Fusion 360 Fall 2018 Roadmap Update

Keqing Song
by Keqing Song 2 years ago 19 min read


“There is literally no downside; no matter who you are, Autodesk has you covered”.  

TFI – CAD, Technology & Industry



One Fusion 360


Yup, starting October 7, 2018, we introduced Fusion 360 as one product offering, and all of its functionality will be available to the entire community; we can’t wait to roll it out to you. Like the quote above says, we’ve got you covered end-to-end, from 3D printed prosthetics for the masses to generatively designed seat-belt brackets installed in future cars that will be keeping people safe around the world. Be sure to check out our One Fusion 360 Tier Announcement if you haven’t done so already.


Roadmap Update


At the core of its foundation, Fusion 360 gives you all the tools needed to conceptualize your ideas and turn them into tested manufacturable products. We talked about some of the projects we’re working in the roadmap update we posted earlier this year, and we’d like to follow up with you on what we’ve accomplished since then, as well as what we’re currently focusing on now. Here are the 3 major areas we’re working on to give you the edge over your competitors:





As you go through this roadmap update, you’ll notice themes from these 3 areas spread throughout many of the projects mentioned below, and just how much they go hand-in-hand with each other.

Generative Design in Fusion 360


You might have heard us talking about this and thought to yourself “meh, my products don’t look like that so this technology isn’t for me”. We totally get that not everything is going to look like melted cheese in the future, but there is genuine value that the generative design technology brings to the table today, especially when you can manufacture your results with real-world manufacturing processes, all happening in a single end-to-end workflow.



Generative design simultaneously generates multiple CAD-ready solutions based on real-world manufacturing constraints and product performance requirements.


What does this mean in practice? It means you can take something seemingly conventional, give it constraints in areas that cannot be changed, put it through the Generative Design process, explore iterations, decide on a result that best suits your needs, edit your result to be manufacturable, and turn it into something masterfully extraordinary.



If you’re as excited as us about the world of possibilities Generative Design opens up for designers and engineers, then check out what we’re working on to make this even better.


 Generative design is now in Fusion 360  

UPDATE:  Now available since October 15 Update


The natural thing to do, really. Way back in the Spring, we introduced generative design within the Fusion 360 as an access point (for paying Fusion Ultimate subscribers) in the April Update. We continued to improve the experience and delivered enhancements in the July and August updates.


Now, we are bringing the Generative Design technology officially into Fusion 360 as a workspace. No more punching out to a separate browser. No more going back and forth. Generate and explore design options all within a single instance of Fusion 360.


And yes, being a workspace in Fusion 360, Generative Design will be available on macOS and Microsoft Windows.


Define and set up your Generative Design, all within the Fusion 360 Generative Design workspace.


Based on your constraints and requirements, the Generative Design technology will do its magic and give you a wide sweep of options to explore. Filter outcomes based on Study type, Manufacturing methods, as well as volume, mass, and maximum displacement ranges. View the outcomes in thumbnails, as a list, or in a scatterplot. Once you’ve decided on an iteration, download the result in exchange for some cloud credits and it’s yours to keep. What makes this integration so special is that the result you get is real editable CAD geometry you can use for manufacturability. Edit it, refine it, simulate it, refine it again, send it, and make it.  Now that is real innovation.


With Generative Design being its own workspace in Fusion 360, you’ll be able to edit your saved results in the Sculpt environment. This is the true secret sauce because when this functionality drops, your results will open natively in Fusion 360 and you’ll have the ability to edit a T-Spline body to modify your design. We’re adding more T-Spline tools like Smooth, Erase and Fill, and better selection methods to further your experience in editing your results.


Editing a generative output using T-Spline tools such as Smooth, Erase and Fill, as well as better ways to select structs.

Work Better Among Teams


Back in February, we talked about how we are working on tools that will speed up your workflows by putting your data at the center of your design-to-make process. Part of what will enable these improved experiences are Fusion Team, Desktop Connector, and AnyCAD. We put our heads down and are working hard to merge these pieces together in the right place, and here’s where we are at.


When you download Fusion 360 and sign-in for the first time, we provide you with a personal “hub”. This is a space where all of your projects are organized and keeps everything you create separated from the next Fusion 360 user. Everyone has their own hub, but when you’re working in a team, personal hubs can be quickly become cumbersome, confusing and complicated to manage. This is due to its lack of data management tools; that’s where Fusion Team comes in.


