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Fusion 360 Electronics vs Eagle Cad

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Message 1 of 53
troydjEPMYB
10565 Views, 52 Replies

Fusion 360 Electronics vs Eagle Cad

I am trying to determine what the difference between Fusion 360 Electronics and AutoDesk Eagle PCB. Which should I use for new PCB designs ? I am about to start a new PCB design, and I am trying to decide whether I should do it in Eagle or Fusion 360 Electronics. What are the differences between both products and/or why would I use one or the other ?

52 REPLIES 52
Message 2 of 53
rachaelATWH4
in reply to: troydjEPMYB

Is this for personal use or for professional use?

 

If it's for a hobby then I would say go ahead and get learning Fusion Electronics as this will be more and more powerful in the future, but if you are wanting to use it professionally, use EAGLE as it's mature and stable.

 

I've been trying to convert from EAGLE to Fusion Electronics for professional work recently and I have come to the conclusion it's really not ready yet. There are too many quirks, things which don't work right, things which don't work at all, stability issues, oh and I am not looking forward to having the discussion with some of my clients about where their design data is stored. Hint, it's not on my premises under my control...

Best Regards,

 

Rachael

Message 3 of 53
maustinQZ9FZ
in reply to: troydjEPMYB

There's lots of new features in the integrated Fusion360 + Eagle that you may or may not use.  I moved from Eagle 6.6.0 to Fusion360 and this is my summary of my experience to date:

Pros

 - I can create 3D images of my PCB, which I can share with the mechanical design team (who are a separate organisation) and ensure there are no issues with my design fitting into the enclosure.

 - Having shared projects is actually quite a handy feature

Cons

 - Sloooooow to start.  I'm talking 30sec to a minute before you're ready to do anything.  Eagle fires up in < 3 secs

 - Lots of bugs and quirks.  Things will work well for a few hours or days, then random things start breaking.  You then spend days on these forums getting assistance to fix it.  Its very frustrating

 - You need to get your head around the fact that all the files are cloud based, so managing your files is a different process from Eagle (where everything is normally on your local drive).  Some of my customers get nervous about this

 

I'm persevering with Fusion360, but only for designs where I need the 3D functionality (probably about 20% of my customers at this point)

 

Cheers,

Mike

 

Message 4 of 53
rachaelATWH4
in reply to: maustinQZ9FZ


@maustinQZ9FZ wrote:

 

 - I can create 3D images of my PCB, which I can share with the mechanical design team (who are a separate organisation) and ensure there are no issues with my design fitting into the enclosure.



@maustinQZ9FZ wrote:

 

I'm persevering with Fusion360, but only for designs where I need the 3D functionality (probably about 20% of my customers at this point)


The 3D modelling is available from within EAGLE though, I create 3D board versions for all my clients using the EAGLE->Fusion360 link. I don't even need to use Managed Libraries as I have a work around to allow me to map STEP models to footprints held within regular EAGLE libs.

 

Right now I am seeing way too many down sides for Fusion Electronics which aren't anywhere near compensated for by the upgraded/new features in Fusion Electronics which haven't been added back into EAGLE. For me it's a non-starter for designs I am doing for clients. I'm going to persevere with it for internal development projects just to keep up to date with its progress with a view to switching if it becomes stable enough.

 

Best Regards,

 

Rachael

 

Message 5 of 53

F360 is unfinished, paid! beta,alpha? non stop crashing cloud software. Without such basic functionality like switching between layers via keyboard but with fancy 3Dview. Development team consists probably of summer interns without any serious team manager. There is nothing good or more what the competitors does not offer.

 

The only one good point is that there are some factory team people on this forum which are trying to help those frustrated people which bought it..

 

 

_

I have used Eagle for 2 years, it was quite good, with standalone license, with cloud app you never know if it is china Already or in russia. You never know how long will be server online. I do know any serious company which own or relay F360. Mostly theese are studnets or some small companies which were attracted by the pricing. They are not even able to proper handle or manage licensing when buying online.

Message 6 of 53
BisoTronic
in reply to: rachaelATWH4


@rachaelATWH4 wrote:

 

I've been trying to convert from EAGLE to Fusion Electronics for professional work recently and I have come to the conclusion it's really not ready yet. There are too many quirks, things which don't work right, things which don't work at all, stability issues, oh and I am not looking forward to having the discussion with some of my clients about where their design data is stored. Hint, it's not on my premises under my control...


