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  1. #1
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    Default Solidworks vs. Fusion 360

    I'm asking this one on behalf of work -
    We have a guy starting soon who will be in a technical support role and he has asked for F360 on his computer. The rest of the organisation use SW. I've never used F360 myself but looking around, it seems that data is stored on the cloud rather than on local servers, and apart from STEP, there is not an easy way to get files between the two systems (certainly nothing that would allow editing of a file created in one to be done in the other).

    From those who have used both or have knowledge of them,
    • Is F360 so much better that this lack of compatibility can be overlooked,
    • Are the statements I've made about file storage correct, and
    • How difficult knowing F360 (or inventor) would it be to transition to SW


    Thanks,
    Michael

  2. #2
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    Default

    You are correct as of 2013 (last time i used SW)

    I think Solidworks is better in basically every way, I just can't use it because it's massively expensive. 2d drafting is way way better and simple parametric 3d is fine. SW may have the edge in taking soft bodies from things like Maya.

    In short there is absolutely no reason to switch an organisation over other than per-seat costs and integrated (but limited) CAM that I have found so far.

  3. #3
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    Newcastle, NSW Aus
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    Default

    I can only answer the cloud q - While Fusion is cloud-based, it stores copies locally as well. If you're offline, it'll store locally and sync when you reconnect. It's very handy for working on the same project across different computers.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I'd re-train the new guy in Solidworks.

    I'm far from an expert in any of them but I *am* an expert in running software projects. There can be few things more likely to cause strife and chaos than people working for the same organisation supposedly working as a team, using incompatible software. I'd never ever tolerate that.

    I quite liked F360, the limited amount I used it, but I hated the amount of ports I had to open up on my computer so various bits could talk back to mommy. In the end I decided it simply wasn't worth it. YMMV - I have to worry about various medical data privacy acts and possible audits.

    ATM I'm using FreeCAD 0.18 which is buggy as hell but - free. That's just a FYI, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone though I'm still persevering with it myself. Because I can't justify paying for Solidworks and don't want unlicensed software on my computers (see possible audits......)

    PDW

  5. #5
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    Default

    Hi Guys,

    I agree with PDW's comments ! Stick with SW and retrain the new guy. Just because he prefers F360 is probably because he uses it at home because its a freeby for hobby use.

    I use Qcad on Linux and at 30 for an infinite licence its excellent value, particularly if you have used "Autocad". It does limited 3rd angle but it does have a Gcode version to feed CNC machines. I've never used this version/feature.

    One other concern, for me anyway, is since Fusion has full access to your work via the cloud, how secure is your work !
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2018
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    Tasmania
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    Default

    All depends on what you are doing and are used to.
    I can only speak from my experience as a novice CNC guy

    I love modelling in solidworks, it's so easy for me, I've been using SW for a couple of years. After using SW, I hate modelling in fusion, it feels clunky and unless I'm doing something wrong, there is no history tree which is a SW feature I really like. Yes I know you can 'push and pull' in fusion to change your model, but it's just not the same.

    I've tried a trial of solidcam and a few other CAM programs, but when it comes to CAM for me I use fusion, it is very intuitive for the most part, and does what I want. I'm only using a CNC router, so typically my CAM is fairly basic, however I still didn't like solidcam for what I wanted to achieve (full 3 axis tool paths)

    Also it turns out you don't need to export .step files to import into fusion, you can actually upload the solidworks model directly to fusion (of course any solidworks changes would need a reupload as it is not linked). This does take a minute or 2 to upload and then it's cloud based which I'm not a fan of, but for the benefit of using fusion for CAM it is worth it for me.

  7. #7
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    Default

    There are only 2 reasons to use fusion:

    1. You are getting it for free
    2 the built in fea functionality.

    I used NX for 7 years at work so that is what I am most familiar with. We did a massive assessment to see if we should move to an across organisation system, so I got to evaluate many packages. As you would expect autodesk was demonstrably inferior in every respect. Solidworks and solid edge were among the better products. Fusion was not available then, it was inventor we were looking at, with autocad.

