How to start with Fusion 360?

Starting to learn any program can be a bit of a challenge and it doesn't matter if you are considered as a newbie or even an experience. Although this article talks specifically how to start with Fusion 360, the mindset also applies to other software as well. I'm explaining (in short) the challenges and how to approach any new system you are facing in order to speed up the process of learning a new program and to have fun at the same time!

A short story first:

A friend of mine took private Piano lessons. After a year, the teacher told him that he cannot teach him anymore.
My friend was surprised and asked the teacher why he cannot teach him anymore? The teacher answeres “You learned in one year what normally takes my other students to learn in 3 years”

Why I’m telling you this story? You should remember, just because my friend is very talented because in one year he learned a lot – He didn’t skip any step!

The following checklist is for both complete newbies and previous 3D software users/professionals.
If you have experience from a previous 3D design software, it could help you or it could work against you.
As an experienced user, you are adopted and used to another set of a design workflow, techniques, tools, and mindset.
Although the end goal of most 3D design software is the same, the journey can be very different.
Some would say “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks“, but I believe you can. It depends on the person’s willingness to try and learn new things.

Which is why you must recognize your habits from the previous 3D software, put them aside and be open-minded to learn something new. If not, your experience with Fusion 360 could be very frustrating.

Starting points in chronological order. Do Not skip a step!:

  1. Familiarized yourself with the Interface. – Introduction to Fusion 360 Interface
  2. What are “Projects” and how to use them? – Projects
  3. In Fusion 360 there are 2 modeling modes – Direct vs. Parametric (History-Based) modeling
  4. Construction Planes – There are many types of Contraction Planes. Start with the most commonly used;
    Offset plane, Plane at angle, Midplane, Plane along path – All Planes
  5. This is extremely important to remember – Fusion 360 R.U.L.E #1
  6. How to start a sketch on a plane or face
  7. Learn about the various sketch tools and how to use them correctly – Use sketch tools
  8. This is basic and very important, How to use Dimensions and Constraints – Dimensions and Constraints
  9. Learn how and when to use each type of – Sketch Project tool (a new video is coming soon)
  10. Start a solid body with sketch features
  11. How to work with Surfaces – Use surfaces
  12. How to Render – Render designs
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