If you own or work in a job shop with CAM software whose maintenance is expensive, and getting pricier, you should consider Fusion 360. It may be able to replace some or all of your current CAD/CAM systems in use. Where it makes sense in your workflow, implement Fusion 360 for a solution that is both powerful yet affordable. Below are some reasons why: (Click here to go to the Fusion Black Friday buy page)
(1) It’s on sale from Black Friday through Cyber Monday (Nov 25-28, 2016). You can get a two year subscription for 80% off the normal retail price. That works out to $120 for a two year subscription, or basically the cost of one fancy latte per month. Sorry, offer available in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Ireland only.
(2) Adaptive Clearing, others have tried to duplicate it, but no one has equaled this HSM roughing algorithm. You can run the max material removal rate all the time, as the chip load is constant. This allows for fast roughing, and extends the life of your tooling. Watch this video for more information on Adaptive Clearing.
(3) Translators for popular CAD systems are included. Job shops get data from many different CAD design systems. Where other CAM systems charge extra for direct translators, they are included with Fusion 360. Besides direct translators, neutral file formats are also supported. Look at it this way, you can get a full CAD/CAM system for your shop for less than other companies charge for translators.
(4) Automatic re-roughing. You can rough with a larger tool, and go back with a smaller tool only where it is needed. This uses a digital stock model to track what has been milled and what has not. This stock model can also be used with finishing cutter paths. This saves you time and trouble, and eases your programming burden. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out.
(5) Holder collision avoidance. Make sure your tool holder never hits the part again, because the tool is too short for the part. Include the holder in your calculations and Fusion 360 will automatically avoid collisions between the tool holder and the part. Works in roughing and finishing, not all systems do.
(6) Direct editing. Load in a solid model, and edit the solid directly, pushing/pulling and editing faces. This can literally save you hours when implementing design changes over the limited CAD functions found in other systems. See a video on direct editing below.
(7) Post processor library, generic posts can be found here, absolutely free. Need a post customized? This can be done several different ways, you can customize it yourself or pay a partner to do it for you.
(8) Mac and PC compatible. The Fusion 360 program runs on both PC and Mac hardware. System requirements can be found here. Unlike other software license agreements with odd licensing or keys, you can install Fusion 360 on as many computers as you like, and simply log in to use it.
(9) Collaborate with others using the Android or iOS app, this can be done is real time, as well as traditionally. Read what SolidSmack said about the collaboration tools in Fusion 360.
(10) Free online learning. From Autodesk training, youtube videos, regular webinars, meetups and other events, you are never far from some help. If you want specific CNC CAM training, check out Titans of CNC and their training academy.
Tons of extras. Fusion 360 not only has CAD and CAM functionality, but also includes T-Splines, analysis, simulation and rendering. All this for the Cyber Monday price of $120 for two years.