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Users Guide for Fusion360 Electronics

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Message 1 of 16
maustinQZ9FZ
2369 Views, 15 Replies

Users Guide for Fusion360 Electronics

Can anyone direct me to a good online resource for getting info on "how to do this..." in Fusion360 Electronics?

I'm a long term Eagle user, and have just transitioned across to Fusion360 and its like trying to learn how to walk again.  I can see there are lots of YouTube videos, but I don't have hours, and hours, and hours, and hours to sit down watching YouTube videos to fill in all the little gaps I currently have.

 

When I first started using Eagle, it was easy to just Google "How to ??? in EaglePCB" and someone would have written (not video'd) a simple instruction.  I could read and digest that in 2 mins, then be on my way until I got stuck at the next hurdle.  There doesn't seem to be anything similar for Fusion360 Electronics.

 

Specifically, things I'm struggling with are:

1. Where are all my files actually being kept?  And how do I ensure that if I want them reliably backed up on my company server, that is actually happening?

2. How do I convert my old Eagle PCB library (or libraries) into a Fusion360 compatibable version and how do I ensure other people in my organisation can access them (used to just store the .lib file on a shared directory we could all access easily)

3.  Is there a respository of .STEP 3D model files that I can use for new components I create?

4.  There seems to be about 65 steps to take in order to ensure any change you make to a library component actually ends up in your design, with it looking like you need to keep swapping from your application to Fusion360 online and doing updates here and there and everywhere before you can be assured that your part has updated in the library, and that the instance of it on your design is also up-to-date.  Is there a step-by-step set of instructions to show how this is all supposed to work?

 

I'll no doubt have a bunch more questions I'll be confronted with as I progress a bit further, hence why I want an online resource I can readily access.  The raft of YouTube videos on the Autodesk Youtube channel aren't very intuitively organised by topic, and typically I have to spend 5-20mins watching a video to get the one bit of info I need (or not, as the case may be)

 

Feeling pretty frustrated 😞

 

Cheers,

Mike

15 REPLIES 15
Message 2 of 16
CatrinHughes
in reply to: maustinQZ9FZ

Hi,

Sorry to hear you've found it difficult to find the learning resources you need for Electronics.

Have you tried the Fusion 360 online documentation, which has a section for electronics: https://help.autodesk.com/view/fusion360/ENU/?guid=ECD-OVERVIEW

 

The online documentation contains a mix of written and video content, and it starts by highlighting some of the key differences you'll notice if you're switching from EAGLE.

I'll pass on your specific questions to the team who worked on the Electronics content, who may be able to help more with your specific questions.

Catrin


Catrin Hughes
Content Design Mgr - Fusion 360
Message 3 of 16
josh.dagg
in reply to: maustinQZ9FZ

Hi Mike,

 

Here are a few direct links to the Fusion 360 help that should answer your questions and hopefully ease your frustration:

 

Access Fusion 360 Product Documentation

  • In the upper-right corner of Fusion 360, click ? > Learning and Documentation > Product Documentation.

We will look into calling better attention to the Fusion 360 topics that are most useful for EAGLE users using Fusion 360 for the first time.

 

Thank you for reaching out,

Josh K. Dagg

 

[edited to add blog link]


Josh K. Dagg
Content Design Manager - Fusion 360
Fusion 360 | Learn & Support
Documentation | Contact Support
Message 4 of 16
maustinQZ9FZ
in reply to: josh.dagg

Hi,

Thanks for the feedback. The online help section did assist with a few of
my frustrations, but I'm still really struggling with the transition from
Eagle libraries to Fusion360 Electronics libraries. Simple things I used to
be able to do easily are seemingly impossible to get working, and I've no
real idea what the workflow should be to get it to run smoothly.

This is what I'm trying to do:

1. Utilise my existing Eagle library that has all my custom parts
(devices, symbols and footprints) in Fusion360, and enable any updates that
are made to this library to be available for any work colleagues that have
been using that library in the past
2. Add 3D STEP models to those parts so I can start utilising the 3D
functionality of Fusion360

I would have thought there would be a well documented process that I could
follow to do this, but if there is, its not easy to find.

