Fusion360 Class Question

Lorin is holding a Fusion360 talk this Saturday (9/24) if all goes according to plan. According to the Eventbrite listing, it’s stated that it is recommended to attended with a laptop with Fusion360 installed. I don’t currently have a laptop I can bring down, as my old one is almost 10 or so years old and struggles to open Chrome in Win7, much less run a halfway decent program.

Two related questions:

Can I still sign up for and attend the talk, even if it is just to watch and listen or shadow someone else? I would REALLY like to be a part of this, as it would really help on two fronts at once, even though I can’t follow along on my own for the time being.

Piggy backing off of this, I’m looking into getting a decent but lightweight laptop for maker-related things I want to get into (learning to code, 3D printing management, etc.). I have a gaming-grade pc at home that can do a lot of heavy lifting, but I’d like something simple that I can take with me to the hive so I don’t have to rely on a thumbdrive or lab computer to do work on. Are there any recommendations for programs used at and related to the Hive I should keep in mind spec-wise when looking for one? So far there is obviously Fusion360, and Blender would be good to keep in mind for models for 3D printing, but I’m not sure what all is on the machines at the Hive.

Yes! Definitely come! If nothing else, you can watch with another person. Depending on if the 3D design desktop is available, perhaps you could use it! No imput on programs from me. But definitely come!

I’m going to have a i5-4300 / 8Gb / SSD / 14" 1400x900ish Thnkpad T440s for sale when I get motivated to install windows on it. I believe it still has a couple years of mail-in factory warranty left, too. I haven’t thought about a firm price yet but probably something in the $400-450ish range.
If you’re interested, email me off list.

Hey Tim,

No single answer to your laptop question. Meshmixer, Meshlab, and Sculptris are other 3D modelling software that I personally find useful. Hive also has Solidworks and Vectric Vcarve installed on several computers, but those are on licences so you won’t be able to install on your laptop unless you purchase for yourself.

All of this 3D modelling software will run on a wide range of machines, but will get laggy and more likely to crash as your files get more complex. In my experience CPU and RAM are most important, but GPU/graphics and hard-drive/SSD speed also help. Depends on the specific program though. Bigger screen is also nice.

For 95% of my modelling I use my laptop (Intel i7, integrated graphics, 8GB RAM). The other 5% of the time I’m doing something complex enough that it’s worthwhile to switch to the desktop with GPU and more RAM.

I’ll also note Fusion is somewhat less dependent on your specific machine, since it offloads some of the heaviest number crunching to the cloud.


You can install Vectric Vcarve on your personal computer.

I have a dell 13" - model 7353, which has a intel core i5-6200 2.3/2.4GHz, 8gbs of ram, 1080 screen, integrated graphics card (i think its a intel hd 520). I haven’t had great luck with fusion 360 on this laptop. it occasionally hangs etc… I know that autodesk recommends at least a 1gb dedicated graphics card for a laptop.

just my experience. I dont remember what all I was trying to do and what all else I had open.


Tim, you can follow on the desktop. I can also try to bring my Mac laptop as an extra if needed.

Fusion is a new product and under a continual sort of rolling release thingy. It keeps getting better, though. Much better at T-Spline & NURBS than working with meshes. However, it exports great meshes for 3D printing.

I can’t say it’s perfect, and the continual development instability is what you get for $0. However, if you want to do 3D design for both 3D printing and CNC, it’s the best we’ve got in free territory. Considering that I have many other expensive CAD programs, I’m surprised that I’m actually using fusion360 so much.

So, if you only want to learn one software, this is the only free option that covers all of Hive’s capabilities, including CNC and 3D printing. It’s also less difficult than learning Solidworks or Inventor (or catia, etc).

If you go heavy into CNC, vectric is available now to hive members, and if you go 3D printer heavy you have other options too. This is intended as a primer. Everyone has their own favorite workflow.

And yes, Rhino is rad. Eventually I will get a personal copy, but we do have it at work now. I would love to learn more, though.