Fusion 360: Loading your Autodesk EAGLE designs
Earlier this year, Autodesk again disrupted the CAD industry by closing the gap in the electromechanical workflow for the design of smart consumer products. The world-renown Autodesk Fusion 360 is the leader on cloud-based CAD mechanical and CAM design needs. With the addition of electronics design capabilities, intelligent products can be created using one collaborative platform.
In addition to adding the electronic design needs, we have made it 100% compatible with designs and libraries made with EAGLE. Autodesk EAGLE has been around for over 30 years, one of the significant contributors to the Open Hardware movement. All your current EAGLE designs and designs that you download online are compatible with Fusion 360.
Today, you will learn how to load your design and libraries made with EAGLE into Fusion 360. If you don’t have Fusion 360 yet, you can download your free trial today here. After downloading, installing, and launching Fusion 360, you will begin at the Design Workspace.
Click on the File pull-down menu and select the option New Electronic Design. The electronic document will control the link between your schematic and your circuit board. EAGLE users would create a new design, and as long the schematic and board were in the same folder, forward and back annotation was automatically checked.
With Fusion 360, the electronic document now monitors your schematic and circuit board. The extended value of this system is that a schematic can be used in different projects with alternative PCB layouts, having the benefit that all schematics will remain linked. From the electronic document, you will notice four icons at the top left corner of the editor. These options allow you to either begin a new design or load the existing design. For our example, we will be using the icon about loading existing designs. Click on the link to the schematic symbol icon ; from the Reference to dialog box, you can navigate your existing Fusion 360 project folders to find an electronic design. We will use the option at the bottom of the dialog box called Select from My Computer since we wish to load a file that is currently on our local hard drive.
After finding and selecting the schematic you wish to load, click on Open.
I will navigate to \documents\projects\eagle folder to select one of the available designs. After choosing the schematic and click on OPEN, a new tab will open with the schematic loaded.
NOTE: If you upload your EAGLE design files into Fusion 360 and independently open them without an electronic document, there will be no monitoring between board and schematic.
Please note that the schematic sheet preview will be located at the bottom of the editor. Return to the electronic document tab and click on Save, this action will cascade to all opened electronic editors.
Now it’s time to load the associated PCB, as we did earlier with the schematic click on the PCB link icon . From the opened dialog box, select the option Select from my Computer then navigate your hard drive to choose the board associated with this schematic.
The board will load into a new tab, click on the save icon from the electronic document to conserve our progress.
To verify that the loaded schematic and board are consistent, return to the schematic editor and select the Validate tab and run ERC. The created report will inform you that your current schematic and PCB are consistent. If the report didn’t automatically appear, please click on the error icon to review notifications. Therefore, changes will be monitored between the board and schematic from this point forward.
With the design files successfully loaded, the designer will now be able to continue working on electronic design and enjoy the collaboration and versioning capabilities in Fusion 360. From this point on to open your electronic design double click the Electronic Document from the Fusion 360 data panel, this will automatically load the Schematic, PCB, and linked 3DPCB.