What are Fusion 360 Extensions?

Emily Suzuki May 4, 2021 4 min read

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An overview of what Fusion 360 extensions are and how to unlock their advanced capabilities.

When it comes to CAD/CAM software, one size never fits all. Sometimes, your software has everything you need to run your business, but there are cases when you may need more functionality to push your ideas further. Perhaps your job shop or manufacturing department is expanding and you need access to more complex 5-axis strategies. Or, perhaps you manage a design team and are looking to start exploring new design solutions with generative design. That’s where Fusion 360 extensions come in. Fusion 360 extensions allow you to unlock advanced capabilities and advanced workflows that enable you to create better products. With our subscription plans, you can build your own CAD/CAM package tailored to your business needs.

Where can I access Fusion 360 extensions?

Extensions live right inside the Fusion 360 platform and can be unlocked if you need more capabilities or left locked if you don’t need any extra features. If you need just one extension, you can select only the one you need. If you need multiple, you can unlock multiple. Or, if you don’t need any of them, no worries—you can simply leave them untouched. You can even trial Fusion 360 extensions for 7 days to experience the benefits of extending your platform.

Who are Fusion 360 extensions for, and how do they work?

Extensions are for individuals and businesses who need access to more advanced Fusion 360 features. Extensions help improve operational efficiency and collaboration by introducing automated and optimized workflows across teams to increase manufacturing throughput and reduce time to market.

We recognize that many members of our community don’t need access to extensions, and that’s okay. Think about it this way: Have you ever used software with too many features? Squinting to find the menu option you need among 50 options or racking your brain to remember where to find that one feature you know is buried somewhere in the depths of the program are never fun. We want Fusion 360 to remain accessible for everyone and easy to use for all, regardless of your career level or job description. Instead of bloating Fusion 360 with advanced features to only meet the needs of a select group in our community, we’ve kept it simple by giving you the option to either turn extensions on directly in Fusion 360 or simply leave them turned off if you don’t need them. Out of sight, out of mind (for those that don’t need them, that is), with no barrier to access the Fusion 360 platform at $495.

What extensions does Fusion 360 currently offer?

Here’s a list of the extensions currently available to the Fusion 360 community and a brief overview of each:

Fusion 360 Machining Extension

The Machining Extension boosts your core CAM capabilities in Fusion 360 to make better use of your CNC machinery. Unlock advanced machining strategies, toolpath controls, and automation to produce better quality parts and reduce lead times.

Learn more about the Fusion 360 Machining Extension here.

Fusion 360 Nesting & Fabrication Extension

Unlock advanced nesting and fabrication capabilities with the Nesting & Fabrication Extension. Optimize the design and manufacture of multi-sheet layouts for sheet metal and non-sheet metal parts in preparation for cutting on CNC machines and generate setups, toolpaths, and NC code directly within Fusion 360.

Learn more about the Fusion 360 Nesting and Fabrication Extension here.

Fusion 360 Generative Design Extension

Generative design harnesses the power of machine learning and AI to rapidly explore new designs that reduce weight, increase structural integrity, and extend durability. Explore unlimited manufacturing-ready outcomes that meet your design specifications and go beyond the reach of human capacity with the Generative Design Extension.

Learn more about the Generative Design Extension here.

Fusion 360 Additive Build Extension

The Additive Build Extension unlocks extra additive manufacturing technology inside Fusion 360 with metal additive manufacturing and advanced printing technologies. Get more control over support generation, toolpath strategies, and reduce lead times with automatic part compensation.

Learn more about the Fusion 360 Additive Build Extension here.

Fusion 360 Manage Extension

Unlock additional data management functionality with the Manage Extension. With complete design change visibility and digital approval records, you can focus on innovation, not admin.

Learn more about the Fusion 360 Manage Extension here.

Fusion 360 Simulation Extension

Access a set of simulation study types that help investigate how your design may perform under real-life conditions ahead of manufacturing.

Learn more about the Fusion 360 Simulation Extension here.

Fusion 360 Product Design Extension

This extension gives you access to advanced 3D design and modeling tools that simplify the product development process and enable an automated approach to creating complex product designs.

Learn more about the Fusion 360 Product Design Extension here.

How much do Fusion 360 extensions cost?

One common misconception about Fusion 360 extensions is that they are often compared to add-ons, plug-ins, and/or microtransactions. Let’s dispel that myth: Fusion 360 extensions are not add-ons, plug-ins, or microtransactions. Instead, we offer payment options tailored to your project demands. Extensions are unlocked right inside the Fusion 360 platform and can remain locked if you don’t need them. For each extension, you can select one of the below subscription plans that aligns with your business requirements:

  1. Monthly subscription: This option gives you access to advanced capabilities on a monthly basis.
  2. Annual subscription: This is the best value offering to maintain access to advanced capabilities on an ongoing basis.

How do I install Fusion 360 Extensions?

Well, you don’t! Extensions aren’t third-party add-ins. They behave like the rest of Fusion 360 but are built to extend your capabilities. Simply access the extension manager by clicking on the extension cord icon in the top right of Fusion 360 to get started:


You now have all the tools to start using your first Fusion 360 extension, but if you need more support and information, you can always visit our extensions overview page or reach out to our team.

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