custom title block editor or linked excel tables perhaps). Two of them in particular stood out above the rest as really pushing the limits of how software can help automate the mundane tasks of general documentation. These are rough concepts, but we’d love to get your feedback on what you think in the comments section below.
1. “Smart” Templates
Lori, from our Shanghai team, created a multi-page smart template that will pre-populate your basic drawing package, including assembly and component layouts automatically! Check it out for yourself…
2. Auto-Dimension Views
Conan, also from our Shanghai team, whipped together an automatic dimensioning tool that runs through a 3-step creation and verification process behind the scenes. His process determines which dimensions will be required for manufacture and then places them cleanly on the model… don’t blink or you’ll miss this one, it happens quickly as soon as he places a view.
The most important ingredient to the Fusion 360 Drawings recipe is YOUR FEEDBACK! We love hearing from you – the good, bad and ugly. Here are a couple of ways that you can get involved and engage directly with us to make sure we’re delivering a product that you’re excited about using on the regular.
- Let us know what you think about the workflow automation hackathon entries. Is this a direction that you think is interesting / helpful?
- Participate in our Office Hours! Join the Fusion 360 Drawings team to get a demo of new features and a sneak-peak into features under development. We would also love for you to come with any questions or bring a Drawing you need help with. Hope to see you there!
- The next one is May 11th, we will be offering 3 1-hour sessions to accommodate more time zones. (8 am PST, 2 pm PST and 7 pm PST)
- Check out our Events page to get more details, register and make sure you don’t miss an Office Hours in the future.
- Want a direct line to the product team? Hit me up directly at email@example.com – we’d love to chat with you.
- And as always, stay up-to-date with what the Drawings teams are working on by visiting the Drawings Roadmap Mural as frequently as your heart desires – we update it on the regular:
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Thanks for coming along on this ride with us, we’re grateful to have customers who are so passionate and willing to engage with us as deeply as you do.
Timera Hart & the Fusion 360 Drawings team
- Roadmaps are plans, not promises. We’re as excited as you to see new functionality make it into the products, but the development, release, and timing of any features or functionality remains at our sole discretion.
- These roadmaps should not be used to make purchasing decisions.