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F360 Electronics is TOTAL Garbage

Message 1 of 10
389 Views, 9 Replies

F360 Electronics is TOTAL Garbage

I was forced to use F360 Electronics by my boss because A) he has no clue about electronics design & B) He heard about it on some site. 


I have 25 years board design experience, and I have NEVER tried such crap as this.  How they have *** **** to even sell something like this is a total joke.  It's slow as molasses, So slow in fact its the slowest program I have ever used, even though I am running on a 16core, 32 thread processor.  I don't want to even get into the genius idea of storing files in the cloud crap.  The parts library's are so old, that even the free cad programs make it look like a joke. 

There is no follow me routing, no simple double click to pop a via when routing. 


Seriously, How are you guys not embarrassed to even sell such a joke of a program?  Its like a coder who knows absolutely nothing about PCB design wrote it. 


 P.S. even many of your how to videos are out of date, and don't apply to things anymore.


[edited for content by moderator]

Message 2 of 10
in reply to: jimpfree

Hi @jimpfree,


I hope this message finds you well. Could you elaborate a bit on the programs you have used before? Switching tools always entails a learning curve but knowing what you've used before can give me some idea of what you expect and then I can help give guidance on how to get your work done within Fusion.


PS There are multiple way to pop a via in Fusion, my favorite is the spacebar, I find it to be the most efficient.


Let me know how I can help.


Best Regards,

Jorge Garcia
​Product Support Specialist for Fusion 360 and EAGLE

Kudos are much appreciated if the information I have shared is helpful to you and/or others.

Did this resolve your issue? Please accept it "As a Solution" so others may benefit from it.
Message 3 of 10
in reply to: jimpfree

I have the same experience working with Electronics. As I got to know Fusion360 (I wanted to design some enclosures and I managed to do the top very quickly, even though I am an electronics engineer with 23 years of experience) I was delighted with its user interface, speed of work. When I learned that Eagle would be in Fusion, I expected the same. But how disappointed I was - it is so slow that it is impossible to work on it. And it doesn't matter that it has more new features than Eagle, for me and my team it doesn't matter. I've tried to migrate from Eagle to Electronics three times now with one of our projects, and Eagle has always been better. I feel that Electronics is designed to prove how a very good program ( I mean Eagle) can be messed up. I don't give up hope that one day Electronics will match Ealge, but will it make it before my retirement ;).

Message 4 of 10
in reply to: r.kreczewski

Hello @r.kreczewski


As we work on improving the experience and performance of Fusion 360 Electronics, we are always keen on pinpointing exact performance issues. Could you possibly elaborate on "it is so slow that it is impossible to work on it." and give us some examples we can look at to try and shore up these performance issues?

Message 5 of 10
in reply to: jimpfree

Hmm...Can you describe what is slow, where and when? The indication that you are watching videos of how to use the product and dont know the shortcuts signals that you are perhaps not all that familiar with it. Designing a board in Allegro is different than Expedition is different than Altium or CR, so coming up to will take time.  We can help you but we dont tend to dive head-long into Flame-posts so perhaps it would serve you better to just come with a question and get it answered rather than write an OpEd where the lead (Shortcuts?) is buried in the thread details?


(And just so you're aware, at least of a few of those "other" tools were products this team has worked on at one stage or another so we are not lightweights and might even be able to draw comparisons with what you ARE familiar with...?  (between us we have contributed to- or worked with just about every ECAD package on the market) and there is a team of people behind the Electronics environment in Fusion with some very broad experience.)  We want to help you and convince you that your boss is a super smart person and you are in the right place (lest they come here, read the post and feel like you are criticizing them in a public forum before you've asked your questions and tried to get help from the people behind the SW?) 😉


If you detail your questions we will try and help.  Flame-posts are not a good way to build support and get people to read threads but given it was Saturday and you might be stuck, I thought I'd have a look.  Perhaps we can 'reset' and work thru what specifically you're struggling with?   


The shortcuts you are looking for are there (you can view the list via the Shortcuts via the help system or our website) and if you'd like help working with the tool, let's approach the issues with structured Q & A-format so we can tackle the problems you're facing!  (Be nice if in the future you would also reconsider your subject line but if you really are stuck, we get it...we all have bad days)


...Space bar drops a via because double click is terrible on a track pad. I know the tools that use Double-Click and since they were designed prior to most laptops it seemed outmoded.  WRT libraries, most seasoned Designers we work with are not using 3rd party parts from libraries supplied by the CAD vendors - perhaps the mfg, but not the vendor. More often 3D models from MFG and parts from Distributors, perhaps SnapEDA (integrated) or UltraLibrarian (integrated).


