PowerMill Forum
Welcome to Autodesk’s PowerMill Forums. Share your knowledge, ask questions, and explore popular PowerMill topics.
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Fusion 360 with PowerMill Ultimate

Message 1 of 33
7568 Views, 32 Replies

Fusion 360 with PowerMill Ultimate

I just received an email saying powermill will change on 9/14 to be 'Fusion 360 with PowerMill Ultimate'.


What does this mean? Will I still be able to keep powermill separate from fusion360? Will i still be able to run fusion360 on another computer as I do now? Did autodesk get rid of the ribbon and go back to customizable toolbars???


If I have one license of powermill, can I assign a user to powermill and another user to fusion 360?

the numbers never lie
Message 21 of 33
in reply to: clinton.perry

@clinton.perry wrote:

(paranoia is what we do best) 😁

for real :hundred_points:

the numbers never lie
Message 22 of 33
in reply to: clinton.perry

@clinton.perry  so if I understand your graphic, our one seat of Powershape standard will be more expensive.  Can you link to what added functionality we might see?


Also, As someone that has been using this stuff since Duct, how does Fusion 360 help me?  It just seems so different, and I've been immersed in the Powershape / Powermill world for so long. Its like telling an Eskimo he now has free access to an air conditioner.  Maybe some webinars or videos on how to fit Fusion 360 into your existing workflow?  





Message 23 of 33
in reply to: stdpattern

Hi @stdpattern


Yes, as part of these packaging changes, pretty much every user of PowerMill, PowerShape, and PowerInspect will see an increase in functionality. Most users will not see an increase in price (in fact, a huge number will see a substantial reduction). As you have spotted, PowerShape Standard users will be migrated to the new "Fusion 360 with PowerShape" option which will incur a small increase in the cost of a subscription. 

I've been fortunate to see a sneak preview of Rob Walker's session at this week's Advanced Manufacturing Summit. This is titled "Cross Product Workflows for Advanced Manufacturing" and, as the name suggests, covers a number of example scenarios and explains how Fusion 360 can be used alongside PowerMill, PowerShape, PowerInspect and FeatureCAM. I'd strongly recommend that you register to attend this event (it's scheduled to start at 12pm (BST) on 27th Aug). Note that the sessions will be recorded so you'll be able to watch them on catch up if you can't attend the LIVE broadcast. In addition to the focused workflows that Rob will be covering, I can list a few Fusion 360 strengths that add real value to a PowerShape user, including:

  • All of Fusion 360's core CAM capabilities (useful for those using PowerShape without PowerMill) including many functions (such as water-jet, laser and plasma cutting that aren't available in PowerMill).
  • All of Fusion 360's core CAD modelling tools (freeform sculpting, parametric modelling, direct modelling, surface modelling, mesh modelling, and sheet metal)
  • Advanced cloud-based data management and team collaboration tools
  • 3D printing capabilities for a range of different platforms (including powder-bed, DED and more)
  • Powerful FEA tools for stress/thermal analysis and event simulation, including advanced mechanical/structural loading combined with different loads/materials, to determine product performance and identify different failure modes.
  • Pay-as-you-need-it access to generative design (including the most recent updates that allows users to choose to produce designs that are more appropriate for 2D CNC machining and still provide substantial weight savings).
  • Pay-as-you-need-it access to cloud-based photo-realistic rendering (with more advanced shading options than those offered inside PowerShape) 
  • Access to "AnyCAD" to allow you to use solid modelling routines on native CAD files from other design systems and have the ability to maintain an associative link to the original CAD file (so any changes to the original design are automatically merged with, and cascaded through, your Fusion 360 session for hyper-fast revision updates)
  • eCAD tools for those wanting to design and make PCB (including tools to optimize the design to avoid thermal issues)
  • More advanced associative solid modelling
  • Powerful constraint-based sketching
  • Enhanced design history (including direct modelling routines)
  • Better collaboration using cloud-based tools

While PowerShape and Fusion 360 do have some similarities (they both create 3D CAD models after all) there are some substantial differences too. I like to think of PowerShape as the #1 specialist tool for importing CAD models and preparing them for manufacture. While Fusion 360 may not have some of the wonderful functions offered by PowerShape, it does provide a wealth of other functions that can have an even bigger impact on your daily work. You can learn more about Fusion 360 by visiting

One final comment - I'm already in discussions with some of my Autodesk colleagues to produce more example workflows that can show the value that Fusion 360 offers existing users of PowerMill, PowerShape etc. - so watch this space!




