Resources for laser designing with Fusion360?

Hello fellow 'forgers :wave: :smiley: -

I have been scouring the forums for some time looking for any and all resources related to using Fusion360 to create designs specifically for laser cutting. Much of the info seems to be pieced together in bits, or quite old, or in other cases overly in-depth (like, engineering level how-to, not at all approachable for everyday laser hobbyists).

I am wondering: have you found any material or content that specifically helped you learn Fusion360 when designing for lasers? If so, I’d love to update this thread as a one-stop Fusion360 resource list for future user reference, if one does not already exist.

This laptop stand tutorial has been VERY useful to me, as this is exactly the kind of content I am trying to track down more of. While I found it wildly helpful as a jumping off point, I find myself still struggling to bring the ideas in my head to life through use of the software, simply because the software is so complex and robust.

I am excited to go through the materials for this Laser Cutting class from Instructables, but it too seems to only touch on basics for 3D modeling for laser cutting.

I did find this thread (circa 2017) from a Fusion360 Product Specialist gauging interest in laser-specific training, but it seems to not have materialized into much actual available instruction, based on what I could glean from that thread.

I’ve done my best to try to make sure that I am not regurgitating a frequently asked question here - my apologies if so. I’d just really love to either find, or create, a one-stop resource shop for 'forgers looking to learn Fusion360 or beef up their skills.

Of course, all comments, thoughts, recommendations and other contributions on this subject are deeply appreciated. Thank you!

1 Like

Yes, it is spread out over the fourm. If you would like to aggregate it in some way that would be great.

There is a section to the forum called tips and tricks where this would be most appropriate.

In the mean time is there something that you need to know about that search has not yielded?

1 Like

There is a section to the forum called tips and tricks where this would be most appropriate.

I’m not able to start new threads there, I suppose due to my member ranking. Not sure if a mod could move it? I tried and it’s not an option for me to move it there.

In the mean time is there something that you need to know about that search has not yielded?

I think the best way to describe it is that I am looking for resources or materials that provide instruction more advanced than basic box building, but not as advanced as designing airplane engines. I feel like there is a big resource void between the two points, which is why I thought the laptop stand tutorial linked above was very helpful to me.

That tutorial taught me about creating fillets, non-standard angles, and touching on how to create interlocking pieces, and I found it very easy to follow, approachable, and explained in terms that pretty much anyone could grasp. Then in other areas, it left me alot of other questions, especially around the possibilities for revising components after they have been extruded, the browser and the functions of its parts (origin, sketches, components), and even the functions of the menus (create, modify, assemble, etc.). It’s been like learning the conversational basics of another language - only to hit a wall quite hard when trying to have a full on conversation. I am not finding the resources to be able to begin to translate my beginner skills into something more intermediate.

After following some of the tutorials, and through trial and error, I have been learning how to use some of these functions but it’s been a painfully slow process. The other problem with this disjointed learning process is that I sometimes can pick the right tool to use in a certain instance, though I don’t exactly know why, and it’s out of part learning/part luck from a most basic understanding.

I don’t mind putting in the work to learn, but I just find a large portion of the material I come across to be overly verbose and very high level, not at all usable for entry-level 3D design learning. It’s really been a frustrating process for me, and I’m just trying to find a path to proficiency in this software without needing a degree in engineering. :face_with_monocle: :persevere:

1 Like

Shameless self-promotion: here’s one I made a couple months back.

11 Likes

I LOVE THIS. This is exactly the kind of Fusion360 step-by-step instruction I am trying to find more of, and it is specifically focused on creating for a laser (also what I am looking for). Thank you for making and sharing this!

3 Likes

Done.

Okay, yes, you are right, there is quite a bit of a void where you are talking.
To extend your second language metaphor, you will learn Portuguese pretty quickly once you are in Lisbon.
I’ve approached this two ways, the first is to ignore the fact that a lot of great tutorials are not laser specific. The second is to realize that almost every Fusion 360 / glowforge project is in Darwinian terms some variation of a box.
Yes it is hard to ask specific questions when you don’t know what something is called but try and we will try to help.
Deconstruction of others work is another great tool. If you run across any of my works in the file section that you want to study I’ll be glad to send you the Fusion file if I still have it.
BTW, I’m NOT an expert, but I generally get where I am going.

4 Likes

One of the killer features of fusion 360 is it’s Manufacturing workspace (which allow setting up a laser tool with proper kerf compensation), and the Colorific plugin which can export the cutting profiles as svgs that can be directly imported by glowforge.

3 Likes

@wilson360, The training series that you referenced did materialize. I ended up making 5 in-depth videos that were Glowforge specific.
Here is a link to the playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1Rwq6ockUxoU0YhE0ZSmqZPjh0E0irI7
I’ll admit that some of the picture quality and audio quality is questionable. These are some of the very first videos I created.
I haven’t made any new videos specific to the Glowforge since then because so many Glowforge alternatives are out there these that could also benefit from my training. FSL Muse, Dremel (Re-branded Muse), Laserbox Makeblock, etc.
Also, I recently upgraded to an Epilog Fusion M2 (20" x 32" bed).

All of my newer videos are on the Fusion 360 YouTube channel. Way bigger audience.
I made several videos there that are laser specific. Just not laser BRAND specific.
Here are a few:

Hope that helps.

Pew Pew Pew!
Jason

6 Likes

@Secret_Sauce - very helpful, thank you! I actually ended up finding the Glowforge Customer Resources Matrix for 3D design software, which I didn’t realize existed when I posted and I found links to your original videos there. I’ve spent the last 5 days jumping into as much material as I could find related to Fusion 360 and lasers on here, as well as around the web. Now I am just trying to synthesize it all mentally with some hands-on practice, as well as hopefully drafting an update to this post to help other newbies like me find lots of Fusion materials all in one place.

Let me just say - thank you so much for the early videos that you created, especially Video 00 (basics of sketching), because that was exactly the kind of tutorial I was desperate to find. I got so much information out of that first 60 minutes or so that it inspired me to immediately binge the rest in the series. I really can’t say enough about how that foundational instruction was the rocket fuel I needed to really get my mind wrapped around the concepts of Fusion 360.

I also want to say thanks to everyone who has contributed and responded to this thread, your willingness to help is deeply appreciated.

I’m currently taking all of the tutorials and info that I have gathered and using it toward creating a perpetual desk calendar, as my first trial-and-error project. I think I will be able to start cutting it tomorrow and I will share pics when I complete it. I included a picture of my model, which took me about 2 full evenings to complete, but considering I had no working knowledge of 3D design software before this - I am pretty happy with my first experience. (It looks odd right now, but there are day, month, and number tiles I have to make that will be displayed in the finished product).

3 Likes