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Onshape vs. Fusion360

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Comments

  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 88 PRO
    I'm a long time CAD user, ProE/Creo from 1997 through 2020, SDRC Ideas for a couple years in the early 2000's. Those were of course all at dayjobs. I started using Fusion for my hobby CNC and hobby modelling in about 2018. At first, I loved it. I thought it had a new take on modelling (compared to Creo which I used daily for 20 years). Parts could be designed with many fewer features than Creo. The CAM side of it was great for my cnc hobby. But as I got to using it more, I was pulling my hair out more and more. Usually with CAD, its difficult at first, until you get used to it. With Fusion, the more I got used to it and saw how they designed the program, the more I was pulling my hair out. Mixing assembly with part modeling made organization a mess. The "History tree" has always been a text list on other programs. In Fusion, they put the history tree on the bottom of the screen and its only icons. At first you think its modern and looks great. But the more you use it, you realize a simple ugly text list is 100 times better. You get completely lost because the icons all look the same. Its so hard to tell where you are in the "tree". This came to a head I was trying to reorder a few screws in an assembly, and couldn't figure out where I wanted to let go of the mouse to drop them in, because I couldn't tell which component which by looking at the tree. So I used Fusion for a solid year for hobby, and frankly said to myself if I ever have my own company, I'd rather pay 4,000 USD per year for Creo than 500 per year for Fusion. If its a money maker, its no contest.

    Now that opportunity came up. The company Im at now is very small, and I'm the only ME there. We were using Creo (I picked it because I knew it very well), but we were looking for better data management. Creo in standalone mode without windchill is a tough pill to swallow. And Windchill is 10k per year, in addition to the 4k per year of Creo. So I decided to try Onshape. As it is 1500-2100 per year, and that includes all the data management stuff that for Creo you need Windchill for.

    I gave it a trial for a couple months (on the free hobby version), and absolutely loved it. I went to my boss and told him lets switch from Creo to Onshape. It would be 14000 per year vs 1500 to 2100 per year, and a better fit for our small company. Now we are using it on a real project as of Jan, and its been flawless. I am so glad I did not go with Fusion (which I also mentioned to my boss). I would have been pulling my hair out every day trying to design a real product with hundreds of components.

    This post is really just about the traditional modelling aspects of CAD. If you count the 100% browser based operation of Onshape, that in itself blows Creo, and Fusion out of the water. What a pleasure to not have to deal with installation issues, license issues, running the software on multiple computers (one user), or even running two instances on a single computer to compare old and new designs side by side simultaneously. That is all so easy in Onshape.

    I still use fusion at home for my CNC hobby, but I stick to the CAM portion of it. I never want to touch the design portion of Fusion again!
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 88 PRO
    .....snip.....
    and there were no common button layout "brands" between F360 and Onshape.
    ....snip...

    I found the same button set. In Onshape keep the default. In Fusion set it to Tinkercad.

  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,303 PRO
    Well said @shawn_crocker
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 589 ✭✭✭

    I still use fusion at home for my CNC hobby, but I stick to the CAM portion of it. I never want to touch the design portion of Fusion again!

    How satisfied are you with the Onshape->F360 CAM interface?  I have a legal version of F360 but found the CAD interface very confusing and much prefer Onshape (Alibre for paid work) for CAD.  I'm planning to buy a Pocket NC 5-axis bench top mill to play around with and that has support mostly for F360 so my plan is to design in Onshape and create tool paths with F360.  Will that workflow present any frustrations so far as you know?
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 88 PRO

    I still use fusion at home for my CNC hobby, but I stick to the CAM portion of it. I never want to touch the design portion of Fusion again!

    How satisfied are you with the Onshape->F360 CAM interface?  I have a legal version of F360 but found the CAD interface very confusing and much prefer Onshape (Alibre for paid work) for CAD.  I'm planning to buy a Pocket NC 5-axis bench top mill to play around with and that has support mostly for F360 so my plan is to design in Onshape and create tool paths with F360.  Will that workflow present any frustrations so far as you know?

    I like the user interface in Onshape a lot. It makes sense. I dislike the user interface in Fusion tremendously. I understand why they did it the way they did, but I personally feel it makes the organization of the features of the model all over the place and difficult to manage as a user.

    Using one system for CAD, and another system for CAM, should not present too many issues. That's typically how its done in the professional world. The engineer will do the CAD. Then send STEP files to the toolmaker (or machine shop, etc) and they will use MasterCAM or whatever is their preferred software. In the hobby world, its one person doing both, and that truly makes Fusion appealing. Its a 100% non-issue in the professional world, because the engineer frankly has no time to do machining. The company would go broke if they paid their engineers to machine parts. I suspect this is one reason why Onshape has not made CAM a priority. Engineers don't care about CAM as a general statement.

    Now that said, if you are sure your design is finished, exporting it as STEP in Onshape, and sending it to Fusion, will work great. But if you have a design change to make back in Onshape, you may lose some/all of your tool paths when you re-import the changed STEP file into Fusion. I don't know how easy or hard it is to maintain the toolpaths on the geometry that has not changed.
  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 1,135 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @michael3424 ,
    Like @nick_papageorge073 , I am not familiar enough with Fusion to know how robust the tool paths are to modifications in the .step file. However, one alternative process would be to make the modifications to the imported geometry directly in Fusion. This option requires a couple assumptions.
    1. The changes are relatively simple to implement on non-native imported geometry.
    2. You're ok with making the change twice (in Fusion AND Onshape).
    3. The tool paths are complicated enough that redoing them is a bigger headache than #2.
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 589 ✭✭✭

    Now that said, if you are sure your design is finished, exporting it as STEP in Onshape, and sending it to Fusion, will work great. But if you have a design change to make back in Onshape, you may lose some/all of your tool paths when you re-import the changed STEP file into Fusion. I don't know how easy or hard it is to maintain the toolpaths on the geometry that has not changed.
    Thanks for the response.  Needing to re-do some or all toolpaths probably won't be a major problem for me once I get used to making F360 toolpaths.  I use SprutCAM now for mill and lathe work now and it has a connector to work with Onshape that has worked well enough but there is no official post for the Pocket NC in SprutCAM and it may not have all or enough of the 5-axis toolpaths for whatever I'll end up doing with the Pocket NC or SprutCAM may need a moderately expensive upgrade to do the advanced stuff.  IAC, I feel more comfortable about using F360 CAM now, so thanks for that.
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 589 ✭✭✭
    mahir said:
    @michael3424 ,
    Like @nick_papageorge073 , I am not familiar enough with Fusion to know how robust the tool paths are to modifications in the .step file. However, one alternative process would be to make the modifications to the imported geometry directly in Fusion. This option requires a couple assumptions.
    1. The changes are relatively simple to implement on non-native imported geometry.
    2. You're ok with making the change twice (in Fusion AND Onshape).
    3. The tool paths are complicated enough that redoing them is a bigger headache than #2.
    I'd prefer to keep the changes in Onshape and deal with any resulting CAM problems in F360.  The CAM software that I use now recognizes when a STEP file that it has been using has changed and will re-import it into CAM on user approval so maybe F360 is similar.  The toolpaths in SprutCAM are usually screwed up though unless the changes are very minor, such as changing a hole diameter.  Adding a chamfer will require re-selecting edges and such so I'll be prepared if F360 does that.  It's usually simple enough to re-select the features for each operation, though 5-axis F360 work may surprise me.
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