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Fusion 360 news - Autodesk has announced major changes and removals to tools in the free version

alnis_smidchensalnis_smidchens Member Posts: 279 EDU
edited September 2020 in General
Not a post about Onshape, but I figured it's relevant. Here's what Autodesk is changing & removing for Fusion 360's free version:
  • You can only have 10 editable documents ("non-archived"), all others must be switched to archived and not editable. Documents can be swapped between archived/unarchived. "Documents" include drawings, electronics schematics, etc., so each of those counts towards the document limit
  • Drawings are now limited to one sheet, no templates can be used, and exporting to PDF, DXF, and DWG is disabled (it's only possible to print now)
  • Models can now be exported to only: F3D, F3Z, FBX, IPT, IAM, OBJ, SKP, SMT, SDP, STL, sketches to DXF (note absence of STEP, IGES, and Parasolid)
  • Many CAM tools have been removed, including multi-axis milling, probing, automatic tool changes, and the rapid feed ability
  • Simulation - completely gone
  • Generative design - completely gone
  • Cloud rendering - completely gone
  • You can't use the cloud environments even if you purchase cloud credits
  • Local rendering remains
  • No add-ons, extensions, integrations, etc. can be used at all
  • October 1st, 2020 - almost all of these changes will take effect automatically, no reinstall needed. Deadline to export existing documents.
  • January 19th, 2021 - 10 document limit goes into effect
Other limitations from before the announcement will continue, including only basic collaboration tools and limits to the complexity of electronics designs. Note that education, startup, and professional licenses are not affected. They are also running a 40% discount on the subscription price for a commitment of up to 3 years.

Autodesk blog post: https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/blog/changes-to-fusion-360-for-personal-use/

TFI video about it:

Summary chart:

I'm sure glad I'm not a Fusion 360 user! What are your thoughts on this?
Get in touch: [email protected] | My personal site: https://alnis.dev | My YouTube channel (I make tutorial videos for Onshape & Inventor): https://www.youtube.com/c/AlnisSmidchens


  • ChuckKeyChuckKey Member Posts: 33 ✭✭✭
    It is rather disconcerting news. From model engineering hobby forums I know there are lots of free Fusion 360 users in that community.
    I think I am going to stop banging on about the advantages of Onshape in case they all start to flood the servers here.

    What assurance can Onshape give that the same kind of thing is not going to happen here?

    It seems to me that a healthy hobby community can only be good for promoting the paid-for models, so long as it does not get too expensive to service. That said, I would really like to have a low-user paid-for account model, commensurate in price with my dozen or so documents and couple-of-hours-a-week usage.    
  • NikNYCNikNYC Member Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Short term corporate greed. Short and especially long term boost for Onshape. 
  • sebastian_glanznersebastian_glanzner Member Posts: 193 PRO
    The worst thing is that you only have 2 weeks left to export your 3D models as step files!

    One year ago someone told me about all the functionality of the "free" version of Fusion 360 has. At first I couldn't believe it. Then I asked myself how long it will take for Autodesk to change that. I feel bad for every hobbiest user who spent their time to learn this software and made free tutorials on YouTube. 
  • matthew_vilimmatthew_vilim Member Posts: 9 EDU
    Not sure why Autodesk is getting all the hate; if you've been using the product this long and haven't been paying, you were never going to pay, so why should they care if you leave or stay? I fully expect a similar move from Onshape, especially after the PTC acquisition. :(

    After Onshape is gone, there won't be anywhere left for hobbyists. Everybody keeps floating the idea of improving FreeCAD or some other open-source alternative, but without a proper open-source geometry kernel, those efforts are futile (OpenCascade is unsalvageable). And the open-source zealots don't realize creating a new kernel from scratch competitive with Parasolid et al. is impossible (like writing an OS, compiler, game-engine but 1000x more difficult). There isn't any way to make a robust kernel without spending 30 years in development fixing edge cases....not to mention CAD is niche enough, there isn't large interest to begin with.

    I DO wish there was a hobby tier for casual users priced similar to Adobe Creative Cloud, but I think it unlikely. :( Very sad.
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 538 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020
    ChuckKey said:
    What assurance can Onshape give that the same kind of thing is not going to happen here?
    None really - decisions like that are driven, at best, by the need to sustain a business and by greed at the worst.  A principle at another CAD company made guarantees that were later ignored when new ownership took over.  That's just the way things work in real life.

    Also don't forget that Onshape used to include 10 private documents in all free accounts but now all free user documents are public. They did allow us to retain privacy on documents at the time of the policy, but made them non-editable though we can still export parts to a neutral format.

    I'd sign up today for a middle tier that offered some private documents at price reduced from the standard plan but my impression is that Onshape is not interested in that sort of thing.  PTC even less so, I'd guess.
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 704 PRO
    dang! kind of a big deal. I've assumed something like this would happen since, in my mind, the whole play with their marketing was to get as much exposure as quickly as possible to try and wedge the product into the market, at the possible expense of revenue. Now that they actually have built a decent base of business-level users who used to be "just hobbyists", it's time to make up for lost time.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Fractal
    Website: fractalmade.com
    Instagram: @evan.reese.designs
  • kevin_schneiderkevin_schneider Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    A few corrections.

    STEP data can still be exported via the web client until January. So the "deadline" to export is Jan 1st.

    Extensions only refers to advanced manufacturing feature sets that were always paid extras. Scripts, API and add-ons all remain unchanged.


  • alnis_smidchensalnis_smidchens Member Posts: 279 EDU
     @kevin_schneider those might be true now, but they weren't when they made the announcement. They seem to have changed what they said.

    The wayback machine shows they said this in the original announcement (with no mention of exporting via the cloud interface):

    As for the extensions bit, they initially said no custom add-ins, scripts, or API usage, hence what Neil Cross (TFI YouTube channel) said at 4:14 in his video: "The ability to load and run any custom extensions, now no longer possible." I would guess he knows what he's saying, seeing as he is a former Autodesk reseller and has many connections in the company. I'm having trouble finding a page which says this since many relevant pages were only snapshotted for the first time today :/

    There are a lot of things they said earlier that they are now walking back on. In the announcement video, they say, "When we started Fusion 360, it was not our intention to make free CAD or hobby CAD. It's always been about creating a commercial product..." That's even with their marketing focusing on how it's a perfect free system for hobby users very recently.

    These edits/changes will definitely shake the trust of Autodesk's paying users, seeing how willing they are to change what they said after the fact rather than admitting mistakes in communication.
    Get in touch: [email protected] | My personal site: https://alnis.dev | My YouTube channel (I make tutorial videos for Onshape & Inventor): https://www.youtube.com/c/AlnisSmidchens
  • kevin_schneiderkevin_schneider Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    No. This was exactly what was said when it was first announced. It was clarified due to misunderstandings or facts not explicitly stated in the original posts in the community. Neil was mistaken. It happens.

    As to fusion’s intent all along, I know, I was there when it started. As to the video you may want to double check who’s talking in the video and who’s writing this post. Yes. I’m that Kevin...

    This will be the last I follow up in this thread. I posted to ensure accurate information was represented. If you want to follow up, dm me. Out of respect that this is an Onshape forum it’s really not appropriate to keep going on this here. Cheers. 
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