Introduction: Let Yourself Go in Fusion 360

The only supplies you'll need is a free subscription to Fusion 360 and a bucket load of imagination!

Fusion 360 is wonderful software. As you take baby steps on your way to making it all happen in Fusion you may be working to a notional size and shape. There are three modes in Fusion that create using a different set of rules. They are Solid, Surface and Sculpt. Sculpt offers the most freedom for free hand design, but can be unwieldy and frustrating for the novice. Solid and Surface keep you under control a lot more in that you can be very specific with dimensions and that helps with CAM operations down the track.

What I want you to consider, once you know your way around in Fusion, is to let the software make "mistakes" to unleash your inner design spirit? By mistakes I mean that forearmed with the knowledge that by setting less rules to control model development, Fusion can create surface shapes and bodies that no one ever envisaged? Once presented with these surprise packages, you can then adapt these weird and wonderful images into something useful. The cover model pic "Cubism Girl" was a mistake I made, that fashioned itself into a wooden hand bag! Similarly with "Cat Woman". Organic shapes that appeared as if by magic?

Step 1: Where to Start and Finish?

I start with a sketch on a horizontal plane using the Design Surface mode. If you have notional size boundaries, maybe draw a rectangle to encompass those boundaries. It's not that important as everything is scalable in Fusion. Now the toolbar becomes your artists palette.

In my example above, I drew an ellipse, then added an arc. Now I inherently know that the magic happens when you start messing with the surface creation tools like Loft and Sweep? I selected the longer half arc and a quarter of the ellipse as the path in Sweep. Bingo!....a weird shape appeared, somewhat out of control some might say? (2nd pic)

"That looks interesting?", I thought. Let's mirror that new body (3rd pic). Then mirror again (4th pic). There you have it, in a matter of minutes you're looking at a very interesting concept. I rotated the body to look at the other side (4th pic).

Wow, the brain starts ticking over, "A new type of lamp shade, a new Opera House?" the mind boggles!

That's all there is to becoming the next Renzo Piano, Frank Lloyd Wright.....Let Fusion 360 do the work for you?