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IndustryArena Forum > CAD Software > Autodesk > continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...
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  1. #1

    continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    been quite some time since i posted in CNCzone... personal issues, and general life been getting in the way...

    anyway, i fired up Fusion 360, only to find things have changed... my choices are to continue as a hobbyist, and be limited, or shell out $60 per month for the full version.

    this is mainly a hobby, but i want to not be limited in what i can learn how to do, with Fusion 360, and my CNC woodworking router (running LinuxCNC). in the past, i have done very limited tasks for my actual job (carpenter/home building, remodeling/cabinet maker), but i hope to expand that. i want to be able to make some 2D/3D signs, engrave designs into cabinet doors, cut parts for wood projects, and so forth. at some point, i plan to add a powerful laser to my spindle carrier, and do burned engravings (non-raster, just 2D, single strength burns).

    my machine functions, but still needs to be completed, so i have not yet done much with it, so it may be a while yet to make much production runs.
    in the mean time, i could renew the hobbyist license (tried twice, but won't activate... maybe not on Sunday), or i could shell out $60/per month, just to have a fully-functioning application, so my learning is not limited (i don't like having limitations). can i do the above mentioned tasks under the hobbyist license? just afraid to commit to $60 per month, unless i know not doing it will limit my intended tasks.

    ~Travis
    Techno Isel Gantry III (?) base machine. EMC/LinuxCNC controller.
    about 48 X 48 X 5 inch working, Makita RF1101

  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    I'd buy V Carve Pro. Imo, it's better suited to what you want to do.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #3

    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    Thanks Gerry, i looked over the website, and will download a free trial later. see how i like it.

    ~Travis
    Techno Isel Gantry III (?) base machine. EMC/LinuxCNC controller.
    about 48 X 48 X 5 inch working, Makita RF1101

  4. #4
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    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    It is more easy to use , after u learn it a little .
    U can try aspire , it has all u need like engraving , v carving , 3d , rotary axis .

  5. #5
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    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    Hi,
    I eventually decided to take up one of the special offers from Autodesk for a Fusion 360 subscription.

    I personally dislike subscription software but 'bang for your buck' Fusion 360 is the best on the market by my estimation,
    at least for engineering parts. V-Carve has a strong following when making decorative parts.

    I make extensive use of the electronics design and increasingly, the simulation modules of Fusion.
    I use Fusion 360 in my workday most days....which rather helps justify the cost.

    Craig

  6. #6

    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    Greetings! VCarve Pro is sort of the "standard" for the router work you are looking to do.

    Vcarve does have a laser module add on for $49 USD, but it does not specifically support linuxcnc. I've used VCarve for several years as a primary tool for creating G Code for routers and mills with good results. The mills have been driven with Mach3, Mach4, and linuxcnc controllers at various times. Playing with CNC is sort of a hobby for me. When I had a clock restoration business my goal was to have at least one machine I could just fire up and let it make the part needed. If the G Code is vanilla enough one of the post processors may produce code that will work, but I have NOT tested this, purely speculating.

    I liked Fusion too, but not enough to play subscription games, I don't like it enough to pay $720/yr to have it. I'm fooling with Freecad, but it just feels a bit ungainly, it isn't as polished as Fusion360. I'm also going to play with Alibre Atom just to see if it might be better than Freecad and good enough to really use for my limited needs. Free trial for HSM folks is supposed to be good for 6 rather than 1 month, think you just ass a /hsm after the alibre.com. If not, google is your overlord, dogpile is your friend :-) At the end of the day though, the sign makers and v carvers of the world seem to congregate around the Vectric software, be it VCarve or Aspire.

    Good luck finding a tool chain that you like and that works well for you.

  7. #7
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    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    I can understand wanting to get away from the new and "improved" conditions attached to Fusion.Having experimented a bit with a Vcarve installation I wouldn't hand over money for it.The toolpath side is super rapid and has lots of useful features but the CAD side is odd and far from intuitive and Vectric have their own vocabulary to cover most things.