Fusion Team: easy access, greater control 🚀Coming Soon 


Fusion Team is the cloud collaboration platform powering the Fusion 360 data management capabilities. The goal is to make Fusion Team available to everyone, with easy tools to migrate your data from personal to Fusion Team.


It’s a no-brainer for everyone to jump on Fusion Team because it allows for company ownership of data vs. individual and has additional security like Roles and Project types, as well as robust admin tools. You’ll be able to collaborate with a machinist that is next door or in on the other side of the world with the right amount of control, security, and communication.



Since many of you do not have Fusion Team, we’ve been working on providing you a transition experience that is smooth and painless, but to do it right, it’s taking some time, and this is something we don’t want to rush. Stay tuned for an announcement of this roll out in the next couple of months on the Fusion Blog.


Desktop Connector 🚀 Coming Soon 


Fusion Team also supports two additional bits of cool tech, the first one being Desktop Connector. This experience allows you to install a utility that shows your Fusion Teams and Projects directly into Windows Explorer / Mac Finder, making it very easy to use Fusion Team with any application using traditional OS open/save workflows.

Where this functionality really shines is with AnyCAD.


AnyCAD 🚀 Coming Soon 

This is where the fun begins. Imagine that you are working with Fusion 360 for machining, while your design engineer is still using something like Inventor, SolidWorks or Siemens NX. With Fusion Team + Desktop Connector + AnyCAD, they can save their data directly, and you can open it right in Fusion 360, without format translation and maintaining associativity!



So even if the design changes after you have set up your manufacturing strategy, it is now a one-click update with AnyCAD to consume those changes and recalculate tool-paths.


Derive Designs ✅ Available since October 15 Update


This is very powerful. Derive workflows will allow you to derive parts of an assembly for specific purposes, with better control and greater flexibility. What’s powerful about this whole thing is that you can edit the derived parts and maintain associativity to its original source (across projects) at the same time.


Today, if you wanted to reuse a part from one project and put it in a design that exists in a different project, you’d have to save that component out as a separate file, where associativity is no longer maintained with the source component. If you share a part to your machinist and your machinist needs to design soft jaws and fixtures for it, changes you make to the part will make your machinist’s job even more difficult.

Derive enables you to “derive” that part and share it with your machinist, where they can build soft jaws and fixtures around it in their own project, while still maintaining associativity with your original part in your project. Once you make a change to the part, your machinist can update their derived part and take those changes, without needing to manually update all of their work. You will still control the source, while your machinist can control the derived part and additional edits made to it.


There is so much more to this we want to talk about, and we’ll do it in a separate deeper dive post coming soon.



Maturing Our Existing Features


We’re excited about getting our hottest technologies ready for you to use, but since the very beginning of Fusion 360, we’ve built our culture around listening to you, understanding your challenges, and making sure that we are addressing your needs. That’s why we’ve also been laser-focused on maturing our existing toolsets with deeper functionality and greater ease-of-use (to help your everyday productivity). Here’s an update on what we’ve delivered since the last roadmap update and what we’re currently working on.


Improve App Usability


Custom Keyboard Shortcuts Phase 1 ✅ Available since July 26 Update 


A highly requested functionality has become reality this past summer. Our next step is to give you an easy way to see all of your keyboard shortcuts in a single view, as well as shortcut keys for visual styles, and Viewcube views.


*In development sneak peek* | Changing visual styles with hotkeys…testing currently in progress. Yup, soon you’ll no longer need an add-in for this.



Tabbed Toolbar UI Preview  Available since July 26 Update 


We have received lots of valuable feedback (such as real-estate concerns, API support, colors, the order of tools, etc), and are taking them all into consideration. We are now working to improve the toolbar and are addressing these exact concerns, along with better ways of showing what mode you are in, without getting in your way of designing. There is great progress being made, and as soon as we have something to share, we’ll reach out to you and tell you all about it on the blog and forums.


File > Open 🍳 In Progress 


We agree – opening a design in Fusion 360 hasn’t been the most discoverable. That’s why we’re working a better path to open designs, so you don’t need to upload it first if you still want to see what it is. We’re testing the implementation right now, so stay tuned to the blog on when this is dropping.