Nobody in the world could force me to not agree with the above opinion.

 

Fusion is a complete disappointment. I've been working on Eagle since v.6 and recently - yes, pandemic did the magic - I've been for many months without orders (and without opening Eagle); so when I was supposed to use Eagle again I found it was the same as I've left quite a year before, with no updates. Looking at Autodesk website I discovered this weird idea of encapsulating Eagle in Fusion. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to manage this new environment, I watched a lot of video tutorials, read a pile of docs, cursed a lot of divinities from antique Greece to today, then I got the following conclusions (yes, they are mainly sarcastic questions):

 

- Fusion is a 3D CAD, why not letting it to do its job avoiding messing with ECAD?

- Eagle was a quite good ECAD, why devasting it in that manner?

- If Fusion does mech&tech&whatever, and now electronics, why I'm still unable to do my corporate accounting on it?

- Seriously: why not accounting?! Or... why Fusion still hasn't an Arduino programmer embedded in it? C'mon...

- Why, when I'm using Eagle and pushing to Fusion, am I forced to lose a LOT of time *every* time?

- Why this happens every time I update a single comma in a single element of a single managed library? 

- And... oh... no, better to not spend a single word about adding 3D packages to existing libraries.

- Why Fusion has the power to crash Eagle, as well as Fusion itself, without a message? Is it a new feature? It simply disappears.. puff! 

- Why am I forced to buy a new PC with half-a-grand worth display card in order to be able to run Fusion without jerky,  rickety, convulsive behavior at each action I do on it? 

- Assumed that, how am I supposed to work professionally with ECAD in that (con)Fusion environment?

 

* before wondering if I have a PC coming from some scrapyard: I do use CircuitStudio on same pc with no flaw at all. Even in 3D mode. (Yes, I hate CircuitStudio, and now I hate Fusion too. But CS works, Fusion doesn't.) 

 

Ok, I've run out of sarcasm. Pardon my rant. I was enthusiast when Autodesk started  developing and upgrading Eagle with new, pretty flawless and useful features. Now I'm really pissed off of this saddening mess. If customers orders will come again, giving me back a bit of long term planning ability, I'll surely move to Altium Designer, warmly waving Fusion/Eagle for the last time. 

Message 7 of 53

The ONLY reason I use F360 Electronics is because I have years of legacy work in Eagle in addition to the long learning curve that comes with any software.

The main difference between Eagle and F360 Electronics is that Eagle actually works and F360 does not really work---yet.

IMHO, wether Autodesk is willing to admit or not.....Eagle has been abandoned and is not worth learning if you are not also going to commit to Fusion360 Electronics experiment. Eagle still works and I am using it right now, but putting in a considerable effort to keep up with F360 Electronics - which may or may not mature into a usable system. Time will tell.

Carlos Acosta
Factory400 - YouTube|Instagram
Message 8 of 53

I, as others had high hopes for F360. @matt.berggren was praising the tool, and how awesome it would be during the interview on The Amp Hour, and teasers on Twitter. And what they released was sloppy work. I can't get my head around the fact that they just redid Eagle in F360 when they had the opportunity to do it correct. The answer is a bit sad but obvious. The development team of F360E is not big. If I were to guess, a couple of guys. This is not large enough IMO to make a great ECAD software. The schematic part of F360E is quite good, and I enjoy it. The PCB / 3D PCB part is what really makes me sad. I was hoping that creating PCB layout was gonna be like drawing in F360E (where I could for example crate slotted holes...). That would have been so intuitive and new thinking, and we got stuck with a more unstable version of Eagle. The features and bug fixes are sure comming, just that it will takes years at this pace to get to a place where F360E is the best choice for anyone... Can't wait for F360E to not break every update, and comming out with new exiting features, not just the expected features that you even have available in free ECAD software.

 

Seems like this also turned into a rant. Sorry about that.

Message 9 of 53


@engineeringNCMXB wrote:

The ONLY reason I use F360 Electronics is because I have years of legacy work in Eagle in addition to the long learning curve that comes with any software.