I've managed to download a bunch of .STEP files for some of my components,
but in order to get these associated with a part in my library seems messy,
convoluted and error prone. Can someone please explain, in simple steps,
how I associate an existing .STEP model (which isn't currently stored within
the librtary) with an existing footprint (which is stored in the library).

Thanks,

Mike
Message 5 of 16
puresoft
in reply to: maustinQZ9FZ

Mike,

 

I agree the library usage is not intuitive, imagine what it is like for someone with no prior EAGLE experience! It seems so convoluted to get the 3D parts added.

 

I made a Screencast of my process of importing EAGLE libraries from the likes of Mouser at the below link, in it I also show how I'm linking to library.io and then updating 3D models, but I'm unsure about whether we need library.io or should just use teams locally now - the relevant content would probably be about 2 min in for just the 3D STEP import. I also end up replacing the STEP model twice as the first model I get isn't much more than a box model, the second model is much better.

 

I would really like to see a good video tutorial from the guys at Autodesk showing how to use the current library fetaures and how you can import files from legacy EAGLE, 3rd party suppliers (distributors such as Mouser Digi-Key etc), difference between Teams and Library.io usage and then also building your own.

 

I would like to see some major development in the streamlining and simplification of the library with 3D models. At the moment I think the barrier is way too high for anyone new to Fusion Electronics. In reality the included libraries only have limited 3D models available and almost every user is going to have to go hunting for parts from 3rd party and add the 3D models themselves (never mind the added learning curve of wanting to make your own from scratch, and in any case you still need the 3D models).

 

Phil

 
Message 6 of 16
puresoft
in reply to: maustinQZ9FZ

Mike,

 

I agree the library usage is not intuitive, imagine what it is like for someone with no prior EAGLE experience! It seems so convoluted to get the 3D parts added.

 

I made a Screencast of my process of importing EAGLE libraries from the likes of Mouser at the below link, in it I also show how I'm linking to library.io and then updating 3D models, but I'm unsure about whether we need library.io or should just use teams locally now - the relevant content would probably be about 2 min in for just the 3D STEP import https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencast/db2b6801-e00c-4fb1-b565-498374cbf6a6. I also end up replacing the STEP model twice as the first model I get isn't much more than a box model, the second model is much better.

 

I would really like to see a good video tutorial from the guys at Autodesk showing how to use the current library fetaures and how you can import files from legacy EAGLE, 3rd party suppliers (distributors such as Mouser Digi-Key etc), difference between Teams and Library.io usage and then also building your own.

 

I would like to see some major development in the streamlining and simplification of the library with 3D models. At the moment I think the barrier is way too high for anyone new to Fusion Electronics. In reality the included libraries only have limited 3D models available and almost every user is going to have to go hunting for parts from 3rd party and add the 3D models themselves (never mind the added learning curve of wanting to make your own from scratch, and in any case you still need the 3D models).

 

Phil

Message 7 of 16
ritste20
in reply to: maustinQZ9FZ

As far as adding 3D models to your library components here is my process. Right or wrong you can decide for yourself.

 

Starting from scratch from new component. Obviously, if you are editing library components that already exist, you can jump down in the list to start the process wherever you may need to.

 

  1. Put your imported step files in a segregated folder where you save them in an "as uploaded state".
  2. Create symbol, name pins and apply properties as needed.
  3. Create footprint from datasheet. You can import footprints from SnapEDA or Ultra Librarian etc. but I generally don't trust content like that. I prefer to just grab the 3D model and go from there.
  4. Right-click the footprint and "Create package from footprint".
  5. You have to save the file that just opened in the package editor first (I place in a directory above the imported folder to segregate the components because they are often named the same or very similar (can be confusing when there are 2 of everything), then navigate to your folder of imported geometry. Right-click and "Insert into Current Design"
  6. Move/Rotate/Position the 3D package to align to the footprint because this is how Fusion associates the 3D part on the 3D PCB. Z+ will be the direction coming up off the board and the footprint will essentially be the face of the PCB, depending on which side of the board you place components.
  7. Once you finish adjusting the placement of the 3D model, I right-click the component in the browser and break the link to the original file. This way if you have multiple versions of the same component in different colors for example you make those changes to the model and they stay localized to the open document.
  8. Click finish and say yes to add the package to the library.
  9. Back in the library editor, create a new device, place your symbol, assign reference designator, add local package, and add additional attributes as you see fit for MPN, Value, etc. Don't forget to connect your pins from the symbol to the footprint.
  10. Save your library and return to your schematic. Update your library from the library manager and you should find your new part ready for use.

