Shop Talk Podcast Episode 6: James Bruton on the Magic of Inventing

Muna Idriss Muna Idriss December 22, 2023

2 min read

Welcome to Shop Talk, a podcast where we catch up with designers and makers live from their workshops. In this episode, designer and Autodesker Jonathan Odom speaks with James Bruton.

James Bruton is a former toy designer, current YouTube maker, and general robotics, electrical and mechanical engineer. He’s a fan of DIY and innovating through trial and error. He believes 3D printing can solve most issues and we spend this episode learning more about him and his inventions.

Below is a short excerpt from the conversation to give you a taste of what to expect. You can listen to the full episode below:

This excerpt is edited for brevity and clarity.

So, tell us a little bit about how Fusion fits into your workflow.

So everything’s designed in Fusion to start with—the whole assembly is in Fusion. So there’s a CAD file with this assembly in the plywood bike, with the wheels on and everything else. The parts are 3D printed so I’ll export as STL files and put them into the slicer and go off and print them. For the other parts of the CNC then I’ll just export a sketch. And then I use a different CAM software to go and turn that into toolpaths.

You don’t you don’t use CAM in Fusion 360? Can you can you tell us why?

I never got into it really. So I use Vectric Aspire at the moment, which they give to creators for free. They’re based in the UK and I run into them at a lot of shows. It’s very easy to use ad I’m not really doing anything very challenging at all. I just find it very simple for doing whatever I need to do, which is typically cutting out a square with a hole in or something.

I did exactly the same thing. Back before I was at Autodesk, I worked at a maker space. The equipment there was set up with another app where you would just export a DXF and cut it out. It was very convenient. What I noticed when I transitioned to Fusion was that the parametric aspect made a huge difference. As you know, when you get a different batch of plywood, even from the same company, it can be off by like a millimeter or two. And that thickness has downstream effects on anything that interfaces with the plywood. What you can do in Fusion is set a parameter for the thickness of the plywood. If that changes, all you do is update the parameter and then all of your tool paths update too, so you don’t have to go through that extra step of exporting a DXF and redoing toolpaths in another app.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Shop Talk. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, catch up on any episodes you missed, and get your audio-only fix on Spotify.

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