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Fusion 360 Rule#1

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MikeWi

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#1
Rule #1 is an important concept, but I have to admit that this video went a little too fast for me to really grasp it until I was using Fusion for a little bit. Still, if you haven't heard of it and are using Fusion 360, you should learn about it.
Rule1
 

middle.road

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#2
Rule 1a: Take you way of thinking and using CAD for the last 35 years and toss it under the desk. (D*mn 35 years?!)
It's a different method of working with a set of tools is all. (easier said than done...)
I like the parametric slant to it. Tried to implement it back in the '90s but there were too many dinosaurs present.
It was tough enough just using CAD for design. CAM, 3D, and any other uses for computer-aided design were beaten down.
 
D

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#3
I find some of Autodesk's videos a bit too thick to find the kernel! As Mike points out, this one may not be for a beginner. But if you know a bit about Fusion, it is worth the watch.
 

MikeWi

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#4
I find some of Autodesk's videos a bit too thick to find the kernel! As Mike points out, this one may not be for a beginner. But if you know a bit about Fusion, it is worth the watch.
Yes, that video came from an entire course on Fusion 360 from Autodesk, but even now that I feel like i'm past the beginner stage, I still get confused at their course list. It bounces all over the place without even having you try a simple sketch. I probably would have given up if that was all I had to work with.

Rule #1 doesn't have anything to do with any other system than Fusion 360. It's just the best method to work within it as it keeps the sketches, bodies and components all within one "folder" in the tree. Far easier to go back and edit something that way, and I speak from learning the hard way! :)
 

homebrewed

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#5
I went through the registration process but Fusion360 requires a Windows or Mac to run. Unfortunately I'm running Ubuntu. If I want a parametric CAD program it appears my only choice is OpenSCAD. At least that way I don't have to fib about being a student :D
 

Dave Paine

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#6
I went through the registration process but Fusion360 requires a Windows or Mac to run. Unfortunately I'm running Ubuntu. If I want a parametric CAD program it appears my only choice is OpenSCAD. At least that way I don't have to fib about being a student :D
You should also be able to use FreeCAD.

FreeCAD on Ubuntu

I have both OpenSCAD and FreeCAD installed. I have struggled to learn to use these. A lot of pros and cons for each.

Some things I have tried to design in OpenSCAD have caused the application to crash. I think it is my computer not having sufficiently fast CPU. I bought it for browsing the internet rather than for intensive mathematical computing.
 

homebrewed

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#7
I downloaded LibreCAD but have not used it enough to become very proficient. This type of program seems to have a steep learning curve.

At some point I want to get a 3D printer (FDM type) so I will have to get serious about settling on a CAD program and learning it.
 

homebrewed

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#8
I downloaded LibreCAD but have not used it enough to become very proficient. This type of program seems to have a steep learning curve.

At some point I want to get a 3D printer (FDM type) so I will have to get serious about settling on a CAD program and learning it.
I also found SolveSpace, which is free. It has some proponents, and runs under Linux. It includes a constraint solver, not something I am up to needing at this point but might be useful in the future.
 

philip-of_Oregon

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#9
WOW. Rule #1, for me: "KISS".

Keep It Simple, ~saint~ (Silly, Stupid, Shorty, Whatever).

That First Video Reminds me of when the Veteran's Admin ~Developed~ an online "Help" for Veterans.

At the time, I had already been an Internet Tutor, for our local Library, and was actually Assisting Professional Librarians (Master's Degree's) in their use of the Web. So the VA???? Fourteen ways to do One thing, and 28 ways to NOT be sure anything you did Helped you ! ! ! (I may be prone to ~slight Exagerations~) (!) The VA saw me using the website, SO, they sent me a SURVEY.

Oops, did they expect me to Praise the mess of a website? I had already seen Websites that received HONORS for Clarity or Great Set Up, etc. (my Companies website for our time in VietNam was one of them). So for 10 YEARS, I told them the same thing "KISS".

Simple is:
nice
non-intimidating
Not Scary
Shows you That you did the "right thing"
POLITELY tells you "Oops, let's try that a different way".

In short, Seeing Rule Number ONE, explains to me, (Now) why EVERY attempt to download F360, has FAILED.

NOW, on a Positive note, I have had some success, using FreeCAD & LibreCAD, and now, My Question:

Has anybody used "simplify3d"???? https://www.simplify3d.com . . . . . it is a "Purchase Item". But $149.00 USD is Not a steep Price, and another forum I am on Suggested it for 3d Printing.