    The last year or so I've been using fusion at home. It is demonstrably better than inventor but also demonstrably inferior to the "proper" modelling packages. It is very slick as long as you are doing basic modelling, but as soon as you get into anything more complex it falls on it's a**. I've searched the forums and extensive online help and have found no good answers to the problems I keep running up against.

    There is a wider issue here though. You should have someone acting as cad administrator, that may not be their only role in a small organisation but there should be someone "in charge". You absolutely must not allow an employee, especially a new one, to subvert that authority. That's the sort of BS millenial thinking that is dragging productivity into the sewer across the board. If everyone is currently using SW MAKE the new person learn it and f them if they don't want to....

    NX and catia are different products. They are aimed at enterprise deployments. There was a time maybe 15 years ago when I would have argued NX was the best thing on the market but they managed to fix that.
    I'm just a startled bunny in the headlights of life. L.J. Young.
    We live in a free country. We have freedom of choice. You can choose to agree with me, or you can choose to be wrong. Me.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by damian View Post
    There is a wider issue here though. You should have someone acting as cad administrator, that may not be their only role in a small organisation but there should be someone "in charge". You absolutely must not allow an employee, especially a new one, to subvert that authority. That's the sort of BS millenial thinking that is dragging productivity into the sewer across the board. If everyone is currently using SW MAKE the new person learn it and f them if they don't want to....
    This times 10E20!!!!

    Ask the new hire nicely - "Don't you want to work for us? Because learning & using SW is NOT optional." The new employee should be delighted to get to learn it, not try to avoid it. Far more saleable skill to have.

    I had a programmer with the attitude that he could do what he wanted once. His re-training was painful and debilitating but in the end, he did change. Don't let it even start.

    PDW

  9. #9
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    Default

    Make him use soildworks.
    I use solidworks at work and F360 at home only because it is free. Everyone else has pretty much covered my thoughts on F360. We looked at using F360 for our CAM at work but we couldn't because we would be in breach of our NDA's due to it's cloud based nature. I'm also not a fan of Autodesk's business model of making everyone go on subscription but that's another story.

    I also agree that i sounds like you need a cad administrator, things can turn into a nightmare when everyone does things there own way (A problem we are currently suffering at work).

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thanks for the input guys. I got some more of the story today, in that this guy is being hired by a part of the company that traditionally has done it's own thing. As far as I can work out, the corporate engineering manager has not been told that part of the company is about to hire their own engineering resource.

    He will however have to use SW - the IT guys do not like the idea of 'our stuff' being effectively controlled by Autodesk in the cloud.

    I am hoping to convince a few people that we need to get some PDM software so there is a central repository for mechanical stuff. If that happens, I may well end up being the CAD administrator...

    Michael

  11. #11
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    Default

    Just to labor the point, the first thing you see on the fusion site is a claim they are the first to do end to end product life cycle management.

    I guess NX doing that for decades doesn't count. Perhapse more to the point they don't do it well. NX does but there are I believe other products that manage group modelling projects along with associated documentation, inventory and things like cam fea etc. They are basically databases but with nice interoperation with your various software etc. I don't recommend embracing the autodesk tools.

    And ditto on the cloud and subscription comments.

    Fusion is really slick at a really limited range of functions, but as I said once beyond that scope your blood pressure ....
    I'm just a startled bunny in the headlights of life. L.J. Young.
    We live in a free country. We have freedom of choice. You can choose to agree with me, or you can choose to be wrong. Me.

  12. #12
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    Default

    How much does SW cost for a home user is it in the thousands?
    ....................................................................

  13. #13
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    Default

    Last I checked it was at least $1700

  14. #14
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    Default

    Earlier this year Solidworks was offering a hobbyist use version for 12 months free. I believe it is a full version but haven't tried it so can't be sure. The Solidworks link:

    https://www.solidworks.com/sw/education/SDL_form.html

    Here's a link on how to get it (the Solidworks page is a bit vague on what you need to do):

    https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/...for_12_months/

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