Detail your questions and we will try and help you out.  If you are stuck, we'd just ask that you are clear about that and let us develop our sense of urgency from the issues in the post and not the subject line, please!

Also, to better assist, I am curious what tool(s) you come from and whether you're doing commercial products and of what sort?  (Im and old radio dude and semicon materials guy so I might be able to frame the challenges you have and where you will find success / challenges).  This will help me contextualize your comments but given the unfamiliarity with shortcuts, it sounds like you are new. 




matt - Autodesk

Director Fusion 360 Electronics, Tinkercad


Message 6 of 10
in reply to: matt.berggren

Fair enough, my apologies. I'll cool my temper on the issue, and try to be more open minded. Its just hard for me to conceive paying $495 per seat, per year for a program that opens so slowly. 


My first issue is how long it takes to open and be ready to do something. It's like I am loading a program from a floppy drive. What blows my mind is that I am running on a higher end system, and even opening fusion takes far to long to open and be functional.  


Screenshot 2023-05-27 091710.png


The program I come from is Proteus, been using that for 20 years. Recently, they got a new team of developers in and every update they make it worse, and it's getting quirky. So I am investing time to learn other platforms. 


My second issue is when routing it does not pan to follow where you are while laying the trace. When I get to the edge of the screen I have to stop the trace, then pan and finish the trace. 


I use a trackball. Most boards have many vias.  Double click to pop a via while laying a trace is very efficient. I get why trackpad users would have issues with that, but mouse and trackball people would be ok with it. It should be a setting, and not force me to use the keyboard. 


I honestly though that since Fusion is not a free program the Library would be up to date and extensive. Even the very popular ESP32 processor & modules there is only one in the library.  When it comes to the CAD side of Fusion I agree that most manufacturers provide a model for the part. In electronics that is not the case at all.  

I use Octopart for the majority of getting a part if its not something that I created before. They are one of the best sources with the most accurate pars out there.


Proteus, has a way to pull in parts from two external sources. SnapEDA & SamacSys. It's a nice though but many times when using them I have discovered errors in the packages.  So much so that I don't trust them or use them anymore. Octopart has been the most reliable source thus far. It would be a good thing to have Fusion be able to make use of Octopart. 

When you download a part from them they give you a zip file that can be use for many other programs, but Fusion is not one of them.  Here is what you get from a .zip from them. 


Screenshot 2023-05-27 102010.png



I suppose we can start with the issue of following me while drawing a trace. 

Message 7 of 10
in reply to: jimpfree

Panning the screen is a love-hate thing for some users because the SW has to decide on whether you are trying to access a command or exit the screen and that adds some sticky logic to the tool, but it is not something we are opposed to doing if there is a groundswell of support for it.  That said, let me start with a few tips and then we will get into App start time.  A few tips on panning at the edge of the screen (familiar that Proteus does this and my experience with another tool was very similar).  Three ways to do this (sort of):


1)  The middle mouse button (or two fingers on a track pad) will pan the screen.  This is sort of "clawing your way" thru the workspace but it is how I've grown accustomed to using the tools and it feels second nature after a while with a bit more precision because you control the motion / magnitude and it is multi-directional.

2). Setup a shortcut to "Center" the screen when you want...the image below is a quick way to do this and I have mine setup to use Shift+C in the image and on my computer.  This proves helpful in a lot of circumstances.




3) (Final tip) if the middle mouse button causes a lot of fatigue you can use the command line and enter the following sneaky, super-secret command to set a mode that lets you pan whenever you use the Ctrl / Cmd key...


SET Interface.UseCtrlForPanning 1


...You can unset this by setting the value to 0.  The SET command is setting some background preferences that are beyond what we expose (typically) thru the UI.  This is why I suggest it is "Secret" but there is plenty of documentation for this in the online help if you search for the SET command in the command reference documentation.  Use at your own risk perhaps but it wont corrupt the data so that's pretty safe (it just might block some other Ctrl+Click options in the shortcuts if they are using Ctrl).  