    For zero outlay you can download Freecad,which has a postprocessor for LinuxCNC,which I use myself.It isn't too well documented as the developers seem to move on to the next challenge as soon as a new feature works without leaving too much of an information trail for we mere mortals.There is a lot of information to be had from youtube videos although they very in quality and usefulness.Some take an hour to convey ten minutes of useful stuff and some-in particular those from sliptonic and JOKO engineering are wonderful.If you have become comfortable with parametric CAD and a package that regenerates a revised toolpath as soon as you modify a feature,you will appreciate the power os the package.It comes in several flavours and if you run LinuxCNC there is a choice of standard package,daily updated version or appimage-which gains features and bugfixes several times each day.

    If you want to know true exasperation,try modifying a design in Vcarve with all the attendant switching to "vector edit mode", cutting vectors,adjusting things,verifying the integrity of new vectors and then re-calculating toolpaths which you can then simulate with a resolution that even at it's highest would have been mediocre in the nineties.Sorry Vcarve fans I suspect the package has just enough capability to persuade you that shelling out a bit more for Aspire is a good idea.

  8. #8
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    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    I don't like it enough to pay $720/yr to have it.
    Wait for promotion price ... I paid promotion price cheap enough for 3 years. You will need fusion 360 for engineering purpose. vectric is not for engineering, it is more for art. Its powerful enough, the cam side has post processor already, no headache. fusion 360 is always updated, no headache for update installation since fusion 360 is cloud base.

  9. #9
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    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    Hi,
    I agree with asuratman, I paid $375NZD (including local sales tax) for a one year subscription, that's only $243USD.

    For that you get:
    1) CAD, not the worlds best CAD but pretty damn good, I'd give it 8/10
    2) CAM, not the worlds best CAM but pretty damn good, I'd give it 7/10
    3) Electronics and PCB design, including schematic capture, Spice simulator, PCB drafting with Autorouter, 3D PCB visualisation, again not the worlds best
    electronics design suite but pretty damn good, I'd give it 8/10
    4) Simulation, including Static Stress, Modal Frequencies, Thermal and Thermal Stress using NASTRAN, a very capable industry standard solver.
    Not the worlds best Simulation package but pretty damn good, I'd give it 7/10
    5)Generative Design, not the worlds best assembly/design package but pretty damn good, I'd give it 7/10.

    All of these are combined into one software solution and you can traverse from sketch through solid model, to assembled components with simulations
    without having to integrate different solutions from different software manufacturers.

    There are a number of CAD/CAM solutions out there ranging from free or nearly so to mid-priced perpetual licensed solutions like VCarve and rather more
    expensive professional solutions by the same manufacturer like Aspire, to the full on Inventor/Solidworks/Mastercam solutions all worth tens of thousands.

    I'm not going to suggest that Fusion 360 is better than any of them but 'bang for your buck' Fusion 360 beats them all. I love Mastercam for instance, but at
    $20,000 plus annual fees, it just can't compete with Fusion 360.

    I dislike subscription software but Fusion 360 is a very compelling case for it.

    Craig

  10. #10
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: continue Fusion 360 as Hobbyist, or upgrade to full... conundrum...

    From the OP
    i want to be able to make some 2D/3D signs, engrave designs into cabinet doors,
    V Carve excels at these tasks, and Fusion 360 lags far behind.

    There's no perfect software for all applications.

    I'm a Fusion 360 subscriber.
    I'm also an Aspire user.
    I'm also a long time AutoCAD user, and have a license at work that I can use at home.
    I use a handful of other prgrqams for various things as well.

    I use Fusion for modeling assemblies.
    I use Aspire for V Carving, relief carving, and sign type work.
    If I'm cutting wood parts from sheet materials, I draw the parts in AutoCAD, and export g-code with a custom macro I wrote. For the work I do, Fusion is too slow to go from start to g-code.
    I'm not a fan of the CAD in Vectric products, mainly because I've used AutoCAD every day for 20 years. But the drawing tools in Vectric products is constantly getting better. Many people are very proficient with it.

    I always use the best tool for the job, to get the best results in the least amount of time.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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