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Preview: June 2015 Update

This upcoming update on June 20th marks another major milestone of developing Fusion 360 to be the tool that drives the future of making things. The focus of this update is around distributed design, and the ability to work with referenced parts by other members of you team, working various geographical locations. Aside from this, there are also many well-deserved enhancements to various workspaces and new features that made it for this release, and we can’t wait to get it out to you all! We are now in the process of locking down changes, and making sure everything works the way we intend them to. Here are the top 5 highlights of what you should expect to see in this June update.


1. Distributed Design




Back in March of this year, Charles wrote about our thinking and philosophy around distributed design here, and now time has come to make it a reality. It allows geographically distributed teams to work together on a project much more efficiently. If this sounds like what you do in Fusion 360, check out this quick video below of Mike Prom and Keqing Song working together in the same project but in different locations.



This release lays the foundation for distributed designs that will allow for future enhancements.  In this update, you will able to insert referenced geometry that is part of the same project.  Models outside of the project you are working must be moved or copied to your current project before they can be referenced.  When a referenced model is inserted into another model, a reference image appears before the name identifying which components are being referenced.

A “component is out-of-date” notification will appear when a referenced part is updated.  You will then have a choice to update and receive the change or keep the current version in your model. Simply right click on the referenced component and select “Get latest”. This intended workflow allows for designs that are in production to reference one version of a model while other versions are being created for a future design.  If a component is inside a model that is referenced by another model you must update the sub model first, save it, and then go to the top level and update.


Key distributed design features for this release:

  • Insert reference geometry within a project
  • Reference specific version – This intended workflow allows for designs that are in production to reference one version of a model while other versions are being created for a future design.
  • f3z export for support – Because models now have the ability to insert referenced models a f3z file is created to zip all of the files in a model together.

Workflow summary:

  • In an open model expand the data panel.
  • Locate the part you would like to insert into your model.
  • Right click on the model in the data panel and select “Insert into Current Design”.
  • Use the move tool that appears when inserting to put referenced model in the correct location.
  • The Joint command can be used to constrain the referenced part into place.
  • To update a referenced part, open, make changes, save and then right click on referenced part in the models selecting get latest.
  • When using distributed design there is a specific workflow to use in order to copy a model.  You must “Save Copy As” from the application, in order to successfully insert both the initial and the copied component into a new model.   Inside your model right click on the component you want to copy.  You can then select “Save Copy As” from the selection window.

Future enhancements in the works:

We made a decision to release the completed work while we continue to develop features that will complete the distributed design workflow.  Below is a list of the features that we are in progress of completing for future releases.

  • Deep update – Allows you to update referenced parts without having to save each submodel for the top level to update.
  • Inplace edit – Allows you to edit a component and a component in a sub model within the top level.
  • Import of distributed designs “f3z”.
  • Replace component – Allows you to replace a component by another component in a single step.
  • Content Management / Libraries – The ability to have a common place for files that can be used as a library for referenced parts.
  • Copy component in A360 via web browser as well as data panel for distributed designs.




2. Sketching Enhancements



Based on a lot of community feedback and discussions with our users, we made many improvements to our sketching experience. Here are some we think you’d notice right away.

Key enhancements:

  • Sketch lines are now blue and are visually easier to identify.
  • Sketch dimensions now have gaps between them better visibility.
  • Action of creating sketch geometry can now be stopped by clicking a check mark button near the area of placement, without having to press ESC.
  • Spline command is now added to the marking menu for easier access.
  • Fully constrained sketches now have icon in browser (pin) to show that they are fully constrained.

New sketch feature preview available!

We will also have a preview option available for you to turn on under your preferences. This will change the sketch line colors from blue to black only when the sketch is fully constrained, which allows you to better distinguish between fully constrained sketches from non-constrained ones. If you want to try this feature, make sure you have it checked in your preferences. This is only a preview at the moment, which means we want to hear from you and your thoughts around this implementation.






3. What’s new in 2D Drawings



A number high value features have been added into the 2D Drawings workspace. These include:

  • Detail Views – ability to create a view focused on a specific area of a design
  • Dimension improvements – ability to create:
    • Baseline dimensions
    • Chain dimensions
    • Dual unit dimension
    • Inspection dimensions
    • Dimension tolerances
    • Precision control
    • Reference, Not to scale and theoretical exact dimension styles
  • Creating a new drawing allows setting common options to be set up front
  • Access to drawing settings from nav bar at bottom of graphics screen
  • Balloon command now allows repeating balloon creation
  • Access to named views when creating drawing views
  • Drawings support 2D navigation gestures ( two finger pan and pinch to zoom on supported gesture devices)

2D Drawings are also associative just like how distributed design works, so if you make a change to your model, you’ll see the same “chain link” icon appear, letting you know that changes were made to your design and lets you update or keep the existing drawing.






4. Autodesk Print Studio


This update will include access to a our new 3D print utility powered by Spark, with direct integration with Autodesk’s Ember printer, Type A Machines, and Dremel Printers, Makerbot, and Ultimaker printers.




When you first launch the 3D print option from the file menu, you’ll see a button in the 3D print dialog that allows you download the Autodesk Print Studio. Simply go through the installation wizard, restart Fusion 360, and next time you open the 3D print dialog, you’ll see that Autodesk Print Studio is ready to run.








5. Britehub and CADENAS’ parts4cad Integration


As we continue to expand our reach and partnerships with various companies and organizations, we’re excited to finally release our in-product integration with BriteHub and CADENAS’ parts4cad, two companies we’ve talked about at Autodesk University of 2014.


Britehub is a service that let’s you request a quote for manufacturing the part you designed, compare quotes against other suppliers, gain supply chain management support, and get your product made with a seamless step-by-step process. Our BriteHub integration lets you select the part you’d like to get a quote for directly within the design environment, and have it sent to BriteHub with just a few clicks.




CADENAS’ parts4cad gives you access to millions of designed-to-spec 3D models and assemblies from more than 400 certified manufacturers’ catalogs, ready for you to browse through and insert right into a new or existing design within Fusion 360, from the Insert drop-down menu.





Once you’ve picked the part you want to use, simply click on “Transfer to Autodesk Fusion” and it should insert in a matter of seconds.







Stay tuned!

As we get close to the June 20th release, we’ll be posting a couple other videos around sketching improvements, what’s new in 2D drawings, as well as a more detailed list of release notes as the update goes live. Thanks for all your feedback, support, and continual involvement with us; onward and upward! 


Thanks, and cheers!


The Fusion 360 team 




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