(Snapmaker Forum) for my Brand new 3d Printer, Laser Engraver & 2.5 dimension CNC (But a very VERY Lightweight in performance for CNC, only 1/8th-inch tooling, and its 24VDC motor is ~Dismall~ in my opinion... Guessing here but its size is about 1.250" diameter by 1.500" length!

Anyways, I thought I would check out H-M as I have been very busy doing NON-Fun things . . . . .

philip,

from the Wet Side of OreGun
 

MikeWi

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#10
Different strokes I guess. It's simply about creating a component before you draw it. It really does make life easier. In any case, the post is for people who are using F360. :) Might not even apply for other tools like solidworks where the normal workflow is different.
 

philip-of_Oregon

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#11
Different strokes I guess. It's simply about creating a component before you draw it. It really does make life easier. In any case, the post is for people who are using F360. :) Might not even apply for other tools like solidworks where the normal workflow is different.
Sorry if I offended you, by mentioning other software, I am still new on this Website.

But I saw members mentioning "Other Programs" and so, shared my experience (or Lack thereof) with F360.

I hesitate at storing ~anything~ in "the Cloud" I often work where No Internet is available.

philip, from the Great Pacific NorthWET.
 

MikeWi

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#12
Sorry if I offended you, by mentioning other software, I am still new on this Website.
But I saw members mentioning "Other Programs" and so, shared my experience (or Lack thereof) with F360.
I hesitate at storing ~anything~ in "the Cloud" I often work where No Internet is available.
philip, from the Great Pacific NorthWET.
LOL no offense taken! Sorry if it sounded that way!
 

rwm

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#13
I have been using Fusion for some time and I have no idea what parts of that video mean! And that is a beginner level video!
What he is saying between 3:30 and 4:00 is especially confusing, in fact I believe he used the word "this" to refer to two different objects in consecutive sentences?
Robert
 
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cjtoombs

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#14
Wow, I've been using Fusion for some time and didn't know you could do that. That will be a huge timesaver. If you have to go back in a large model and look for some sketch you made to change a dimension, it is very time consuming. I have been building one model to figure out the dimensions, then modeling each peice serparately and doing an assmebly model in order to get everything right. This might elleminate that proces for me. Thanks.
 

shooter123456

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#15
I went through the registration process but Fusion360 requires a Windows or Mac to run. Unfortunately I'm running Ubuntu. If I want a parametric CAD program it appears my only choice is OpenSCAD. At least that way I don't have to fib about being a student :D
You don't need to fib at all. Fusion is free to hobbyist and students, and any business making less than $100,000/year.
 

brino

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#16
I have been using Fusion for some time and I have no idea what parts of that video mean!
Glad to hear it's not just me.
If that's rule number one I should just give up now!
-brino
 

MikeWi

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#17
I know right? Like I said, I had to use it for awhile for the advise to make sense to me too!
I had to go back and see what @rwm was referring to. It boils down to any discrete part that you make, should be created first. This is like creating an empty file, or an empty word document before you start writing to it. Then when you start creating sketches, and bodies to make up that component, everything is kept together inside that component on that tree of stuff you see on the left. Now, when you need to go back to find the sketch you drew for it to make a change, you go straight to that component, and look in the "sketches" folder inside it. Otherwise, you're looking thru a mountain of sketches (potentially) for all the different things you've drawn that are ALL in one generic group. It's a real PITA.

Does that help at all?
 
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vtcnc

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#18
I have found that Lars Christensen's videos have helped with getting acclimated to F360 especially with the component vs. bodies problem.

Basically, Rule #1 is that you should always create a component before you model another part in your assembly if you want to base the geometry of the new component off from an existing one. I made the mistake of not doing this several times and then I watched Lars videos. He makes it easy to follow.
 

jwmelvin

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#19
Basically, Rule #1 is that you should always create a component before you model another part in your assembly if you want to base the geometry of the new component off from an existing one.
It’s best to create a new component and activate it before you make the first part. That way, every part is in its own component. If you wait for the second part, then the first one is on a different level and is not like the others. Remember to activate each component as you work on it.

If a project is just one part then there is no advantage to creating a component, as far as I know. It’s only when you have multiple parts in one project that it matters.