UI platform update  🍳 In Progress 

Along with all the improvements we’re making to the toolbar, we also have to think about how the UI can scale as more functionality becomes available. That’s why we’re also working on updating the platform. This means better stability, better performance, as well as a slew of fixes that come with the newer version.



Mature the Modeling Toolset


Hole and Thread Tool  Available since April 17 Update 


This long-requested functionality (IdeaStation: 327 votes) was completed in the April update. Since then, we’ve ironed out a few kinks and are improving the experience.


Surface per-edge control and weights  Available since April 17 Update


Control a surface edge’s curvature continuity by making parts of the edge sharp and parts of it smooth with G0 to G2.


Fillet Enhancements ✅ Available since October 15 Update


Ever been confused why we have two different fillet commands? Ever been upset that you can choose faces and features as the inputs in Rule Fillet, but not in regular Fillet? Rest assured, we’re completing a project to take care of both of those and make fillets more robust than ever.


Tapered/NPT Threads 🍳 In Progress 


Now that we improved the Hole command to include threads, we’re excited to be adding tapered threads to the command soon as well. The 191 comments on this IdeaStation post are indicative of the community’s desire for NPT threads, and we cannot wait to finally mark that one as implemented. We’re currently testing the workflow and working on the Drawings functionality before releasing it, and we’ll keep you posted when this is dropping.


Sheet Metal Bend from Sketch  🍳 In Progress 


Since releasing our sheet metal functionality last year, we’ve heard plenty of great feedback. One of the biggest suggestions has been that we need to offer a way to work with legacy sheet metal parts from other design software. With this project, you’ll now be able to import in flat patterns created in any software and create a new sheet metal component by bending to the correct orientation at every bend line.


Focus on Quality   On-going 

It’s not new and shiny, but it’s darn important. As an ongoing commitment with every update that goes out to you, we target a significant number of our resources towards solving annoying bugs, eliminating workflows that result in crashes, and adding quick usability enhancements to our tools.



Strengthen the Sketch Experience 


Single line engraving fonts  Available since April 17 Update 


We’ve gotten lots of feedback around this and are happy to have made this available. Your continued feedback is well received and we would like to hear more about your ideas about this feature.


Control Vertices in Curves  Available since July 26 Update


This is a welcomed feature that was introduced this summer with much excitement in the design community. Jake Fowler wrote a comprehensive overview of the functionality, as well as some of the thinking that went into how we implemented the tool – it’s definitely worth a read if you haven’t done so already.


Projection Enhancements ✅ Available since October 15 Update

In this forum post from July, Jeff Strater alluded to some changes we’ve been discussing with the Project command. Given the feedback from that post, we’re currently adding a number of enhancements to the command. First, when you hit cancel while the command is active, it will actually delete all the projected entities rather than doing the same thing as the OK button.


Next, we’re going to give you an option to project entities without linking them to the original geometry if you wish. And finally, we’re working on the ability to let you relink yellow projections as requested in the IdeaStation. This project (pun intended) will take some time, but will eventually drastically help resolve those dreaded yellow sketches in your timeline. We recently shared our thinking for with you on the forum, so check it out and let us know if we’re on the right track. 


Sketch Engine Improvements  On-going 

In conjunction with the modeling improvements we make, we also continue to devote a significant chunk of our efforts at making our sketch engine more stable, more predictable, and more resilient.



Provide Powerful Simulation Tools


Let’s be real – the simulation tools inside Fusion 360 are best-in-class and are available to all subscribers. Testing your designs before you make them saves you time, money, and prevents potential future stress and broken keyboards.


2D Probe Result Plotting  Available since April 17 Update 


Include point probe data in your result plots, as well as associated tables in your reports for a more comprehensive view of what is going on in the study.


Promote Shape Optimized Model  Available since April 17 Update


This really showed the value of having an end-to-end workflow solution. Promote you Shape Optimization results back into a Simulation Model where you can make design changes and run further studies to validate these changes without impacting your original design.


Moldflow and CFD Access  Available since April 17 Update 


We bridged more workflows here by connecting data pipelines between Fusion 360, Autodesk CFD and Autodesk Moldflow. Season CFD and Moldflow users were able to send their simplified designs straight to their respective tools without to need to do the import/export dance.


Performance Improvements  Available since April 17 Update 

With the repair functionality added to the validate tool, users now have additional tools to heal up poorly translated models.

