Understanding the Fusion 360 Machining Extension

Emily Suzuki Emily Suzuki October 20, 2021

2 min read

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The Fusion 360 Machining Extension unlocks role-specific functionalities like steep and shallow, 5-axis and collision avoidance, rotary strategy, and much more.


Do you already use Fusion 360 but need to unlock more advanced CAM features? Do you run a machine shop or manufacturing department and need a new, streamlined solution with capabilities advanced enough to produce the highest quality parts possible? If you answered yes to either of these questions, the Fusion 360 Machining Extension is for you. But first, what is Fusion 360, and what are Fusion 360 Extensions?

Autodesk Fusion 360 is cloud-based modeling, CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB software for product design and manufacturing. The Fusion 360 platform offers the only truly integrated CAD and CAM software tool on the market. In addition to its base CAD and CAM features, Fusion 360 offers various Extensions to expand capabilities for specific roles. Fusion 360 Extensions allow designers to unlock additional features, such as advanced design and manufacturing technologies, access complex machining strategies, and generative design. 

Fusion 360 Machining Extension

Take the Fusion 360 Machining Extension, for example, offers several features not found in the base Fusion 360 package. This extension provides additional tool paths and functions, such as: 

With these features and more, the Fusion 360 Machining Extension allows for enhanced machine programming and improved product development at an affordable price.

Enhanced Machine Programming

The Fusion 360 Machining Extension increases programming efficiency by implementing automation with ongoing product variability, repetitive tasks, and part quality. Steep and shallow automatically detects surface slope and applies the surface strategy. A single toolpath utilizes automatic 5-axis collision avoidance with advanced parameters to finish machining whole design parts.

The Machining Extension also provides customizable drilling templates to reduce repetitive tasks and increase efficiency. On-machine verification operations inspect both freeform and geometric features while the part remains in the machine. Inspection reports define what actions to take if the part is out of tolerance. 

Automation minimizes human intervention, which, in turn, reduces production time. Take, for example, how the Fusion 360 Machining Extension helped Pittsburgh-based company Conturo Prototyping.

In this particular case, the Machining Extension allowed the Conturo Prototyping to simulate and automate many of the initial manufacturing steps that they used to do manually. With the Machining Extension, they could complete a traditional job that might take weeks and a large crew of operators to complete in just one day. Now, Conturo Prototyping can get its product to market sooner and solve customer problems more rapidly. 

An Affordable Option

Professional design, engineering, and manufacturing software tools are usually segmented by industry and sold separately. Fusion 360, on the other hand, combines functionalities, such as parametric modeling, stying, simulation, rendering, and CAM, all in one cloud-based platform. Now with Extensions, Fusion 360 expands specialized functionality without additional downloads or serial numbers.

Ready to get started with the Fusion 360 Machining Extension? Get started with a free trial today.

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