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Evaluating F360 as viable all-in-one software for product design

7 REPLIES 7
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Message 1 of 8
codyQ88PF
373 Views, 7 Replies

Evaluating F360 as viable all-in-one software for product design

Hi,

 

I'm interested in potentially using Fusion 360 as my sole software for electronic product design. I'm familiar with using it for 3D and mechanical design, but would like to see if it would work for me for ECAD as well. 

 

Unfortunately, the 2-layer PCB limitation of the free version will not work for me as I need to design a 4-layer board. As I'm in the early stages of developing the product and company (prototyping, no revenue) I cannot justify purchasing a pro license when my existing ECAD will get the job done. 

 

I know the free trial exists but I'm not willing to spend a month of development time using software I may not ultimately end up using.

 

My question is, is there anyway to use and evaluate F360 without the 2-layer PCB limitation and without purchasing a pro license while I'm only in the early startup stages? 

 

Thanks.

 

ps. I asked this question to the Autodesk support and was told to post it in the forum. 

7 REPLIES 7
Message 2 of 8
TrippyLighting
in reply to: codyQ88PF

Are you using the free license to develop a commercial product?

There is (or at least was) a startup license available that should not have this 2-layer limitation.

Have you applied for it?

 

What is your current ECAD software?

If it works well for your purposes, do you really need that tight bi-directional integration ?

 

Peter Doering
Message 3 of 8
codyQ88PF
in reply to: TrippyLighting

I'm not currently using it to develop a commercial product, but I would like to use the free license to develop the prototype of a potential commercial product. The terms of use allow it to be used as long as you're generating less than $1000 annual revenue, which certainly describes where I'll be for a good long while. At this point it's really just to see if it's viable as a product. If/when I pass that revenue mark I'd happily purchase a pro license.

My current ECAD is Kicad, and in the past, professionally, I have developed many products using Kicad for schematic capture and pcb layout, and Fusion 360 (pro licensed) for the enclosure design. But there's always issues going back and forth between the different software, and it can be time consuming and error prone. I know Fusion 360 is working to solve this problem by integrating it all under one roof, which sounds like it'd be perfect, although I was not impressed by the Electronics integration the last time I used it. Granted, that was about 2 years ago and I'm sure it has improved at this point. It's worth looking into for me anyway.

I have not applied for the startup license as it seems like it's aimed at companies that are much further along than I currently am. It asks for a company website, asks to list your investors etc. I'm just a guy trying to make a product that I quite possibly won't sell many of anyway! The Personal version would be just fine for where I'm at if it wasn't for the 2-layer limitation. If I could use it for a 4-layer pcb then I could develop my prototype, and hopefully turn into a pro-license paying customer if it works out.

Message 4 of 8
TrippyLighting
in reply to: codyQ88PF

I don't think there is any other way around the 2-layer restriction than a paid subscription.

 

Edit: I posted a link to this thread on the Fusion 360 Slack channel (open of Autodesk Emploees and EE's ). This 2 layer limitation is at least 10 years old and was taken over straight from Eagle. In that period of time the face of what hobbyists do with Electronics has drastically changed.

It might be time to re-evaluate that limitation and increase the number of layers to 4.

Peter Doering
Message 5 of 8
codyQ88PF
in reply to: TrippyLighting

No sense in going any further with Fusion 360 Electronics for me at this point then. I'll stick to Kicad. It's a shame as it looks really promising but the 2-layer limitation is much too restrictive IMO. Appreciate your replies.
Message 6 of 8
Phil.E
in reply to: codyQ88PF

Please consider a startup license, in my opinion you are in the target demographic for that program.





Phil Eichmiller
Software Engineer
Quality Assurance
Autodesk, Inc.


Message 7 of 8
codyQ88PF
in reply to: Phil.E

Thanks for chiming in Phil.

When I looked into it I got the impression I wasn't at a level required for it, as it requires a company website/social media, information about organizations backing you, etc. I don't even have an official company name at this point, just looking to prototype an idea and go from there. I'll look into applying though if you feel I meet the criteria.

Thanks.

Message 8 of 8
Phil.E
in reply to: codyQ88PF

Yes, I'm just going on your own description of having a product idea and company idea, as stated above. If you can translate that into a successful application I think it would be fitting.





Phil Eichmiller
Software Engineer
Quality Assurance
Autodesk, Inc.


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