Remedial question about Fusion 360

Haven’t tried Fusion yet as I am getting by with Illustrator, but I know I need to try eventually when I turn to 3d designs.

I’m unclear on the design philosophy, though. Does Fusion assist you in cutting out voids where materials intersect, or do you need to place such things manually?

It’s my hope that you can give it specs for material dimensions and kerf and tell it “subtract a notch from object A where object B intersects.” If you move the parts, the notch would automatically move too.

Or, “place finger joints along this line where A and B intersect.”

Does it do stuff like that, or am I doing manual drawing and Boolean subtractions and math where I want my tabs and slots, as I’d have to in Illustrator?

Yes! GF owner and F360 evangelist @Secret_Sauce held a few webinars last year (archives available) and will hopefully continue in the near future. Please? :wink:


You can either do math, or just place your parts and align them by setting dimensions and constraints on everything. It does do subtractions and joins or you can create separate bodies and use those more than once as tools. (I’m a beginner with it as well, so whatever anyone with more experience says is probably correct.)

Great news, thanks. That really increases my motivation to try it!

Can I pick up the baton here, and ask, in general terms, what advantages I might have in learning any 3D software, if for example, I don’t have a 3d printer ?
I do think and visualise in 3D, but I manage to translate (so far) the designs I want GF to make for me into flat pieces.
I’d be very interested to read the case for acquiring that particular skill.

Two ways;

(1) For basic modeling, F360 makes it easy to build up a 3D model of, say, something like a box or other 3D object built up from extruded flat sketches. You can then easily export the sketches as DXF and use Inkscape to convert to SVG to cut on the GF. F360 allows you to do all the 3D modeling goodness; combine, subtract, etc… yet still drive a 2D centric output device.

(2) F360 has a module called Slicer which can take any 3D model and effectively slice it into a set of 2D pieces that fit together like a puzzle to build the 3D thing in the real world. It is sort of like the 3D bug/animal puzzles, but the slicing is not related to the geometry of the object.

I’m slowly converting from Corel to Inkscape for computational problems, so that end is taken care of.
I’ll give you a f’rinstance where I think it might do me good. I have an 11 year old in the outlying family who seems to be heading for a career as a marine architect, and I’ve offered to cut him the frames, etc for any designs he comes up with.
Would you think the familiarity with a 3D prog ease my path in that sort of area ?

I really struggled with Fusion 360 until I ran into these YouTube videos by Paul McWhorter, Learn Fusion 360 or Die Trying LESSON 1. There are about a half dozen lessons.

Here is the link:

I think one of the reasons I struggled was because the people producing some of the videos where using keyboard commands in the background without telling what they were doing.

This fellow pretty much tells everything he is doing and there is lots of repetition. Fusion 360 is pretty Mind Blowing, the people who wrote the code are brilliant.

Spend a few hours with Paul McWhorter @GrooveStranger and you will have a pretty good idea if you want to use Fusion 360.

P.S. I haven’t died yet, so something must be working! :slight_smile:


I said those very words today in a tool shop !


Lol! What boats do you think you will be designing and cutting out on your GF? I am just starting to work on Gardner’s 19 foot semi dory. I plan to make a model with the GF before I make the full size boat.

No, I must stress this is my neice’s young son, not me. My idea of water is that you add it to whiskey, or wash with it. The idea of travel over nasty wet stuff that’s deeper than I am is a no no.
So, I suppose the question might be if he comes up with a pencil sketch, and I would like to make him a kit of suitable bits to encourage his development, is something like Fusion the way I should start to go ?
I’ve already got several lifetimes worth of work to fit in to my remaining years, but why not !

I will be able to answer that in a couple months! So far, it seems easier to design a boat from scratch using Fusion 360 then to take offsets and replicate a design. Here is a YouTube video where the fellow designs a boat. The part where he makes the frames is stunningly amazing.

I was hoping to import all the offsets from a single CSV file, but the spine function ties all the points together in a crazy loop, so I am going to have to import a series of offsets for each line; sheer, 1st knuckle, 2nd knuckle, bottom.

Video link:

Here is an example. At my local favorite sushi spot, they have these big ugly Kirkland wrap boxes that are oft up on top of the bar (sushi places go through a ton of Saran Wrap).

I figured I could make something much prettier. So, given the dimensions of the box, I modeled something in F360, including modeling the tabs that connect the pieces together.

I certainly could have done this in a 2D program, but it was actually easier in 3D. In particular, I could design the tabs on one piece, then use the “subtract” function to effectively “subtract” the tabs of one piece from its mate, creating the mirror image tabs that fit together!

Also, because I parameterized the material thickness, I can easily change one # to switch between, say, 1/4" basswood and 1/16" ply.


‘Sir, I begin to find your argument persuasive.’


Hey, if you have been around here much you know that I am not great with it but I am an enthusiastic evangelist for it.
Like any tool it will not do the work for you but it is very versatile once you get to know it.
There are tons of videos for all tastes on YouTube and there is even written tutorials in the matrix if you like. I can’t really speak to the quality of the writen tutorials as I wrote them. :scream:


I had a feeling I’ve been here before. As far as my latest search goes, Fusion 30 wont run on my 32 bit laptop. So bit of a no-no before I start !

I helped to dummy-proof Marks tutorials. I’ve failed at so many other F360 tutorials because steps were skipped and assumptions made. In short, I’m TERRIBLE at F360, but Mark’s tutorials made sense and I created my first F360 box with his instructions.

For me the issue with F360 is firmly sitting in the chair in front of the computer. The product looks to be quite powerful and will do MANY great things, you just need to put in the time to learn HOW to do those great things, I’ve currently have never had a project that I couldn’t do in Inkscape or Sketchup. BUT parameterizing aspects of the build is a huge advantage for F360.

Don’t be like me! LEARN F360 and you will be happier for it (or so they keep telling me :wink: )


And with that sage advice, I’m going to go tackle the latest design again. (Just needed a kick in the pants.) :smile:


Too bad I can’t give myself the same motivation!


I have gone through some tutorials. it is an amazingly powerful program. you won’t regret the time @jules and everybody else. :slight_smile:

1 Like