Hope this helps,

 

Steve Ritter
Manufacturing Engineer

AutoCAD/Draftsight
Inventor/Solidworks
Fusion 360
Message 8 of 16
ritste20
in reply to: maustinQZ9FZ

For youtube content on Fusion 360 electronics, @jorge_garcia2 and @edwin.robledo have hosted several webinars that you can watch the recordings from and are excellent resources for exposing some of the less-known tips and tricks that make life easier in the transition from Eagle to Fusion.

 

I highly recommend putting time aside to watch them.

Steve Ritter
Manufacturing Engineer

AutoCAD/Draftsight
Inventor/Solidworks
Fusion 360
Message 9 of 16
puresoft
in reply to: ritste20

This was useful tip about creating 3D package from STP file https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7GFaCYed30

Message 10 of 16

Hi,

Thank you for contacting Autodesk. Your participation is appreciated.

"Thanks for the feedback. The online help section did assist with a few of
my frustrations, but I'm still really struggling with the transition from
Eagle libraries to Fusion360 Electronics libraries. Simple things I used to
be able to do easily are seemingly impossible to get working, and I've no
real idea what the workflow should be to get it to run smoothly."

 

We are updating our videos and documentation to provide these details very soon. 

 

"1. Utilise my existing Eagle library that has all my custom parts
(devices, symbols and footprints) in Fusion360, and enable any updates that
are made to this library to be available for any work colleagues that have
been using that library in the past"

 

In Fusion 360 data panel please create a brand new folder where you plan to store your libraries. I created a folder called 'libraries'. Then used the UPLOAD option and selected several of my libraries. 

upload-libraries.png

With the libraries uploaded, from that same folder, go to the PEOPLE option and add the emails of everyone you wish to share the library.  All of them must have a free Autodesk Account.

addusers.png

 Your colleagues will be able to see the libraries in the Data Panel if they have the option All Projects or Share with me option selected.

shared.png

 

"2. Add 3D STEP models to those parts so I can start utilizing the 3D
functionality of Fusion360"

I suggest that you create a Sub Folder in the Library folder and upload your STEP models as we did with the libraries. Now, open a library by double-clicking it in the Data Panel. Now your in Library editor mode. From the content panel select footprint. From the list of footprint, right-click one of the footprints and select the option "Create Package from Footprint" from the context menu.

EditPackage.png

   

Now you will be in the Package Editor, and will see your footprint represented by construction lines. From the uploaded STEP files you did earlier, drag in your STEP model and line it up as expected. You can also consider using the available Package Calculator to create your 3D model if its an IPC compliant component. We also include some non IPC compliant parts.

After lining up your 3D Model (STEP file), click on Finish then save. The component is now ready to be used.

2020-08-13_12-33-11.png

Please keep us informed of your progress. 

With Warm Regards,

Ed

 

Message 11 of 16

@erobledo3CA7F , @ritste20 , @josh.dagg  - cheers guys, that's really helped. You'd think AutoDesk might have put together something like this before they unleashed Fusion360 Electronics on us!  Libraries is such a critical component of efficient workflow that its pretty important to understand how it all works and to get it right from the get-go, otherwise you end up in a right royal mess....which is basically where I ended up, with the same library name as Local, Teams and Library.io and no real understanding of if/how they were linked and where they were stored and how to get rid of them!

 

I also had to get my head around the Project dashboard.  I find going into Fusion Teams a more familiar environment in terms of folders structures and where everything is stored.  Baby steps!

