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Allow "save as" to local hard drive when design has linked components.

Allow "save as" to local hard drive when design has linked components.

I am a maker who likes to share 3D printed designs as open source projects on either Thingiverse or GitHub. Typically I would save a project.f3d file to my hard drive and then upload it to one of these sharing services. However as you are aware if the design has linked components this is not possible. I tried unlinking the components but if you have linked components which themselves are linked then you have to unlink everything and often you get reference errors. An unlinked part is considered a different part entirely from its linked version so if there are projections or other references they say that the projection is lost or perhaps the sketch plane needs to be redefined. Also once you have unlinked a component there is no way to relink it which is understandable but it makes this unlinking just to save a project a permanent decision.


I discovered a lengthy workaround which I have described in the following blog post.


The end result is a project.f3z that contains all the components properly linked as in the original. This file can then be shared and used by other Fusion 360 users.


The whole process is much more complicated than necessary. We ought to be able to create a f3z file directly locally without having to go through so many steps including email of the links.


On the other end when one of my fans wants to install one of these files once I've created and shared it, the process of opening that file is somewhat less than intuitive. We ought to be able to associate f3z files with the Fusion 360 program so that simply double-clicking on the file would open it. There could be a prompt asking do I want to import it into an existing project or create a new project.


Somehow "Upload" doesn't sound like the thing I want to do when what I really want to do is "Import". It's a non-obvious piece of terminology.


This entire process is unnecessarily complicated, obscure, undocumented except by my blog, and in many places counterintuitive. Surely we can do better.

1 Comment

This sounds similar to the pack & go function in Solidworks. It is a key functionality when you would like to share an assembly with many people but NOT collaborate on the project after that point, e.g. sharing an assembly that people can use and modify however they would like. That is the foundation of open source projects. 


I would also like to see this implemented.

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