Live Factory Experience – Design and Make a Laptop Stand in Fusion 360

Paolo Bastianelli Paolo Bastianelli November 11, 2020

2 min read

It all started with an idea. Pete, Jacob and myself (Richard) have helped out on the factory floor at previous Autodesk University events and have seen first hand what a hit they have been — people running from the keynotes to get first in the queue, hour-long waits as if it were a theme park ride. Going into this year’s event, we asked ourselves: “how can we capture this same enthusiasm with a virtual event?”


As a result, we have decided to live-stream from the Birmingham technology center, showing real machines making real parts. The outcome of the event will be a laptop stand designed with generative design. The event will be split into 3 main parts: generative design, CNC machining, and 3D printing.


We also know that leaving previous AU events with your own air quality sensor was a nice bonus, so we have made 210 laptop stands that we’ll be mailing out to lucky attendees. We’re going to let recipients of these laptop stands choose from 3 different sizes and add custom engraving to the part.


Read on for an overview of what our sessions will cover and join us live for one of the sessions!



Laptop Stand 5

Generative Design

Generative design is a design approach where users input goals and objectives, and intelligent algorithms come up with hundreds of potential solutions that meet these requirements. We will show you how to set up a design problem and generate potential solutions to create a lightweight and ergonomic laptop stand. The designs will be optimized for the manufacturing tools we have available to come up with something we can make with ease.


Laptop Stand 3

CNC Machining

Once we have our generatively designed laptop arms, we will need to consider our machine. We will use our HAAS VF2, a 3 axis CNC machine to make these parts. Using a combination of drills, flat end mills, and tipped facing cutters, we can apply toolpaths from Fusion 360 to manufacture these parts. With Fusion 360, we can leverage the power of integrated CAD/CAM to make a representative model of our machine bed — even down to adding the tool length probe to ensure we have no nasty accidents.


Laptop Stand 2

3D printing

Lastly, in the additive portion of the session, we will look at three different types of 3D printing technologies: FFF, SLA and MJF. We will discuss how each technology works, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. We will then show some example parts that we have produced in the Birmingham technology center. There will then be a live demo showing how to set up an FFF additive build within Fusion 360. We will discuss how to optimize parts for 3D printing, modifying printing toolpaths, and create G-Code from those toolpaths.


Laptop Stand 4

Sign up to get your laptop stand

Now you know what the session will cover, simply click here to add your preferred session to your calendar (it’s free!). If you’re interested in receiving a laptop stand, make sure to fill in the online form so we can add you to the draw. And if you haven’t already, be sure to download Fusion 360 to test these capabilities out for yourself.


We look forward to seeing you there!




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