Here’s Why We’re Moving All Simulation Solves to the Cloud  

Keqing Song August 16, 2022 3 min read

In the August 2022 What’s New blog post, we shared that we are moving solver capabilities for Linear Static stress, Modal, Thermal, and Thermal stress study types to the cloud with the upcoming September product update.  What we didn’t elaborate on is why we’ve decided to take this route, and for that, we apologize. Let’s take a few minutes to discuss why this change is happening and what it means for you. 

Costs 

Let’s first talk about what isn’t changing for you. Linear Static Simulation is our most popular study type today, and it is still included in your subscription at no additional cost. If you are regularly using other simulation study types that will soon require tokens to run cloud solves (Modal, Thermal, and Thermal Stress), reach out to us, and we will work with you to determine the best path forward.  

Productivity  

The nature of work is changing, and you should no longer be tied down by compute-intensive jobs. You need to be able to access the tools you need, wherever and whenever, so you can focus on getting your product to your customers. When a simulation study is run on local solve, you are unable to use Fusion 360 until the solve is complete. For longer and more complex local solves, not only are you blocked from working, but are also limited to running one solve at a time. Cloud solves enable you to bypass any hardware reliance, run multiple jobs at once, and continue working on your design while the jobs are running. This should increase your productivity and give you more opportunities to explore more than one scenario at the same time.  

Performance 

We realize that a performant simulation tool is critical for you, and we are making improvements on how the solves run, how the data is utilized, and the speed at which results come back to you. Studies that work exclusively on the cloud, like generative design, injection molding, or electronics cooling, deliver experience and performance benefits that cannot be matched by a local solve. For this reason, we are moving all the local-solve study types to cloud-solve and cloud-results viewing. This prevents you from wasting precious time waiting for Fusion 360 to download and upload massive production studies. Results can be obtained much faster and be shared across all collaborators. In the last few months, we have made substantial improvements to the data handling, and transfer process of cloud solves, cutting down the time required by more than 50%. This improvement will be noticeable in the upcoming updates, and we will continue to improve this performance even further into the future.  

OS platforms, their various versions, as well as their hardware configurations impact the simulation solvers since they are very computationally intensive processes. Continuing support of local solves would mean building more dependency on existing OS platforms and device hardware. This is a practice of the past and not the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach we’ve adopted for the future. To deliver a highly performant time-to-result experience, we must shift where we put our development focus and double down on a scalable SaaS architecture. This is why as of September 2022, all Fusion’s solvers will be in the cloud. 

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We’re thankful for a community that calls us out when something isn’t clear, and we hope this blog post provides clarity on why we are making this change. Transparency is a core principle for everything we do, and it is through this tight collaboration with the community that got to where Fusion 360 is today. We look forward to continuing to work with you and making the Fusion 360 platform the best it can be. 

For more information, please see our support article FAQ. 

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