Freshman Five: Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions From New Fusion 360 Users

taylor.stein April 9, 2014 2 min read



Inspired by our Freshman Orientation series, this FAQ includes the top questions from our new users. This brief guide covers custom settings, file management, reference images, STL’s, and how to share to the Fusion 360 gallery.


Q: How do I customize my default settings to match what I’m used to? For example, does the scroll wheel feel like it’s zooming opposite of what you’re used to? Do you want Fusion 360 to default to inches instead of mm?


A: Inside a Fusion 360 design, navigate to the Preferences within the 3-bar menu.




From this window, select the General settings tab where you can reverse the zoom direction




Additionally, under the Default units tab for Fusion 360, you can adjust your default units.





Q: What are the best practices for file management?


A: Keep detailed projects! Rather than creating projects named, “Ideas” or “Work,” give your projects descriptive names, such as “3D Printed Phone Case.”

When creating large assemblies composed of many components from different designs, create a design specifically for assembling. Simply insert your designs using the Insert tool within the Assemble menu.




Q: Can I use a photo or sketch as a reference image?


A: Definitely! Simply bring in your image as a canvas to your Fusion 360 design.





PRO TIP: After attaching your canvas onto a plane, calibrate it to ensure you’re modeling to scale. Right-click on the canvas name in the browser, and select Calibrate. Now all you have to do is click on two points on the image and define the distance between them. Kapow! Calibrated Canvas!




Q: How can I export an STL for 3D Printing?


A: Right-click on any body or component in your browser and select Save as STL> Sepcify your mesh settings for the STL, such as the level of refinement, and save your STL to your hard drive! Additionally, click Print to bring your STL into the Autodesk 3D Print Utility.



Q: How can I share my design on the Fusion 360 Gallery?


A: Want to share your design with the Fusion 360 online community, share it to the gallery! Within Fusion 360, click on the share icon at the top of the screen and choose Share to Fusion 360 Hub. Specify your project details, and select Publish!




Now your design is there for everyone to see in our Fusion 360 gallery. Go ahead and share that link with all of your friends so they can see your awesome project!


That wraps up our first Freshman Five guide. Anything you wish you had known when you were a new user or you found helpful to get you started? Let us know in the comments and it could be included in an upcoming Freshman Five blog post!


Got a question for me or the Fusion 360 team? Register for our next Freshman Orientation webcast on 4/15 from 3-4PM PST for help getting started and getting your Fusion 360 questions answered. Can’t make it? Don’t worry, you can leave your question in the comments or tweet me @TaylorAStein

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