Speed improvements to the Remove command in the Simplify workspace will allow users working with large models to have a much better experience when preparing these designs for simulation.



Better 2D Drawings


2D Drawings functionality has come a long way, and we are continuing to build it out based on its specific roadmap laid out by Timera Hart in the 2D Drawings roadmap mural. We’re listening to you and working with you closely, making sure that your priorities are our priorities.


Object Snaps Phase 1  Available since April 17 Update 


This enabled you to override where you want your dimension lines to snap to by giving you more options such as Endpoint, Midpoint, Tangent, Intersection, Quadrant, Center, and Point. Huzzah!


Insert Image  Available since April 17 Update


Sometimes you’ll want to have a reference image in your 2D drawing. This functionality lets you do just that.


Centermark/Centerline Grip Enhancements  Available since April 17 Update 


We made it easier to manipulate center mark or centerline leaders to a custom length by pressing and holding SHIFT. Centermark Pattern command is also smarter and will see your patterns and apply a centermark to all of them automatically once you’ve selected one of the circles.


Non-orthogonal Tracking for Section Views  Available since April 17 Update 


Rely on where you snap and track along a non-ortho path to get your section view to look just right.


Title-block Editing   Available since August 22 Update


Draw the title block that meets your specific needs, either based on our default template, from scratch, or import an existing DWG title-block.


Parts List Enhancements  In Progress 

With the ability to automatically populate balloons and allowing you to edit your parts lists, we’re working on improving parts list column management. This will give you options to show/hide/reorder columns, as well as some additional columns to show if needed.


We’re also working on parts list hierarchy control, which allows you to choose between creating a top-level parts list (as we do today) or all-level parts list. This includes improvements to balloon renumbering. In addition, we’re connecting the linkage between Parts list and BOM so that you can change BOM properties from the Parts list. 


Enhance CAM Workflows


The tools within the CAM workspace run on the same HSM kernel found in Inventor HSM and HSMWorks. The advantage is a shared code base where you can seamlessly go from your CAD to CAM without leaving the application. This means faster turnarounds, faster tweaks,  more jobs, and more business.



Probe with Tool Orientation Available since April 17 Update 


Use this to override the tool orientation specifically for probing, so you don’t have to go back to the setup dialog to select which origin points you want to use for your probe.


Machine Definitions Preview  Available since April 17 Update


Released as a preview you can turn on and try, machine configurations contain information around the axes limits, maximum spindle speed, feed rate limits, and axis configurations that talks directly to post processors.


Both Ways Adaptive Clearing  Available since April 17 Update 


The much anticipated both-ways adaptive clearing enabled machinists to create 2D and 3D roughing tool-paths that dynamically choose between climb and conventional to decrease linking motion.


Tool Library Enhancements  Available since April 17 Update 


We added the ability for you to show, hide, and move columns in your tool library, as well as direct copy & paste data in and out of Excel sheets.


Drilling Enhancements  Available since April 17 Update


Improving on existing functionality, the drilling strategies now have ease-of-use options such as a hole counter, select same diameter, containment boundary filter, as well as a reverse order option.


Turning Enhancements  Available since April 17 Update 


We continue to build upon our Turning strategies by providing:

  • Sandvik PrimeTurning insert support
  • Custom turning insert/holder options out of beta
  • “Pecking” feature in Turning Profile and Turning Groove
Manufacture Workspace Preview ✅ Available since October 15 Update


We’re upgrading the CAM workspace and calling it “Manufacture”, which will not only include the same subtractive strategies you’ve come to rely on, but will also include advanced additive strategies you can select and setup for additive metal manufacturing. This way, everything will be under one roof.



Select the appropriate metals printer for the job, reorient and position the part, give it the necessary support it needs, and send it off to the printer. Everything you need is in one cohesive environment. This first iteration will become available soon to try as a preview option you can turn on and off in your preferences.



As mentioned in the beginning, we’re very excited to get these improvements and new functionality into your hands and hear about your success. It’s what drives us to do what we do. Push the envelope. Break precedence. Help you design a better world.




  1. Roadmaps are plans, not promises. We’re as excited as you to see new functionality make it into the products, but the development, releases, and timing of any features or functionality remains at our sole discretion.
  2. These roadmaps updates should not be used to make purchasing decisions.


Up next