So I'm the old-fashioned type of guy, still using pen and paper to sketch out my ideas (thankfully mostly on a hobbyist level). This is making it exceedingly difficult to get someone to help me with prototyping, so I'm finally buckling down to learn to use the proper software.
Since I'm (almost) completey new to the software in this field, I have no idea what software should be used for what. Yesterday I stumbled upon Fusion 360 and played around a bit. Today I experimented a bit with AutoCAD 360. Both seem to offer parts of what I need but I wanted to ask to see what'd be the best fit for what I'm doing.
When I do this type of work by hand, I'll draw the object freehand at first, a sketch of the outside features. After that I'll "disassemble" the object in my head, and make 2D-drawings with measurements of the different parts. It seems like Fusion 360 has a similar workflow, but I'm not certain as I'm not finding my way around all the features just yet. As an example, I was having a world of trouble making a box with a hole straight through it also having measurements and getting a printout or PDF.
So, after this longwinded explanation(sorry): What tool (or tools) should I be looking in to for this type of work? Is Fusion 360 what I should be spending my time on?
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We are working on the ability to create drawings with your Fusion 360 models. For now it might be best if you go through the tutorials.
Going through the tutorials will also help you decide if Fusion 360 is the tool you are looking for.
I think Fusion 360 can help you.
Please refer to the video for the simple workflow you described above. First I create a hole centered on the box face, later I create a hole at specific measurements from the box sides.
For print or PDF I think you can just take image snapshots for now (as Andrew mentioned - capability to add drawings will be there soon).
Let us know if the tutorials and playing with the product helped you move forward.
It can be difficult at first to get a toehold in 3D modeling, but it's worth the effort. As someone who can still remember this process, and who is far from a CAD pro, I enthusiastically recommend Fusion 360. Fusion 360 is a powerful program, and there are often many approaches to a particular issue. Don't worry about not finding all the features right away. I've been using Fusion for quite a while and discover things every day.
Take the time to work through the tutorials- it will save you time overall. In particular, you can see that some of them start with a scanned sketch as a reference. Dimensioned drawings are coming, but right now that capability is not there. Most (but not all) processes today work directly from 3D models, so that may not be a huge problem. When I need a dimensioned drawing I import into a package that can do that- soon it won't be necessary.
From the perspective of a newcomer, one of the best things about Fusion 360 is the incredible support the team offers. I suspect you will find it worth the effort.
27" iMac Core i5, OS 10.8.5, 8GB RAM
What I highly can encourage you is also to make use of forums. Present problems ask questions.
Many dont use this type of learning medium.
At the beginning the road will be rocky but with time it will get better.
Ron, why does your profile show the Autodesk Expert and my post does not have the badge? (sad face)