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24 Hours of Fusion later...

cwmkcwmk Member Posts: 10
I've been a longtime (happy) user of Onshape. Recently I decided to give Fusion a serious try to see how much pain the integrated CAM, Eagle connector, and FEA could save me. I'm a semi-hobbyist one-man-band doing everything from PCB layout to machining parts so the idea of a set of tools that are tightly connected is conceptually very appealing. After a decent period of time here's how I'm feeling:

1. The integration with Eagle feels almost magical. I was able to turn my existing board into a usable mechanical model in no time. It wasn't perfect (no 3D models for the parts) but good enough for lining up mounting holes and cutouts. Haven't tried serious edits that would move components yet to see how well that flows through but first moment of truth experience was great. 

2. I hate sketching in Fusion. Maybe I'm just so used to how Onshape works now, but after a decent number of hours of use doing what I would consider fairly straightforward mechanical design (I generally design parts for simple 2.5D machining with 1-2 setups), and Fusion still feels like an ornery horse. It often resists going where I tell it, and every moment I start to relax I end up in the mud. It takes effort to select the thing you want to select.

3. Assemblies and design flow are frustrating. I imported some STEP files from an Onshape design for off the shelf parts whose geometry won't change. Added those to my design, fine. Then I went back and changed them to components. Guess what, all my assembly references broke, and when I went to fix them, it became apparent that it would be easier to just delete everything and start over. Just what I want to spend my "fun" time doing.

4. I had a MUCH easier time setting up and running a simple static stress analysis in Fusion. I tried doing one in Onshape with Intact, and it "worked," but I didn't really understand it. If I was a real injeneer, or maybe even stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, I might have had a much easier time. Fusion had a really good tutorial on Youtube that I was able to follow with my part, and the result felt right compared to the real part. Again, not sure if this scales as things get more complex but so far so good.

5. I haven't tried Fusion's CAM part yet. I have looked at each of the beta CAM tools Onshape has offered. VisualCamC is the first one I took seriously, but at least as of a few months ago it seemed to be missing associative toolpaths. That is, If I program a bunch of holes to be drilled, then move one or two holes an inch to the left, the CAM tool can update the drill locations automatically. If and when VisualCamC can do this, I'd be happy to give it a more serious look. Without it, there's really no value in the integration for me. 

6. Pricing: A while back I tried the IDF-to-3D module in the app store with one of my Eagle boards and it worked very well. The issue was that after 30 days I'd have to start paying $40/mo, which is reasonable for any commercial use, but my usage is too occasional to really justify $500/year. When VisualCamC comes out of beta and (presumably) goes to a similar model, I'd have a similar issue. Fusion's start-up licensing deal is hard to beat given that I get all of the pieces in one box. I am fine with Onshape's free tier since my projects are either personal goofy ones or intended-for-open-source, maybe they should consider encouraging cloud app partners to match that. 

Taking all of this into consideration, I'm going to keep soldiering on a little longer with Fusion and see if the gains from integration outweigh the frustration in basic modeling. If this was my job and I spent most of my time in mechanical design, I'd strongly prefer Onshape based on experience so far. 


  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 832
    This is great feedback - THANK YOU!
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • chrisjh777chrisjh777 Member Posts: 145 ✭✭✭
    I use OS for hobby backyard designs.  Then I export models to Fusion to use the excellent built in CAM (CNC Mill and CNC Lathe, courtesy of HSMWorks) functions.  I don't use Fusion for design.  Works for me.
  • michał_1michał_1 Member, Developers Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    You're rushing your judgment. Each CAD is different and you shouldn't try to force workflows that you are already familiar with.
    Try to learn it (F360) as if you would be a noob for CAD.
  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 663 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 13
    coleman said:
    I like that. Very fitting. I've used most of the major CAD programs over the years, and Confusion360 definitely has one of the worst user experiences. I never got around to getting proficient because the moment I picked it up I'd want to put it down like a hot potato.
  • lemon1324lemon1324 Member, Developers Posts: 118 EDU
    Yeah, same boat as @mahir here; I did try it a couple years ago (when Onshape was just getting started) but it was frustrating enough from the beginning that I never got interested enough to actually learn it. Maybe that's gotten better since then?  I'm subscribed to NYC CNC on YouTube, and he uses Fusion CAM for everything, and the CAM at least looks pretty good.
    Arul Suresh
    PhD Candidate at Stanford University
  • dick_van_der_vaartdick_van_der_vaart Member, Release Management EVP Posts: 12 PRO
    I tried Fusion 360 in the early days of Onshape for more than a year, and then after some automatic update's of the software my computer wasn't fit enough for the software anymore. After that I removed the software.
    I think a lot of people seem to forget that Fusion 360 is made by Autodesk and Fusion 360 will never be a full 3D cad program, if you want that you have buy Inventor, more profit for Autodesk.
    That's why they are still teasing that sheetmetal is coming to Fusion 360 ????
    And what has happend with "Project Leopard" the next "final" version of Fusion 360???
    So my opinion is the workflow in Fusion 360 is confusing, integration with other software is confusing, using the cloud is confusing and that is not going to change.
  • cwmkcwmk Member Posts: 10
    michał_1 said:
    You're rushing your judgment. Each CAD is different and you shouldn't try to force workflows that you are already familiar with.
    Try to learn it (F360) as if you would be a noob for CAD.
    The "as a noob" part is easy, after 24 hours I still feel like one :D Onshape I feel like I learned almost everything I needed in the first few hours, it felt very natural. 

    The thing I'm fighting with now is the whole Component/Assembly structure. My project was designed to use about a dozen primary parts put together into subassemblies and slightly different configurations, and I've been fighting the way Fusion thinks about standalone components vs. subcomponents and assemblies of assemblies.