And yes, it is very helpful. You cannot go back and move things into a component later. Trying to do so produces a different result from starting the component up front.
 

rwm

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#20
Since you guys seem to understand this better than I, maybe you could answer a few basic questions? I have looked at the online tutorials and I cannot get satisfactory answers. They use circular logic to define these concepts! A Component is not an Body and can be used in an Assembly. An Body is not a Component and cannot be used in an Assembly. Great.
What is the real difference between and Body and a Component. I get that the software treats them differently but why? Why are Bodies not automatically treated as Components so I could select a Body and place it in an Assembly? It makes no sense to have to convert them unless there is something mathematical in the program that we can't see that requires this. Furthermore, after I convert to a Component does that limit my ability to revise or edit it? Can I convert a Component back to an Body? I guess I am trying to understand why this is fundamentally necessary and not just "because the program says so."
At what point should I convert a Body to a Component when drawing? As soon as I have a 3D object? Again, if this is the case why doesn't the program treat all 3D objects as Components?
I usually create components in different files and then put them together in an assembly in another file. That is simple enough. Maybe that is what I am missing? Are you saying I should do all the work in one drawing (file) with multiple components?
Robert

(Edited for correct terminology.)
 
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rwm

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#21
JW- I am not following you? You cannot create a Component BEFORE you make the first part (by "part" I assume you mean Body in Fusion language) You could do it before you make the second body. But why is this important? You can create multiple bodies in one file and then go back and create Components from them independently.
Robert
 

MikeWi

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#22
What is the real difference between and Body and a Component. I get that the software treats them differently but why? Why are Bodies not automatically treated as Components so I could select a Body and place it in an Assembly?
Bodies are used for construction purposes. You often will have a component that has only one body, so maybe that's where it doesn't make sense to you? Creating it as a component, or converting it to one right after you draw it places the bodie(s), sketches, and everything else related to it in one place. You then can group these components together into assemblies (before or after the fact) that help to organize the project.
Here's an extreme example. This is a single component made from 15 bodies. It didn't have to be made this way, but it illustrates the point. Lots o bodies, one component that represents the thing you actually want to work with. each piece of wood is a body.
pallet.PNG

Furthermore, after I convert to a Component does that limit my ability to revise or edit it? Can I convert a Component back to an Body? I guess I am trying to understand why this is fundamentally necessary and not just "because the program says so."
You wouldn't ever convert it back to a body (no need) but you can edit it as much as you want.

At what point should I convert a Body to a Component when drawing? As soon as I have a 3D object? Again, if this is the case why doesn't the program treat all 3D objects as Components?
This is where rule #1 comes in. Create the component, then start drawing it. Further, if you are starting an assembly you can create the assembly first, (which is just a component with other components inside of it) and then create the component inside of it. Here I created a component called "Pulley Subassembly" and then did nothing more with it except to create each of the four components inside of it.
pulley assembly.PNG

I usually create components in different files and then put them together in an assembly in another file. That is simple enough. Maybe that is what I am missing? Are you saying I should do all the work in one drawing (file) with multiple components?
Creating the components first as separate entities, and then assembling them is the "old"method called "bottom up" design. Fusion 360 promotes the idea of "top down" design where parts are created and assembled as you move along. Everything is indeed done in one drawing with multiple components as you see above. You can also save these components out to separate files if you want to reuse them in another design.
 

MikeWi

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#23
JW- I am not following you? You cannot create a Component BEFORE you make the first part (by "part" I assume you mean Body in Fusion language) You could do it before you make the second body. But why is this important? You can create multiple bodies in one file and then go back and create Components from them independently.
Robert
Sorry, not true. You absolutely can create the component first as shown above, and in fact is how you should do it.
 

rwm

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#24
Hey thanks for the explanation. I am starting to see the light. It appears it is more of a file architecture style issue (top down design.) I can also see where creating a specific component would be essential for Joints. Otherwise you don't know what moves with what.

Sorry, not true. You absolutely can create the component first as shown above, and in fact is how you should do it.
Hmmm. I tried that. I did not have a "create component" menu choice until I created a body first. Where am I missing that?

Also, why does this matter? I could draw 4 different bodies in the same file and then go back and make all 4 individual components.
I guess I don't understand this statement "If you wait for the second part, then the first one is on a different level and is not like the others. "

Robert

EDIT:
I just figured it all out! I will leave the comments above in case any one else can learn from this.
First of all, I missed the "create new component" command. Previously I was only "creating components from bodies" so that command was absent if there was no body drawn. That was demonstrated in a tutorial.
Secondly, once you create components, one of them must be active. If you draw a new body in the file it will be part of the active component by default. (even if it is not physically contiguous.) None of this is well explained in the tutorials I saw.
It is still true that you could create several bodies first and then convert them independently to components. I do not see why that would be a problem.
Lars first video really does cover this fairly well as VTCNC noted.
Thank you guys for your help in clarifying this. I now have a much better understanding of how the software rules work.

