The unique selling point, niche, core demographics.
Without these, the world would be a boring place, and everyone’s stuff would look and operate the same. Your products, services, and ideas all intensely revolve around both demographics and your niche, it’s what gives your product identity against its competition. This leads to an interesting challenge that a lot of companies face when developing their products: the things we make are becoming progressively more custom, and so the workflows that come with these custom products, also needs to be customized. Whether it’s automating a repetitive element of your workflow, parsing data from external sources, or tools to make custom geometry, we all have and sometimes require unique solutions to meet our needs.
Enter the API
The API, the Fusion 360 answer to the question “What about more?”. Fusion 360 has a very capable, robust API built right into the product, enabling you to gain access to a plethora of plugins, add-ins, and scripts developed by 3rd parties to address more niche needs, speed up your workflow and enable you to focus on the elements of your project that matters the most to you.
Two such tools are OpenBOM and Bommer, both tools extend the in production functionality of Fusion 360, taking over automation of your Bill of Materials (BOM) needs. You may wonder why offer more than one BOM solution in the app store, but the answer is the same as why we have an API: What about More? More choice of products and solutions means more tailor-made solutions for you, or to ask Jesse Rosalia, “Our users LOVE how Bommer feels like an extension of Fusion 360; they don’t have to learn to use another tool to capture design-adjacent data like the bill of materials, and they rest easy knowing their data is safely stored within the same cloud as their designs. “Companies like furniture manufacturer CFC, rely on this: ‘we have a predefined library of products that are in Fusion’, says owner and president, Brad Robins. Once a quote is accepted, ‘the Fusion 360 file will have the bill of materials requirements that we needed to get the order in and get materials ordered now’, saving them significant time when transitioning orders to fulfillment. Fusion 360 APIs allow us to integrate with Fusion 360 in a way that sets us apart from stand-alone bill of materials apps”
But this is just one solution to the problem of BOM generation, OpenBOM also plugs into Fusion 360 via the API and offers a wholly different experience and answer to your BOM needs. No longer are we limited in choice, or forced to adhere our way of working to another system, but can either use or create our own solutions to extend our productivity and approach to design problems. One example is “unusual,” according to Brian Kraut of EA Manufacturing. He goes on to say, “My client was stuck and needed someone to take their design data and turn it into a manufacturing Bill of Materials.” The client sent EA Manufacturing a STEP file over 1.2 Gb. Brian loaded the files into Fusion 360 and began to organize the design, discovering the design had over 24,000 parts, which Fusion 360 and OpenBOM handled with ease. “My client loved having one single source of truth for their BOM mastered in OpenBOM,” said Brian.
Fusion 360 was created with the intent to solve the needs of design to manufacturing in their totality, and every day we take strides to make that statement even more authentic, and part of that solution means giving users the ability to extend the product beyond our vision, into their own, and empowering them to do so.