That's why I still use Eagle instead of groping on steep and bumpy paths, some goin up, some other goin nowhere. I tried CircuitStudio and I hated it at first touch for that puzzling keyboard shortcut list that nobody can customize. I tried KiCad and - well, guys - congratulations for the effort but it's way far from my expectations. I tried Altium Designer and - (ok, it's me) - I hated it BUT it works fine and it gives me back a part of my life regaining it from te time spent in the jobs after design: the BOM, the cost analysis, the runtime 3D modeling. Both CS and AD are linked to manufacturers' and distributors' APIs (as well as Octopart) (Holy Octopart!): maybe could F360 add this feature?

 

So I gave F360 a chance, but hey, it's a couple month of work just to reach the minimum usable configuration with that mess of managed libraries and 3D models (hey, Autodesk, give me the opportunity to BUY complete libraries with complete - and fully working - 3D models, I'll surely spend my money for them instead of wasting my liver staggering from a "free" ECAD models' library to another, like a drunk man wandering from bar to bar).

 

Well, another rant, I'm very angry and I beg your pardon if I came to vent my rage here.

Message 10 of 53


@engineeringNCMXB wrote:


IMHO, wether Autodesk is willing to admit or not.....Eagle has been abandoned and is not worth learning if you are not also going to commit to Fusion360 Electronics experiment. Eagle still works and I am using it right now, but putting in a considerable effort to keep up with F360 Electronics - which may or may not mature into a usable system. Time will tell.


 

I'm saddened to say I have to agree with this. Yes EAGLE still works but now knowing (honestly, we all know it's true even if it's not officially admitted) that EAGLE stands as it is at 9.6.2 and all future effort is into Fusion Electronics, I am struggling with justifying sticking with it. I've tried it and have a couple if internal projects running in it but it was a slog to get to a point where it wasn't really frustrating me.

 

But... and this is the biggie... I'm pretty sure my next client design is going to be pushing the design boundaries further than I've done previously and I am not sure, whilst EAGLE will be able to do it, whether it won't just be too much effort because it lacks some of the enhancements in the routing tools which have gone only into Fusion Electronics.

 

So this would leave me with trying to do it in Fusion Electronics, which I know will be a non-starter simply because when I tell my client their design data and their IP will be stored in the cloud and not on my/their servers under my/their control they are most likely going to tell me to either use Altium for the design or they will give the contract for the work to another company. They already have a number of consultancies they work with and I am the only one using EAGLE. I won't be allowed to in future if I tell them I need to migrate to Fusion Electronics and all data is in the cloud so without any updates and no viable long term for EAGLE I am, with much regret, probably going to have to move to Altium at some point.

 

Best Regards,

 

Rachael

 

 

Message 11 of 53
edwin.robledo
in reply to: troydjEPMYB

Hi troydjEPMYB,
I hope you are doing well upon receiving my reply, and I would like to thank you for participating in our forums. You received many insights regarding using Fusion 360 electronics in your next project. Several comments had merit since Fusion 360 was in its initial stages. Since then, Fusion 360 electronics have come a long way. And to answer your question, which ECAD you should use, Fusion 360 or EAGLE, for your next project, the simple answer is Fusion 360!

 

Many of the comments from this forum were around Fusion 360 stability and performance. The good news is that the recent July 2022 release (Quality of Life Release) tackled exactly that! Our team of developers and customer experience experts put your voice at the top of their priorities to ensure you deliver what you have asked for. They have scoured the forums, including this one, and support cases and evaluated the different requests we have received from you, our user. Based on these reports, we are thrilled to let you know that we have been able to fix the critical cases that hindered stability, all while improving performance by nearly 60% in many of your day-to-day tasks. Couple all this with better exposure to essential user-defined commands, drafting tools, documentation, data management, and more, making using Fusion 360 electronics a strong contender to tackle any PCB project with any complexity from A to Z. 

 

Here is the link to learn more about the latest Fusion 360 release, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have other questions or concerns.

 

Thanks again for your participation in the Fusion 360 electronics forums.

Best Regards,

Ed

 



Edwin Robledo
Tech Marketing Manager
Message 12 of 53
jesper8W75R
in reply to: troydjEPMYB

@troydjEPMYB , it's pretty simple.

If you want to get work done, use EAGLE.