 

OK, still on the library issue, the next thing I'm trying to sort out is cleaning up the mess I've created in this whole process of trying to work out how everything operates.  It looks like Fusion360 is smart enough to find every variant of library you have stored either locally, in Fusion Teams (presumably as a result of having a design somewhere that uses a device from that library) or in Library.io.  So I have had to delete everything from Fusion Teams, Library.io and from Fusion360 so I don't have 5 different versions of my company library (see attached).  What I can't work out is how to get rid of these.  I've removed them from everywhere I can see, but they still seem to be popping up in the "Available" list in the Library Manager.  I'm not using them in my design, and I've no idea where the files are actually stored (another one of my frustrations with Fusion360 in that it 'hides' everything so you can't mentally link things together)

Any ideas?  I want to start with a clean slate so can't really progress with Fusion360 until I've undone the tangled mess I've created

 

Cheers,

Mike

 

 

 

maustinQZ9FZ_0-1597372240182.png

 

 

Message 12 of 16

The fact that these libraries still show up is the consequence of a known bug. You will need to remove your libraries.rc file. The location of this file is: 

Windows: %APPDATA%\..\Local\Autodesk\Autodesk Fusion 360\Electron\lbr\libraries.rc

Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Autodesk/Autodesk Fusion 360/Electron/lbr/libraries.rc 
 
Once you have done this, you can go into the library manager and re-add the library from there from the location you've chosen to store your library. 
 
We're working on ensuring this all works a lot smoother in the future and there will be no more need for manually removing files like this one :). 
 
Let me know if this worked out for you!
Pieter-Jan Van de Maele
Senior Engineering Manager, Fusion Electronics
Message 13 of 16

@Pieter.Jan.Van.de.Maele  - thanks, that fixed that issue!

 

Next library related question I have:

 

I've uploaded my old Eagle Library, with all my company approved components.  I can then add 3D models to those components and for new designs, have a 3D model of my design that I can share with the mechanical design guys who are working on the enclosure design.  Great!

 

What about old Eagle PCB designs that I bring into Fusion360.  As I understand it, all the devices in the schematic are linked to the old Eagle version of the library, and not the new "Managed" version in Fusion 360.  Is there someway I can get the old design files to link to the equivalent devices in the new library, so that I can have a 3D PCB for old designs without having to completely rebuild the schematic from scratch?

 

Cheers,

Mike

Message 14 of 16

Great to hear your first problem got solved. Let's take a look at your other question! Luckily, this should be relatively straightforward:

 

Say you have an existing design (sch+brd) and a library (lbr). Start by creating a new electronics design in Fusion and "Reference" your .sch and .brd file by selecting "from my computer". At this point your schematic and board files will be uploaded to Fusion Team and start their lives on the cloud. Next you need to deal with your library:

 

- If you were using a managed library (on library.io) you could start by going into the library manager and "Edit" the library. After saving, this library will also be uploaded to Fusion Team but will still maintain a link to library.io that can be synced using the push/pull options in the toolbar. This could be useful if you want to publish your library for sharing through managed folders (e.g. with team members that are still working on EAGLE). 

- If you were using a local library file (.lbr) simply choose the open > from my computer option and save the file to get it on Fusion Team.

 

Once you make changes to this library (for example adding the 3D models like you asked) and save you can propagate these changes to your design by going into the schematic and run the "UPDATE" command. Simply select the Fusion Team version of library from the list (the version number should correspond to the version after you saved). After hitting the "OK" button your changes should be reflected in your design. 

 

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you run into any issues with this!

Pieter-Jan Van de Maele
Senior Engineering Manager, Fusion Electronics
Message 15 of 16

@Pieter.Jan.Van.de.Maele  - thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!!

 

That all worked flawlessly.  Finally, I think I'm starting to get the hang of things and feel like I'm actually making some progress.

 

Beer o'clock here in Australia, so I'm logging off.  But thanks everyone for helping me through all of this.

Message 16 of 16

"- If you were using a managed library (on library.io) you could start by going into the library manager and "Edit" the library. After saving, this library will also be uploaded to Fusion Team but will still maintain a link to library.io that can be synced using the push/pull options in the toolbar. This could be useful if you want to publish your library for sharing through managed folders (e.g. with team members that are still working on EAGLE). "

 

Can you please explain what steps to take and what edits to make to a library? I have a schematic and board file both linked to a new design I created. From there I would like to create a component in a library to use in a future PCB design. What steps can I take to do this once I have the schematic and board linked?

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