Saturday, 12 August 2017

Fusion 360 beginner tips

If I leave this page until I am an expert I will have forgotten what I found difficult when I just started.
Hence this page. As much a reminder for myself as a guide for others.

There are lots of video tutorials on the Fusion 360 site but harder to find are some handy reference pages covering most topics:


I find the use of the middle mouse button for Pan and Tilt unreliable. This is not specific to Fusion 360 I have the same problem in Blender. I prefer to use the keyboard in Blender but Fusion 360 has some very handy buttons at the bottom of the screen which means you can even work with a touch pad.

Click on the Pan and Tilt or the move icons and use the mouse with the normal button. Oddly to exit that mode you have to hover over that button again and press the Escape key.

In addition the top right corner has a cube and you can select the faces or corners or other bits to get a quick rotation to the view you want and it is always clear which way you are looking even if your model happens to be completely symmetrical.

I find that cube the most useful.

Finding your work

This took me a minute or two.

To get back to your saved work you need to open up the left side panel using the icon in the very top left corner as highlighted in the above image.

Making changes

This was fairly clearly documented but worth repeating. When you open up your sketch it will be in a view mode.

To make changes you will need to select the script in the list and select edit.

When you have finished editing and want to see the result in 3D, use the Stop Sketch button.

Selecting Edges and Faces

  • Select one edge or face
    left click on the edge or the face.
  • Select a narrow face
    Zoom in until moving the mouse over the face changes the colour of the whole face. Then click.
  • Select multiple edges or faces
    Hold down CTRL and left click on each element.
  • Select an edge loop
    Double click any edge in the loop.
  • Group faces
    Right click on the browser, choose, Create selection Set.
    Select multiple faces.
    Use the icon on the newly created selection set to assign the faces to that set.
    Use the other icon when you want to select those faces.

You can add features that are not part of the model but used as the basis for calculating other parts of the model.

Like construction lines in hand drawn work.
This allow you to mark centres and position things parallel to faces.


Special Care

  • Centre your model about the origin.

Many functions work about the origin or a manually added construction element.
I could not find a way to automatically centre a model on the origin. You can move it manually but each group of faces needs to be selected and moved.

Tip: When you start always create your main section central to the origin.
For symmetrical models that you intend to mirror or rotate, starting with one corner on the origin may be appropriate.


Things I Could NOT Find

In such a professional looking product there were some features that I expected but that I could not find at all. In many cases I even found feature requests from as far back as 2013 and yet today in 2017 I could still not find the feature!

If anyone knows how to do these please post a comment to let me know how.

  • Repeating Groups of Faces on other Faces [no idea how]

All I wanted to do was have the same feature on each side of a rectangular box.
I can copy the feature as a group of faces and I can copy sketch elements but I could not find a way to use a parameter to repeat a feature on each face.

If I copy the faces I cannot find a way to line up one face to exactly touch another face. I had to rely on the grid snap. I might be able to mirror the features but I cannot find a way to create a exactly central mirror line!


I will add to this post as I find other features worth noting.

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