Many people have the perception of Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Inventor as complete separate solutions, for complete separate uses. They think of Inventor as the go-to design package for concept stage of any designs and Fusion 360 as a backing software in case Inventor stops working…
Both Inventor and Fusion have benefits for using either product, I would look at Inventor as a Software Product to carry out certain tasks, while I would look at Fusion 360 as a Platform that has many functions that ties the whole design process into one seamless package.
Most organisations use a known software and have no desire to change or to even look to see what’s out there and use the “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” attitude. If the product you are currently using works for you, why waste time in looking for an alternative solution! In most cases I occasionally find through customer conversations that users of Autodesk Product Design and Manufacturing Collection (PDMC) are not even aware that they have both Inventor and Fusion 360 included in the collection as well as many other software’s. Working in demanding industries where everything needs to be done yesterday, managers don’t want users to waste time investigating and exploring what’s actually included with their purchase and just install and use the products that they have been trained up in. They have had no need or possibly time to look at what else you get. It really is worth taking time to discover their combined benefits.
So, what are the benefits of combining Inventor and Fusion 360, and how do they connect? Inventor and Fusion both have different benefits, designing in Inventor and pushing your designs into Fusion 360 to benefit from other environments, such as CAM, Rendering, PCB design, simulation, 3D printing, ect, has never been easier. Inventor has now a new ribbon menu that has the option to push designs straight to Fusion 360, meaning that if you make an update to an Inventor part, it will automatically update in Fusion 360.
For many years, Inventor has been the tool of choice for product designers and engineers. It has all the functionality that can accommodate the user to think up and create 3D models, huge array of manipulation, automation, and smart functions to help speed up designs and processes. Fusion 360 has been muscling its way into the forefront and is now considered the designing.
Having come to market mid-2013, in which Inventor had been around for almost 15 years, Fusion 360’s function is widely regarded as more of a conceptual tool than Inventor. Taking models and organically shaping them with the use of AI. Fusion 360 has been constantly taking areas of other Autodesk products and adding them slowly into its product. Almost 10 years on, Fusion is a contender to any CAD and CAM package out there. Its functionality includes, 3D design, mesh, surface, t-spline, PCB, generative design, rendering, animation, simulations turning and 3,4,5 axis milling, crash detection, nesting, probe inspection and 3D printing, all in the one platform, meaning any updates to the actual model, will update across in all other environments, making life so much easier and controlled.
You will find yourself going down rabbit holes trying to compare both Inventor and Fusion 360 with google searches, I’m here to tell you that using the two in a complementary fashion is best. They do not mutually exclude each other, they complement each other. When it comes to simulation, Fusion offers a wide range of different kinds of simulations. The great thing about this is that when you encounter a problem in Inventor, you can simply push the model to Fusion utilising the Inventor Fusion ribbon menu and explore the issue automatically in Fusion 360 and find out where the problem lies.
Using Inventor and Fusion 360 side by side, helps you create a better design workflow where nothing has been overlooked. The approach will enable you to reveal greater potential in your designs than you may have known existed. If you want to bring out the best of both Fusion 360 & Inventor, you may look at investing in the PDMC that Autodesk have to offer.
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