AutoCAD vs Fusion 360 Informative Overview | 2022

AutoCAD vs Fusion 360

Whereas 3D printers are able to doing many nice issues, you want the correct AutoCAD vs Fusion 360 modeling software program. And in the present day we’ll be looking at Fusion 360 v AutoCAD and evaluating them to search out out which software program is healthier for creating fashions for 3D printing.

We should always preface by saying that they’re each extremely popular merchandise, used throughout the world for 3D modeling. Whereas there are various items of software program on the market, Fusion 360 and AutoCAD (each Autodesk merchandise) are persistently amongst the highest two or three.

Each of those packages have been developed for individuals who do have some expertise in drafting fashions on computer systems. They haven’t been designed in a means that you’ll want to spend years learning to grasp them, however you’ll have to put some work into researching terms and concepts if in case you have little expertise working on this discipline.

Fusion 360 and AutoCAD are each CAD packages created by Autodesk. Despite the fact that they’re comparable software program from the identical firm, they’ve very completely different working ideas and strategies. Fusion 360 focuses on 3D modeling and manufacturing, whereas AutoCAD has its roots in 2D modeling. Each packages can be found for Home windows and MacOS, and have entry to add-ins accessible within the Autodesk app retailer, which will increase their functionalities much more.

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a reasonably new software program compared to AutoCAD. It was created in 2013, although it shortly grew in reputation for its excessive accessibility and low value, even providing a free version. Fusion 360 is supposed for modeling elements and assemblies of a single machine, because it’s based mostly on 3D modeling ideas, making giant tasks like buildings not solely heavier but additionally impractical to work on with this technique. In different phrases, Fusion 360 is supposed for mechanical modeling, and it has instruments for free-form and stable modeling.

Along with the CAD course of, Fusion 360 has tools for CAM, simulation, animation (to test the proper motion on the machine created), and blueprint mode. It’s a broadly used device, particularly by hobbyists and professionals in engineering, CNC, 3D printing, and industrial design.

AutoCAD vs Fusion 360


AutoCAD may be very in style software program, industry-wise. As an engineer, once you’re searching for a job, it’s nearly assured they’ll ask about your AutoCAD talents. It was created in 1982 for mechanical engineering, and all through the years extra performance has been added. Ever since 2004, it’s been up to date yearly.

In distinction to Fusion 360, the working model of AutoCAD is barely completely different. AutoCAD has choices for 2D and 3D modeling, though 3D is usually used for visualization functions, and all of the modeling and dimensioning is finished within the 2D environment. You may simply change from one to the opposite so as to add measurements and test layouts.

These days, AutoCAD is used for way more than mechanical design, regardless that that was its authentic goal. It has particular instruments for architecture, interior design, mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering, in addition to manufacturing. Customers can create their very own development plans in addition to real looking designs, achieved by including colours and textures.

Costs & Licensing

Each AutoCAD and Fusion 360 can be found for a yearly subscription payment, they usually additionally supply instructional licensing (in case your establishment has a plan). Nonetheless, you’ll discover that AutoCAD is a little more dear than Fusion 360, because it’s used industrially and has a wider set of commercially-oriented instruments and options. In 2019, AutoCAD toolsets have been added, rising AutoCAD’s functions much more. Now, with one license, you get entry to industry-specific instruments for mechanical, electrical, piping, architecture, and extra.

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 prices round $500 per 12 months, for professionals and industrial use. It additionally affords a full license for instructional functions and a free 30-day trial. Fusion 360 moreover has a free, limited version for private use, meant for hobbyists.


AutoCAD’s full model is accessed with a subscription that prices round $1,700 per 12 months, and it’s meant for professionals and industrial use. It’s also possible to get the total model with a scholar license in case your instructional establishment has bought one, and there’s a free 30-day trial.


System Necessities

As talked about above, each packages can be found for Home windows and MacOS, and their system necessities aren’t that tough to satisfy, though the extra highly effective your pc, the quicker your work will probably be.

For each packages, it’s at all times higher to have greater than the minimal necessities of reminiscence and storage to keep away from crashes or efficiency points.

Fusion 360

  • Working system: Home windows 8.1 or 10 (64-bit); MacOS Mojave 10.14, Catalina 10.15, or Huge Sur 11.0
  • Reminiscence: At the very least Four GB of RAM
  • Storage: At the very least Three GB of disk house


  • Working system: Home windows 10 (64-bit); MacOS Mojave 10.14, Catalina 10.15, or Huge Sur 11.0
  • Reminiscence: At the very least Eight GB of RAM (16 GB is really useful for Home windows)
  • Storage: At the very least 10 GB of disk house (Four GB for set up; 6 GB for processing information)

UI & Format

Each Fusion 360 and AutoCAD comply with the identical ideas as different CAD and even drawing software program. This implies, there’s a menu for choices and preferences in regards to the doc, a drawing house (known as the “Canvas” in Fusion 360 and the “Drawing Window” in AutoCAD), and a group of instruments you may select from to work with.