We try our best not to paint ourselves into corners so some of these options are "hidden away" but there, intentionally and by design.  This flexibility gives us the ability to pitch a few options to you without inundating you with features and options unless you need them and we are always willing to help. the start time.  You hit this one on the head.  There is a lot of stuff we do behind the scenes when the SW starts and we are making progress on improving this.  One thing to note is that this is generally a one-time cost when it starts.  My only advice until this speeds up is to leave it open.  I will have Fusion 360 open sometimes for weeks on end and I just save files but almost never close the SW unless there's an update I want to install.  Truth is that most other ECAD packages I've worked on have a "temper" when left open and something starts leaking and it crashes.  You see it when they slow down a couple of days into things.  Fusion is pretty good this way but if it starts to slow, close and reopen.  It takes a bit and we are deliberately working on this outside of my team (but we are working on it).  So again, you are correct and we will concede this is taking too long for our own comfort, much less yours.  (oh and FTR, one way to motivate developers is to make the SW long to start up...that has the undeniable effect of hitting them 20 times a day when debugging something and it doesn't last long before someone takes that issue on, full-steam!)


Hope these things help and hope you can snicker a bit at my snarkyness.  As an EE and someone building the tools I have always had headaches even with SW we built within my team(s).  We are not at all unwilling or unable to fix things but we also have that EE-feistiness that comes with the territory I suppose.  We know these things can be annoying and even urgent however and so we will do everything we can to help you.  I want to get you moving is all.  Help you get up to speed and learning the tools.  It helps us if people just hit us with questions and we dont end up parsing things within the material but it's crystal clear and we understand the urgency - ie "I'm annoyed," or "I'm blocked" or "I am missing deadlines because of..."  That kind of real-world stuff cuts across the team we have which is largely staffed by people VERY familiar with those pressures and we can relate.  We promise, we can relate!


Best regards,


matt - Autodesk

Director - Fusion Electronics, Tinkercad


Message 8 of 10
in reply to: matt.berggren

Thank for the reply. 

" Panning the screen is a love-hate thing for some users because the SW has to decide on whether you are trying to access a command or exit the screen and that adds some sticky logic to the tool"


I am not sure why this would be an issue. All the tool has to do is know that I am currently drawing a trace and if I get near any edge of the viewport to simply follow me. If one needs to access some sticky tool, then they must want to do something different, so they could just end the line, and select something else. 


Message 9 of 10
in reply to: jimpfree

Thanks for the reply...Truth is that it is less sticky perhaps than I implied but it is a preference thing. Some folks are firmly in the "dont pan unless I tell you to" camp, with the expectation that they can grab a menu item without changing the mode they are in ( while routing, you can give the command line ("/") focus and type the width of the track you want - thus only temporarily creating a sort of "nested" focus, and return to the canvas within the context of a command.  this concept is what we'd describe as a 'transparent command' meaning the intermediate step doesn't disrupt the chain of execution of the command queue and we demarcate these changes I side of an undo step bookended by the source command that the change applies to-). This is pretty powerful when you consider that when using the NAME command you can just Key-"/" and then single quote->name->single 'GND'. Same holds for things like naming vias when setting them down for a net outside of the context of routing. These little things are what make all the difference and where the 'user performance vs software performance' debate rests.

That said, we had implemented something like the "Drag At Canvas Edge" at one stage and it requires some (re)investigation if we're going to make this a mainstream alternative to "Stop at Canvas Edge". None of it is rocket science but it does require some discussion over whether the experience diverges from other areas of Fusion 360 since the goals with Fusion 360 are so much broader and more ambitious than just building boards (eg even the simple case of "how do I connect test cable 'X' to board 'Y' and then communicate the instructions to company 'Z' unpacks to some command 'normalization', multiple workspaces, multiple interaction models, etc if we arent careful.  Users would struggle to see the value, if what we did was make this only a licensing they need to extract value from the multiple areas of Fusion 360 as we intended them to- or it's something of a miss).

Hope that helps. We will investigate and XD has already chimed in on this thread so I feel pretty good about a healthy debate of the merits of your post. Thank you for raising the discussion!

Best regards,

matt - Autodesk
Director Fusion 360 Electronics, Tinkercad

Message 10 of 10
in reply to: jd.vorheis

I think I wrote this opinion too hastily - I was basing it on experiences from a few months or so ago. At the moment, as we are struggling with the shortage of many items, we have to work on keeping the current products in production, which involves working with Eagle.


I have imported one of the projects and working with Fusion Electronics seems ok.

First impression, i.e. the slow start-up of Fusion is not optimistic ;). Other than that, I have not encountered any major problems.


Great work 🙂 .

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