If you tuned in to our last blog entry, we briefly mentioned Autodesk Inventor Fusion. So here it is another day, and I felt that maybe we should discuss this powerful new tool that Autodesk launched for the first time in 2012. Fusion was originally launched as a product demo in Autodesk Labs, but due to its reception, Fusion was made a part of the Inventor and AutoCAD installations.
Fusion is aptly named as it blends powerful dynamic editing capability with the parametric functions of Inventor. It can also be used as a plugin with AutoCAD, allowing you take solid or surface geometry from your DWGs and directly import them into Fusion with a one click workflow from the Plugins tab.
Fusion will also run on a MAC without any need for Bootcamp or Parallels. With a little bit different user interface than what you’d normally see from a manufacturing application, you’ll find yourself creating complex forms and edits in minutes. What is most impressive to me, is the possibilities that Fusion has created. Many people prefer to do their model geometry in AutoCAD, Inventor or Revit before they take it into Maya or 3ds Max to create a stunning visualization. Fusion allows you to take forms and make edits to them much as you would in 3ds Max using an Edit Poly or Edit Mesh Modifier and then using Soft Selection to get nice, curvaceous forms.
If you’re creating parts in Fusion, or just need it to add that final touch, it’s easy to bring it back to the original program with the integrated workflow buttons on either Inventor or AutoCAD. Once a .ipt file has been finalized, it can be added onto a sheet in either of these two programs very quickly by using the Base View features in both applications.
But maybe it’s an Assembly file you’re dealing with, and you want to make a minor edit and this model isn’t going for tool and die…maybe it’s something going to your Objet 3D printer. This is also easily achieved as Fusion exports directly to .STL file format for quick 3D printing.
So whether you’re on a Mac, or you’re a staunch PC user, if you’re an artist or in manufacturing…Fusion has something to add to your workflow. Give it a shot the next time you’re in Inventor or AutoCAD and you’ll be pleasantly surprised on what you might come up with! Thanks for reading.
~ Travis Van Clieaf