Fusion 360: A Solution for Water Jet, Laser Cutter, and Plasma Table Projects

Emily Suzuki April 28, 2022 2 min read

Explore how Autodesk Fusion 360 offers various solutions for 2D cutting, including for water jet, laser cutter, or plasma table projects.

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2D cutting processes like using a water jet, laser cutter, or plasma table may sound complex. However, compared to other computer numerical control (CNC) processes, they can actually be a bit more straightforward. Using Autodesk Fusion 360, engineers can generate toolpaths from solid model features – including flattened sheet metal components – to operate water jet, laser, and plasma tables. Read on for more information about these processes and how Fusion 360 can help.

A Timely Option: 2D Cutting and Contouring

There have been many recent advancements in 3D printing and CNC milling. However, 2D machining is still a powerful tool for many designers. Modern 2D machining uses CNC machines that are just as intricate as a 5-axis cutting tool. Engineers use high-pressure water jets, laser cutters, and plasma tables to machine 2D designs or cutouts on thin sheets of various materials.

Engineers use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software to create designs and respective toolpaths. Fusion 360 provides intelligent tool selection to define nozzles, reuse verified feeds and speeds, and work within integrated tool design.

Picking the Right Material for 2D Machining: Sheet Metal

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So now you know the importance of 2D machining, but what material works best to get started? Sheet metal is a suitable option for 2D machining because of its tensile nature. Sheet metal is a standard material across many industries. It has several practical applications like automotive production, parametric design (product design), aerospace construction, and even soda can production.

You can bend, roll, press, and cut sheet metal with various tools, including machine presses, water jets, laser cutters, and plasma tables. Hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, and electrical forces can all manipulate the material. Processes like laser cutting have improved the mass production of sheet metal applications by making accurate cuts, thus reducing production times. This allows for changes on the production line. 

Autodesk Fusion 360: A Machinist’s Best Friend

One critical advantage of using Autodesk Fusion 360 for water jet, laser cutter, and plasma table projects is reduced design and production times. Engineers can select sections of their design, and Fusion 360 will identify the features to be machined on that plane. The engineer can then choose various areas of the tool path for previewing and analysis to ensure tolerances remain and cosmetic features are optimized.

Fusion 360 also makes it easy to incorporate design changes on the fly. This flexibility can reduce design cycles and increase productivity. Fusion 360 provides more resources, reduces production times, and helps engineers design in the moment.

Try Autodesk Fusion 360 today for your next water jet, laser cutting, or plasma table project! 

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