    Plus there's just weird things about how if I leave a sketch plane visible on a component, then include it in a assembly, it shows the sketch plane, or joints, or whatever, and the best way to hide them seems to be to go back to the original and shut if off there. That counts as an update which forces me to "Get Latest" everywhere that part is used. I've watched some videos around this to try and understand the "Fusion way" to solve the problem, and so far all it seems is that it has baggage/overhead where OS has little to none for me.
  • cwmkcwmk Member Posts: 10
    I use OS for hobby backyard designs.  Then I export models to Fusion to use the excellent built in CAM (CNC Mill and CNC Lathe, courtesy of HSMWorks) functions.  I don't use Fusion for design.  Works for me.
    For me that approach had little appeal as I already have a standalone CAM that works fine for me. As you know getting tool libraries and posts etc. working well can be... exciting... so I need a good reason to switch. In this case, the good reason is that if I iterate one of my designs, I can be spending 15-60 minutes redoing the CAM for the new geometry. In many cases, the changes are just making a feature longer or shorter, moving it a little in the X/Y plane, that sort of thing.

    In some cases I can edit the solid model in BobCAD rather than importing the updated one from OS and starting over, and that can save time, but the fact that most of my work is one/two/three-offs of my own prototypes is why associative toolpaths would be a major win for me. The Eagle integration is nice, but I could live with just using Fusion to generate STEP files for board outlines and probably be fine, in a pinch. 
  • michał_1michał_1 Member, Developers Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    Confusion LOLZ :D :D :D

    Guys, I'm amazed by your modesty, I like to browse through topics like DYHANMTS_2018 and you've really master modesty to a virtue.
    Nothing like Fusion 360 community, they love to show off.
    Like for example Michael Ramos

    or Israel Del Toro

    or 真介 宮崎

    or Peter Böker

    or Kirill Chepizhko

    or Mark Rogers

    or even one of developers Mike Prom
    maybe Djordje Jovanovic

    Sergei Kolesnik??

    and my best friend  Phillip Procario Jr

    Enough of LOLZ, I'm in pain already.

    I'm not gonna wipe my mouth with others work, I also use Fusion 360 in my everyday work.
    I work in POS/POP industry:

    another one:

    These models are fully parametric and I do use Sheet Metal.

    Guys your comments are at best unbalanced.
    While your impression about Fusion is valid as an impression, it's worthless as an opinion.

  • dick_van_der_vaartdick_van_der_vaart Member, Release Management EVP Posts: 12 PRO
  • michał_1michał_1 Member, Developers Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    Do you actually think I'm looking for a review?
    I'm questioning your (all) attitude and efforts to discourage someone from exploring new tools. If you are wondering why am I doing it, you can read this thread: https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/7156/onshape-vs-rhino

  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 232 PRO
    @michał_1 I dont think anyones intention is to discourage others from exploring new tools; quite the opposite actually.  

    Competition helps fuel innovation.  If there were limited choices, the major player would become complacent, happy at the top of the mountain and innovation would be sluggish.  

    When multiple companies are competing with each other for our business....its a good thing.  
  • michał_1michał_1 Member, Developers Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    Topic descends to laughing out Fusion after 4 answers. I was wonder how many laughs will remain when I'll post few images?
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 232 PRO
    @michał_1 The images you posted look great.  All of those can be made in onshape.  Obviously f360 has the upper hand currently when it comes to surfacing.  Onshape has the upper hand in other areas (configurations, stability, sheet metal, drawings, sketching, assemblies, etc.).
    Fusion has CAM and rendering.  
    They are two very different products operating in the same space.  Neither onshape nor f360 is a complete tool to accomplish every single task...and probably never will be.      
  • michał_1michał_1 Member, Developers Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    All? How about the skeleton? It's all nurbs...
  • dirk_van_der_vaartdirk_van_der_vaart Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    @mahir, That sounds like a hammer hitting the nail. Very well said with a few words. 
  • michał_1michał_1 Member, Developers Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    edited March 14
    Thank you @mahir ; I like how this discussion did unfold. I'm happy that you don't doubt capabilities of F360 nor fusion users skills, but I've never accused you (or anyone else) of that (therefore I assume it's just rhetoric trick, on your side).
    I must admit that @dick_van_der_vaart is right, you've nailed it, your hammer parallel is perfect.
    While I never accused you of doubting "capabilities nor skills", I did question your attitude and accused you (not just you @mahir) of discouraging  @cwmk from exploring new tools. The second one is a bit of a stretch, I should say that you've reassured @cwmk in blaming the software for his confusion, and in result possibly not overcoming it.
    This is the main reasons why I've posted my original, short answer. Seeing @cwmk posting his doubts here and not on Fusion forum is for me a sign that he don't have trust/faith in Fusion development. Your comments could only reassure him in his approach.
    Hammer parallel is wrong, you would have to prove that we have some predisposition to one workflow over another. New tools/workflows are confusing because they taking the different approach. Usually, that approach is different not because developer doing something wrong, but because they are aiming at different goals, different fruits.
    I'm encouraging everyone to explore "new realms" if they have a chance or already had reasons to go "there". To avoid frustration we should stop thinking that we have predispositions to what we are already familiar with (hammer parallel). Give yourself a chance, and try to start from zero.
    Lastly, I'm happy that this discussion did unfold as it did because any "noob" reading this thread will get the right impression. Images that I've posted should show that Fusion is enough good for professionals to use, and my opponents were able only to counter me with rhetoric.
  • michał_1michał_1 Member, Developers Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    How the tables have turned...
    January 2016 Bruce is posting: https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/comment/14277/#Comment_14277 and gets two vote ups.
    March 2018 I'm posting survey from the same source and no one likes it :'(  two vote downs: https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/comment/37944/#Comment_37944

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