Each arrange their open tasks in tabs in an effort to shortly change by means of them. The massive distinction is in the way in which the tasks are displayed: Fusion 360 is organized in separate bins, whereas AutoCAD is organized in a means that resembles extra the model of MS Phrase, with all of the menus on the prime of the display, displayed in tabs.

Fusion 360

If you first log into Fusion 360, it exhibits you a clean undertaking. One factor to note in Fusion 360 is that all the things is organized in floating home windows. On the highest left nook is the appliance bar (labeled as (1) within the picture above), in addition to tabs for any open information (2).

Within the Information Panel (3), you may create tasks or folders inside tasks, to assist preserve them organized. That is additionally the place to handle different customers who’re collaborating on a undertaking.

On the correct aspect of the Fusion 360 window, you may see your profile (4). Right here you may change groups to collaborate on a special undertaking, in addition to entry some settings and preferences.

On the Major Toolbar (5), you’ll have the ability to select the workspace you need to work in. The instruments on the toolbar will range relying on the present workspace.

Within the Browser (6) you’ll discover a listing of all the things accessible in your canvas. This contains elements, options utilized to your elements, colours, assemblies or meeting elements, the models, and supplies.

The Canvas (7) is the principle space of this system, and right here is the place you’ll really be doing the modeling. Lastly, the Making Menu (8) is a menu you may entry by right-clicking contained in the canvas and see commonly-used instruments to hurry up your work.


The primary time you open AutoCAD, you’ll both see a brand new drawing or the beginning web page. The beginning web page is split into three sections: Get Began, Latest Paperwork, and Notifications.

Clean paperwork begin with out format. This implies they don’t have preset dimensions, layers, types, and so forth. Nonetheless, it’s potential so as to add these manually after which save your settings as a customized template to make use of subsequent time or use a few of the default settings supplied by AutoCAD.

It’s essential to do not forget that in AutoCAD, you’re creating your model and its blueprints on the similar time. In Fusion 360, you’d do the previous first, and as soon as it’s prepared, create the blueprints from that 3D half.

The massive ‘A’ on the highest left of the window is the Utility Menu (1), which in Fusion 360 was offered as a bar. That is the place you discover choices for beginning new paperwork, opening saved drawings, and saving your work. Moreover, you may double click on the ‘A’ icon to shut this system.

The Fast Entry Toolbar (2), is a set of instruments organized horizontally and, because the title signifies, has widespread instruments to entry shortly. It will also be customized.

The Ribbon (3), which is arguably a very powerful a part of the UI, is the place you’ll discover the entire set of instruments. It’s divided into tabs with many alternative instruments for drawing, including measurements, extruding depths, amongst others.

Lastly, the black house which occupies many of the show is the Drawing Window (4), the place you’ll be drawing and modeling your undertaking.

Use Cases & Applications

Since Fusion 360 and AutoCAD are each Autodesk merchandise, it’s straightforward to change from working with one or the opposite inside the similar undertaking. There are examples of each packages getting used for various tasks within the Autodesk Customer Stories. Right here, it’s potential to see how the software program is broadly and efficiently used throughout various industries.

Fusion 360

Hobbyists make up an enormous portion of Fusion 360 customers as a result of, up till 2020, there was a very free and limitless model for non-commercial use. Fusion 360 not solely has capabilities for modeling, but it surely additionally has complete instruments for 3D printing and CNC technologies like woodworking, making it particularly enticing to each private {and professional} customers within the manufacturing space. It’s additionally an incredible various in opposition to heavier software program for engineering as a result of it has animation and simulation capabilities whereas retaining this system comparatively gentle.

One attention-grabbing use case comes from Print City, a college 3D printing lab in England that additionally serves many engineering tasks nationwide. They wanted to have the ability to enhance the load of filament that was saved on prime of a 3D printer, whereas retaining the assist itself light-weight. They used Fusion 360’s generative design instruments to realize a assist system that may maintain thrice extra filament than the unique half.

There’s additionally the case of the 3D printing firm Addit-Ion, based mostly in Barcelona, that used Fusion 360 and generative design to create the primary 3D printed snowboard binding that’s lighter and extra sturdy than conventional bindings.


