Fusion 360 represents a new generation of design tools. Our goal with Fusion is to create an end-to-end design tool to take ideas from concept to production. However, in many cases there are specific workflows, functionality, or automations that you would want to do. For example, someone using a CNC router for woodworking would really benefit from something like a dog bone. On the other hand, someone creating backpacks could use some specialized tools to help them with the cloth development. While we truly want to deliver everything for everyone’s needs, there are realistic balances and trade-offs that must be made.
An API also enables the development of more sophisticated 3rd party add-ins for Fusion 360 to extend its functionality. This week we are excited to announce the launch of a new add-in for Fusion 360 from Tri-D Technologies: Exact Flat Online Publisher. Whether designing for cloth, textiles, or even carbon fiber, it is very common to want to see the flattened shape of a complex surface. Exact Flat Online Publisher allows you to automatically send your data from Fusion to the Exact Flat Online flattening platform to perform a flat pattern analysis. The app is now available for download from the Exchange Store. To learn more about it check out this upcoming webinar.
One of the reasons this is so exciting for us is that it gives the development community the new capabilities of the API and the ability to begin creating plug-ins for Fusion 360. Previously we had two amazing partners, Keyshot (for rendering) and CADENAS (for a standard parts catalog). Both were built on an early version of the Fusion API that was not openly available. We greatly appreciate these companies working with us in the early efforts of the partner program and are now very happy to open it to a much wider audience.
Last week we also announced the launch of a new Github page that will host a variety of samples and skeleton code to get you started with the Fusion API. Currently the API is accessible through either python or java script, with C++ support planned for later this year. The goal here is to take advantage of modern, connected, easily extensible languages to enable a new breed of connected apps for designers and engineers.
We have a large vision on what the community can make of this API. Whether you are creating simple feature automation or full-blown application integration, we encourage you to get involved and share. Please post your scripts in the forums and if you have something interesting, package it up as an add-in and put it on the Exchange Store. See this link for more information.
We truly believe that the most important source of inspiration is from our community. We are always looking to see what is the next great feature or idea in the IdeaStation. We now invite you take matters into your own hands. Opening up the API and providing the ability to create apps that can be published to the Exchange store represents another chapter in the Fusion 360 story. We are moving forward together with you, our community to deliver the best possible design and engineering tool. We are very excited to see what you will create.