If you like constant crashes, lag, annoyances and endless bug reports, use Fusion 360.
Don't believe the hype from Autodesk.

Message 13 of 53
jesper8W75R
in reply to: edwin.robledo

@edwin.robledo 

"The good news is that the recent July 2022 release (Quality of Life Release) tackled exactly that! "
This is a blatant lie, Ed.
It's STILL a horrible crashing piece of junk software.
A few things were fixed, but it's still unstable as Bambi on ice.

Message 14 of 53
edwin.robledo
in reply to: jesper8W75R

Hi jesper8W75R,

I hope all is well upon receipt of this reply.  

As I mentioned, we collect and study the crash reports and do something about them as we did in this revision.  The respective teams dissected their reports, they will find and fix the critical issues. This release represents a new approach for Fusion 360 moving forward, with a greater focus on ensuring that the issues affecting our customers are addressed promptly. This is only the beginning.

I would encourage our users to continue using it, and those considering it, please try it. Make up your own conclusions.  We are committed to Fusion 360 electronics and will continue working on it to make it the application of choice for your electronics design needs.  
With Warm Regards,
Ed



Edwin Robledo
Tech Marketing Manager
Message 15 of 53
jesper8W75R
in reply to: troydjEPMYB

A lot of good talk, @edwin.robledo , but we really need to see some results instead of more broken promises.
I have had good contact with Helen through the insider program, and documented a heap of faults in the so-called "Quality of Life" release. So while that works great, these bugs are not fixed yet. Along with many, many others.
Not so serious ones, but they could be fixed in 5 minutes. But still isn't.

As I've said before, clearly, you don't have high expectations for your quality of life it seems.

There is still LOTS of bugs, some of them pretty serious, including the latest crash bugs I've had.
Actually, the second of the Insider releases were a lot better, more stable and with fewer bugs than the one that was publicly released.
But, as usual, your release method doesn't allow me to go back to the better working version, but I will have to suffer with the new one for a couple of months, best case.
Sigh.

Message 16 of 53
silvio3105
in reply to: edwin.robledo

How many QoL will be released? Only two(one left)?
Message 17 of 53
jorge_garcia2
in reply to: troydjEPMYB

Hi @silvio3105,

 

This is an ongoing initiative. The current plan is to do 2-3 dedicated QoL releases a year. Additionally, releases in between will include QoL fixes also. So in short, 2-3 dedicated a year with minor QoL fixes in the releases in between.

 

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 18 of 53
oxullo
in reply to: troydjEPMYB

An opinionated perspective / my two cents.

I've been using EagleCAD since the early 2000s. Slapped by its obnoxious UI, but it was a honest option for the time.

After its acquisition by Farnell and then Autodesk I had somehow high expectations to see the lack of innovation and improvement shaken off. I felt engaged when @edwin.robledo and @jorge_garcia2 started to kick in with tutorials and community assistance, at the time eagle was experiencing tighter and frequent release cycles. So far they've been always the best part of the whole process of progressing into a vision.

 

I think I understand the vision. I love fusion, I see the reasons to melt the workflows into a single tool, I see the efforts and I think it'd be fantastic if it was usable.

And here it comes: features and stability/usability have to be properly balanced to allow a somehow serious usage of the platform.

I understand who sees fusion as a paid alpha and I've started to share the feeling. When I lose a tremendous amount of time for stability issues, unresolved or worsened UI-related problems or even for workflow issues (libraries management is incredibly painful), I feel that I'm not only spending money for a professional tool, but the same tool drains my time as it shouldn't.

 

And I'm here today because I'm just done designing a simple PCB that took me more than three times the amount of efforts I initially accounted for. At the end I have a design, a PCB and a 3d assembly I could present to my client, with high quality information, polished look.. but is it worth? I cannot easily answer this question, as I feel it wouldn't be fair to make such consideration if I was working with an alpha release. But is it? Or isn't it?

 

My main project file has now 50 versions, for a design that has 14 components.. lost three times sync between sch and brd by simply copying&pasting or rewiring components, with loads of issues managing libraries..

 

I am compiling a growing list of issues that I experience, thinking that one day I might invest some time in polishing and sharing with the developers, but I wonder if it's just time I should invest to try other platforms.