In distinction, AutoCAD’s excessive value makes it inaccessible to many hobbyists, but it surely’s an industry-standard throughout a spread {of professional} settings. For instance, it’s broadly utilized in architecture and interior design as a result of it has many capabilities particularly geared toward these industries. AutoCAD additionally affords marketing-specific options like photorealistic renders of completed merchandise to show to shoppers.

The historic focus of AutoCAD is 2D work and consequently blueprinting. This makes AutoCAD the {industry} go-to for flooring planning, mechanical modeling, piping, interior design, and lots of different makes use of. It additionally has instruments for drawing and simulating circuits that make it a well-liked device in electrical engineering. Moreover, as talked about beforehand, AutoCAD additionally affords a spread of industry-specific toolsets to hurry up your workflow much more.

Amongst AutoCAD’s buyer tales are many examples of tasks that hinged on this system. For instance, there’s the case of Martz Technologies, who used the AutoCAD Electrical toolset to take their requirements to the following degree. They used AutoCAD to revamp and enhance their present management techniques, permitting them to automate their plant. There’s additionally Simon Denness, who makes use of AutoCAD along with Revit to design homes and make changes in real-time, in line with his shoppers’ specs.

Company & Community Help

Fusion 360 and Auto CAD each have official areas on-line devoted for assist. Equally, there’s an incredible vary of tutorials accessible on YouTube for every program, starting from common introductory movies to in-depth guides on particular duties.

Fusion 360

  • Firm: Fusion 360 has a forum, the place folks can discover solved issues different customers have encountered, in addition to often requested questions. Additionally they have a Learn & Support part the place you may study by means of webinars, self-paced workshops, and digital courses.
  • Neighborhood: There are numerous tutorials accessible on YouTube, from newbies to superior, to ideas and secret cheats, the way to work with CAM, and extra. There are additionally many different websites concerned in design that share tips and tutorials, just like the Fusion 360 subreddit.


  • Firm: AutoCAD has its personal support and learning part. In Help Overview, you’ll discover often requested questions, largely concerning set up, account administration, and plug-ins. Within the study part is a sequence of video tutorials you may comply with, relying on what you need to or must study. AutoCAD additionally has a forum with solved questions the place chances are you’ll discover the identical problem you’re having already solved, or you may put up a brand new problem for folks to assist with.
  • Community: As at all times, on YouTube, you’ll find a variety of tutorials for a lot of matters, and AutoCAD isn’t the exception. There are additionally other sites providing detailed tutorials from absolute newbie to superior in AutoCAD, in addition to the AutoCAD subreddit for asking inquiries to different customers. Nonetheless, it’s truthful to say that there’s much less group data accessible on the market than for Fusion 360. This can be resulting from the truth that AutoCAD tends for use much less by hobbyists and subsequently, formal instruction is the extra widespread route.

Last Thoughts

Each packages are very full within the instruments they provide, they only serve completely different functions.

AutoCAD has the next value, however you additionally get a wider vary of capabilities with it. You get fundamental AutoCAD and the toolsets for Mechanical, Architecture, MEP, Map 3D, Plant 3D, and Raster Design, in addition to the cellular and net apps with one subscription. It’s particularly used for architectural and civil engineering works, with each professionals and folks within the early levels of studying. All in all, AutoCAD is usually the popular possibility for engaged on industry-level designs by professionals, particularly for architecture, electrical engineering, and interior design.

Fusion 360 is extra reasonably priced (plus it has a limited free version for non-commercial customers), whereas nonetheless providing complete instruments for 3D modeling, blueprinting, simulation, animations, woodworking with CNC, and even 3D printing. As such, it’s broadly utilized by hobbyists, 3D printing followers, impartial design companies, and folks studying mechanical design.


Is Fusion 360 as good as Solidworks?

Fusion 360 is simpler than Solidworks, but still a powerful software in its own right. Fusion 360 is easier to learn and grasp. While Fusion 360 can do almost everything that Solidworks can do, at the end of the day, Solidworks is much more powerful all around.

Is Fusion 360 good for engineering?

Fusion 360 is Future of CAD , It’s a terrific application for Engineering and Manufacturing Model making for Tool Path Generation.

What is the difference between AutoCAD Inventor and Fusion 360?

Inventor is 3D CAD software for modeling and mechanical design. Fusion 360 is cloud-based CAD/CAM/CAE software designed for mechanical engineers. … It uses freeform modeling to create true 3D simulations for mechanical design, testing, and manufacturing.

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