About done with Fusion 360, now what?

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Desert Toad
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About done with Fusion 360, now what?

Post by Desert Toad » Sat Oct 09, 2021 6:47 pm

I've been using Fusion 360 since I got my table a few years ago. But now that they are pushing for people to pay so much for it, I'm looking to move on to a cheaper program. I'm a farmer and make a few parts here and there, signs, fire pits, etc. Nothing too complicated and nothing that I sell. Looking for recommendations for a cheaper way of creating files. I'm using a Mac to do the design work, then using an old PC laptop to run the cutter. I've seen FreeCAD and a few others mentioned. I'm using Langmuir's FireControl for the table, so I'd need something that could post G code for that program.

Thanks for any info

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tnbndr
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Re: About done with Fusion 360, now what?

Post by tnbndr » Sun Oct 10, 2021 9:36 am

You don't state what table you are using. So Fusion 360 came with your setup as a CAD and G-code creator?
There are lots of free CAD programs, Draftsight, Inkscape to name a few but to generate G-code you would need a program like SheetCam to import the dxf or svg file and post the code that then would get imported into your Langmuir Software to run the table.
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Re: About done with Fusion 360, now what?

Post by tcaudle » Sun Oct 10, 2021 11:14 am

Yep, Free aint free forever. I liken Autodesk tot he Borg on Startrek .....you must assumulate ! they have, over several years bought up a lot of good drawing and CAM solutions and then quietly killed them . Sometimes they may use some of the technology but mostly not If you read their fine print on their trial software its only for hobby/personal use. if you use it for profit you are supposed to buy a license (actually "rent" a license since you never own it) . There is a way to get a version if you are a tiny shop having GROSS sales (not profits ) of less than some number like 300,000 BUT its for ALL of you combined businesses so you can''t just setup a business and use that to show low sales. Each year they pull out some features on the free versions as well.

Fusion 360 is a great program is you wan tot do complex CAD, and 3D work. As a drawing/CAD program for Plasma or decorative router its way overkill .

Inkscape is free and a very capable drawing program that while you can do simple shapes and things liek brackets and stuff works best for decorative cutting using True type or Adobe fonts and being able to do things with text and shapes (like wrap text along an arc or circle). you draw in "shapes (like rectangles, circles , ellipses, and other canned shapes and "weld them together rather that primitives like lines and arcs. YOu can use lines and hand trace stuff and turn them into Bezier curves. One of the nice things about Inkscape is it imports and exports a lot of standard formats but its NATIVE format is SVG that hold the arc and curves intact and will Import directly to SheetCAM

For pure CAD look at QCAD and consider upgrading to the "Pro" version (about 35 bucks) and get the SVG export option instead of just DXF.

You can get lots of help online and on here for all three programs . There is not reason to pay a lot of money to RENT a tool you don't need but a few times a month .

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Re: About done with Fusion 360, now what?

Post by adbuch » Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:52 am

Desert Toad wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 6:47 pm
I've been using Fusion 360 since I got my table a few years ago. But now that they are pushing for people to pay so much for it, I'm looking to move on to a cheaper program. I'm a farmer and make a few parts here and there, signs, fire pits, etc. Nothing too complicated and nothing that I sell. Looking for recommendations for a cheaper way of creating files. I'm using a Mac to do the design work, then using an old PC laptop to run the cutter. I've seen FreeCAD and a few others mentioned. I'm using Langmuir's FireControl for the table, so I'd need something that could post G code for that program.

Thanks for any info
To the best of my knowledge, Fusion 360 is still free for hobbyists and individuals making under $1000 per year from its use. And I fully expect this to continue for the foreseeable future. There are some limitations imposed on the free versions, but this is mainly for advanced users generating code for 3 and 4 axis cnc machining centers. As far as creating a drawing and generating g-code for your cnc plasma cutter, this is pretty much the same as it has been for the last several years or so.

I personally use the free version, although I use it mainly for creating solid models for 3D printing. If you have already mastered Fusion 360 as far as creating drawings and g-code files for your plasma table, then I would suggest you stick with what you already know.

Many of the DIY folks use a combination of Inkscape/SheetCam for their cad/cam work - but much like Fusion 360 they didn't become proficient "over night". I personally use Design Edge for cad/cam/control of my table, but this is (for the most part) only available with the Plasmacam tables.

David

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