Message 24 of 33

We would LOVE to take advantage to those seats of Fusion360. But as long as our data goes up to the cloud, we can't use it for ANYTHING. 

ITAR and other NDAs we sign.



Message 25 of 33

@smackayPFSC4  - yep we're aware of the ITAR restrictions and are actively exploring various solutions. I spent many years working on a project that was entangled with ITAR rules and regulations, so I know how tough they can be. We know there's a significant number of our PowerXXXXX users who are impacted by ITAR - so totally understand the importance of making Fusion 360 ITAR compliant so you guys can start to take advantage of some of the cool tech that it offers.

Message 26 of 33
in reply to: clinton.perry

Well, after installing and playing with Fusion 360 for about an hour, I can see it would be a long time before I could make use of that.  The interface is so completely different than Powershape and Powermill, yikes! I am sure it's a lot of old dog new tricks, but I was not able to do much of anything.  I guess I'll have to see if I can watch some of the videos, but for now, I won't be using it.


The fun thing is that we currently have crappy internet, so at first this morning I could not even run the program because the internet was out.  Yay!


some of the modeling features look nice, but that's about it.  I'll probably just stick with Powershape.



Message 27 of 33
in reply to: stdpattern

Thanks for the feedback @stdpattern.


It's certainly early days in the journey for Fusion 360 (both in terms of the GUI and its capabilities) but I predict it will expand and improve rapidly in the coming months/years.


This might be a bit of a stretch (so humour me for a sec) but I see parallels between Fusion 360 and Tesla. When the first Tesla cars were released, the uptake mostly consisted of early adopters who were excited and inspired by the technology. These guys weren't unduly put off by the short-fallings in the early cars (range anxiety, price, infrastructure, supply delays etc) and decided to invest in something with a future that aligned with their own thoughts and ideals. Roll forward to today (only a few years later) and retail prices have come down, distance-per-electric-charge is steadily increasing, and the mass car makers of the world are playing catch-up to offer their own electric/hybrid cars. More and more of the masses (myself included) are now seeing electric cars as a serious contender.


OK, so this is a bit of a stretch but you hopefully see the point. For many years, CAD/CAM/CAE software has evolved at a pretty steady/slow/predictable pace with the occasional big improvement. With Fusion 360, I see this changing and doing so at an accelerating pace - with truly disruptive technology emerging that can and will change the things we make and how we design and make them. 

I'm expecting Fusion 360 to evolve rapidly and would encourage you (if you have the time) to engage with the community of Fusion 360 users and developers to share your views and help shape its development.

(BTW: a subscription to Fusion 360 is a LOT cheaper than a Tesla 😉)

Message 28 of 33

@clinton.perry wrote:

(BTW: a subscription to Fusion 360 is a LOT cheaper than a Tesla 😉)

Yes, but the Fusion 360 subscription won't drive me to work.

I do agree with you in the evolution of MCAD. But, I think I can speak for many here, I just wish we've seen some of those advancements put in to PowerShape, that we've been paying for. I do believe PowerShape development is pretty much dead. We haven't seen new features in 3 years. If you guys can make Fusion360 ITAR compliant, I think a few of us will quite whining about the lack of PowerShape development.


Message 29 of 33

That's true @smackayPFSC4  - it's not the best means of transport 😁


I was chatting with the team looking into the ITAR issue yesterday. We have identified a number of viable solutions to this and are now working to find the best way to make this available for our customers. I don't have any timescales right now but I wanted to reassure you that we're taking this very seriously and are determined to offer a solution ASAP. As ever, we'll be sure to update our user base once we have more news. 



Message 30 of 33
in reply to: clinton.perry

If you haven't noticed, Fusion 360 was making "ground breaking" leaps and new features that were game changing... after Autodesk acquired Delcam and started dumping all the already existing features of Powermill into Fusion. There's not much "new" development in Fusion at all, just figuring out how to make Powermill features work in Fusion.

Message 31 of 33
in reply to: CKCNC

I agree with this. A lot of things are becoming cloud-based now. 

Message 32 of 33

Any update on this?

Message 33 of 33
in reply to: smackayPFSC4

Quick mention of a Feedback Hub thread about Fusion 360 and ITAR Compliance. 

Share your thoughts in a brief survey. 


Fusion 360 and ITAR Compliance


Thank you!

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask the community or share your knowledge.

Post to forums  

Technology Administrators

Autodesk Design & Make Report