Robert
 
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jwmelvin

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#25
What is the real difference between and Body and a Component. . . . I usually create components in different files and then put them together in an assembly in another file. That is simple enough. Maybe that is what I am missing? Are you saying I should do all the work in one drawing (file) with multiple components?
You could [create a component] before you make the second body. But why is this important? You can create multiple bodies in one file and then go back and create Components from them independently.
A component is merely a container that can contain bodies. Components control and organize certain aspects for the bodies they contain. For example, bodies in a component move together within an assembly, according to the joint constraints applied to the component relative to other components. If you don't have multiple parts that can move relative to each other using joints, there is less point to using multiple components. Additionally, a component's sketches exist in a folder on the same level as the folder containing the bodies, so organizing a design into multiple components can help organize sketches even if there is no need for parts to move using joints. Finally, components can be renamed, which can further help organize multiple "parts" in your design. (I put "parts" in quotes because distinct physical parts could be organized into distinct bodies or distinct components; hopefully you will start to see the benefit of using components to organize the physical parts in a design.)

When you create a new design in F360, it is capable of acting as an assembly or as a single component. As you will see in the "browser" (which is the tree of your design in the top left, a "new design" starts with an unnamed component as the top level. So every design already has a component--it is the container that holds geometry. If you simply start making bodies (e.g., sketch and then extrude from the sketch), that creates a body in your master component for the design.

The point of rule #1 is to create a subcomponent before you do anything else. That way, when you begin to create sketches and geometry, you do so within the context of that subcomponent. It keeps your sketches organized. But the real importance of doing this is when you end up with more than one component in your ultimate design.

As Robert recognizes, it is possible to create physical parts as separate designs and then pull them together into a design that is the assembly of the separate designs. Since the original design was in fact a component, this makes sense and the original design is merely one subcomponent in the new design (the assembly). To do this, you right click on the original design in the Data Panel and select Insert into Current Design. The original design is linked, so changes to the original also affect the new design. I would say that, although possible, this is less efficient than working within a single design and using subcomponents. It can be an effective way to recover from a design where you started creating geometry without first creating a subcomponent.
 

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#26
It is still true that you could create several bodies first and then convert them independently to components. I do not see why that would be a problem.
Robert
It's only a problem when you create several bodies from different sketches and then convert them to components. It's not that you can't do it, but at some point, you'll find that the related sketches can't be moved into their respective components. Now they're sitting inside a sketch folder that has nothing to do with the component, which could create hassles later when you try to find them. You aren't prevented from doing it, it just sort of spoils some of the benefit.
 

vtcnc

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#27
It's only a problem when you create several bodies from different sketches and then convert them to components. It's not that you can't do it, but at some point, you'll find that the related sketches can't be moved into their respective components. Now they're sitting inside a sketch folder that has nothing to do with the component, which could create hassles later when you try to find them. You aren't prevented from doing it, it just sort of spoils some of the benefit.
Yes, you lose sketch history. I really struggled with this until I watched some of the basic videos that help you understand bodies vs. components.
 

rwm

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#28
I am still having some issues with sketches, bodies and components. In my latest design, I drew several bodies and then converted them to components (not following rule #1.) Now that they are converted and are part of an assembly, I have lost any ability to see the timeline or the underlying sketches. Is this normal? Would this be different if I created the component first and then added the sketches?
Robert
 

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#29
I'm not a Fusion expert by any means but what I do is to create a blank component then create a sketch in that component. Then all the sketches, bodies, etc... are part of that component. You can even nest components inside components. The main thing I have to remember is to make the component active (by clicking the radio button at the end of the name) if I want to add any new sketches to that component.
 

MikeWi

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#30
I am still having some issues with sketches, bodies and components. In my latest design, I drew several bodies and then converted them to components (not following rule #1.) Now that they are converted and are part of an assembly, I have lost any ability to see the timeline or the underlying sketches. Is this normal? Would this be different if I created the component first and then added the sketches?
Robert
The sketches are still there, they are just in whatever component or assembly was active when you first created them. They can be moved to be with the component as long as you haven't created any other components yet. I don't know the rule, but there seems to be a point where you're stuck if you don't clean up everything right away.
 
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