Exploring Avatars and Design Reservation in Fusion 360

John Helfen
John Helfen March 1, 2021 4 min read

We are excited to announce improvements to the way teams can use Fusion 360 to collaborate in a distributed design workflow. Experienced design teams often distribute Assembly Modeling work among multiple designers. The distribution of labor is largely based on key functional areas of a product or team specialties.  

Learn to collaborate with project members in an assembly in Fusion 360 here.

Changes happen often in the early phases of development, and multiple collaborators may need access to a design. The proximity of the designers working in a distributed design can lead to conflict because it’s difficult to see who is accessing a design at any given time. As teams collaborate, this visibility is critical to an efficient design process. 

A frequent problem teams struggle with is the dreaded “stomp.” If you’ve worked on a team before, you may have experienced it; the moment you realize your changes overwrote or “stomped” your teammate’s changes. This conflict is never intentional, but it does interrupt the design process and waste time.

To help reduce these conflicts, we are introducing Design Reservation, Avatars, and Reservation Badges.  

These changes make it easier for small teams to work concurrently in an assembly giving designers visibility into who they are working with, details on what those collaborators are doing, and additional flexibility from Fusion itself to improve working in these environments.  

Avatars in Fusion 360

The avatars have been enhanced to be more visual and responsive and now appear in the data panel, browser, and active document tab when multiple people are accessing a design. 

Projects requiring multiple designers typically begin with a discussion about who will be responsible for different areas of a design. When a design is opened, it is immediately apparent other collaborators have parts of this design open, and everyone knows who is in the vicinity before making changes.  

fusion-360-avatars

The active document tab expands, showing each collaborator and the name of the design they have opened. Hovering over each displays the full name of your collaborator and highlights the item they have opened in the graphics window.  

fusion-360-avatar-example

Knowing when someone else has a design open helps avoid conflicting situations before they begin. You might reach out to learn more about the changes they are preparing to make, or you may wait until they finish to begin your work.  

Design Reservation in Fusion 360

A Reservation Badge is a white dot applied to the lower-right corner of a project member’s Avatar while they’re editing a design. The Reservation Badge indicates that the project member has made a savable change to the design. The design is reserved by that project member until they save or discard their changes.

design-reservation-in-fusion-360

The avatars and reservation badges provide designers with instant access to valuable information. In the image above, collaborator RC has the build plate open but has not made changes, while collaborators GG and CS include the Reservation Badge indicating reserved status. This badge tells others that active editing is happening and that they can expect changes in those designs. 

Note: Design Reservations are enabled or disabled by the Fusion Team admin, just like sharing. Learn more about enabling and disabling Design Reservations here.

Save As Latest to Replace Promote

To streamline workflows and make overwriting a newer version more explicit, Save As Latest will replace Promote.

Most designers open the old version they want to promote to verify the contents, then must close the design to promote it.

In the next updates to Fusion 360 and Fusion Team, Promote will no longer be available for ‘F3D’ and ‘F2D’ file types only. Instead, open the old version of the design you want to promote, then use File > Save As Latest to save it as the latest version. Promote will remain for all other file types.

Learn more about Save As Latest here.

Get All Latest Improvements

The Get All Latest command has been updated to preserve changes being made in during Edit in Place.

In the image below, you can see Victoria has the main assembly reserved, and I am editing the display in place within the assembly.

fusion-360-get-latest-improvements

When Victoria saves the main assembly, I am notified of design changes in the main assembly. I see the main assembly is out of date and that Get All Latest is available.

fusion-360-get-latest-improvements-tutorial

Saving at this point would traditionally “stomp” the changes made by Victoria. Now, Get All Latest will reload the changes to the assembly, and I can see if her changes affect my design.

fusion-360-get-latest-improvements-tutorial-2

Using Get All Latest will bring in the changes made by Victoria. I see she added a decal to the side of the enclosure, and I was given reservation of the assembly. Now the assembly can be saved, maintaining both our changes.

Learn more about Get All Latest here.

As you continue collaborating with your teams, please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with our community by visiting the Fusion 360 Forums.

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