If I haven't till now, it's because I trusted the process, plus I'm paying for a subscription tier that doesn't exist anymore and as soon as I give up there's no way back with the same price tag (Autodesk should be spanked for its price policies).

 

Fast forward 2 years since eagle was left for dead and I started to move into fusion, I start to feel troubled to find the required resilience. Hence I'm here spending time writing something most likely everybody knows already.

Message 19 of 53
maustinQZ9FZ
in reply to: oxullo

My $0.02 worth.

 

I attempted to switch over to Fusion360 2 years ago. The scars are still evident.

 

I don’t doubt Autodesk have made some improvements, but not a single piece of software I have ever used has been so unwieldy, so unstable, and so slow.

 

I still use my Eagle V6 software because it works. I can take the risk that designs I do in Fusion won’t be accessible to me in the future because I can’t continue with the software.

 

At the moment, I’ll do my schematic and PCB design in Eagle, then import it into Fusion360 just to create the 3D model

so I can share this with the mechanical design team. I then go back and forth like this, so any so called integration efficiencies are lost for me.

 

The straw that broke the camels back for me was when I saw Autodesk make an (unsuccessful) bid to buy out Altium. So even the management realize the Eagle-Fusion360 integration has been a pile of excrement.

 

Mike

Message 20 of 53
C.Nicks
in reply to: troydjEPMYB

As a very long time power user (11 years, 140+ boards) I can say that Fusion Electronics still has a very long way to go to meet feature parity to Eagle desktop.

Sadly I don't think it will ever be as efficient or productive. Mostly in regards to how file management is handled.

 

It seems to me that the Fusion developers have never used a file browser before (sarcasm). The fact that we cannot drag and drop, Handle multiple files at a time, and quickly navigate a file tree makes handling files within Fusion a cumbersome trial in patience.

The way assets and libraries are handled makes it almost impossible to have a clean, fast workflow. In my Eagle desktop they are all contained in a (my custom) folder structure that I can quickly and easily manage in any file browser or Git tools. I never "upgraded" my libraries to managed as I want complete and flexible control over them. Sometimes I still manually edit the XML of my libraries in order to copy/add component variants.

Along the same lines your design files are locked in the terrible file browser without control over the structure. I use Eagle professionally to manage high volume product manufacturing and there are a ton more files I have to keep track of. I have scripts automatically export to a specific folder structure and that cannot be replicated in Fusion at all. Besides the design files there are PDF exports, BOMs, placement files, assembly drawings, changelogs, engineering change orders, design resources and datasheets, and gerbers all contained in a specific folder structure and tracked with Github.

The Fusion electronics file handling might be fine for the average hobby user with little documentation requirements, but for the professional the lack of flexibility is a huge issue that will keep me from ever being able to use it.

Also the control panel in Eagle makes it very easy to navigate and manage a large library, you know with a good expandable file tree.

 

Library management is quite bad since they started with the managed libraries. It was never well thought out and is still a mess. I've spent over 10 years building my 100% clean and custom libraries and not a single one is managed. I can still generate accurate 3D models with a workaround and still have all the flexibility of having local file management and Git version control.

 

Besides the file management (or lack thereof) there are a lot of other issues which impact productivity.

They added shortcuts which is a start, but it doesn't support the ASSIGN command so if you have a large set of shortcuts contained in a script file rebuilding those in the manual modal input dialogs will take a long time (also you can't edit them, only delete)

 

The latest update I decided to give it another try and it was very disappointing. The performance is still unusable. Opening one of my medium sized boards even mouse movement felt heavy and lagging. It seemed like it was rendering at 2 frames a second (High end Macbook i9, 64GB ram, 8600M graphics).

Just side by side with Eagle 9.6.2 it is VERY slow (and Eagle 9.6.2 is very slow compared to 8.7).

 

Fusion also has a lot of graphical bugs. On Mac if you use 2 displays a lot of times the browser or other menu elements show up on the other screens, or not at all. Move it to another desktop and the browser stays on the other one or doesn't show a lot. A lot of times I have to close and reopen Fusion to clear graphics bugs, which uses up time I could be spending on work.

 

Overall it just isn't a professional tool and sadly I don't think it ever will be.

Allowing local file/folder usage, fixing their terrible library management, and fixing their buggy/unstable release practices would go a long way though.

Best Regards,
Cameron


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