25 SEP 2020 – STEP Export stays in Fusion 360 for personal use!
See the updated feature chart below.
You may have seen the announcement that Fusion 360 is changing the personal (free) plan. This might affect you if you’re using this plan. There has been a decent amount of confusion around the new limitations. We have annotated the new changes in the chart in blue and described a bit more below. You can read their blog post here.
The main driver of these changes was to limit misuse of the free license for commercial work. These changes hit the home hobbyists hardest but Fusion is committing to keeping a free license. I am reminded of the saying, “this is why we can’t have nice things.”
In truth, it may seem worse than it is. The loss of CNC machine rapids is a particular shame in my opinion and I’ve advocated strongly for that to be reinstated.
Another change that might affect you is the loss of the ability to export a STEP file or NURBs based model that isn’t a .F3D or Fusion Archive file. Please note that these changes are coming up soon –
If you’re currently using Fusion 360 for personal use and need to export your designs out as any of the formats mentioned above, you have until October 1st, 2020 to do so.
One other item to highlight: 10 active and editable documents. This is a bit more nebulous. First off, you’ll never lose access to your files, what it amounts to is you’ll only be able to actively use 10 documents at a time. When you need to edit another, you’ll have to “swap out” an active for an inactive file. This change won’t come into effect till January 19, 2021. There will be no limit on how many archived designs you choose to keep.
These are hard changes – I (Justin) started PDX CNC using the startup license of Fusion 360 and switched to commercial licensing when that made sense for us.
To be clear, Portland CNC’s relationship with Autodesk and Fusion 360 is simply that we are “influencers.” In exchange, we get the use of one commercial license as well as new feature previews from time to time, no other benefits, or financial gain. We have full autonomy in any of our content with or about Fusion 360 as well.
That said, I had no prior review of these changes. Since they’ve been made public, I have advocated for keeping as few changes that would degrade the use of Fusion 360 for personal users. It frankly isn’t surprising that any company would want to make money on a product they sell, that only seems fair. If you’re using the free license and making money doing it, you should realistically be paying for the software. However, the personal license is important to bringing new users in that can build their skills or something that can be profitable.
In that sense, I am thankful for the access and ability we had to build something before needing to pay full price through the startup license - this was critical to our startup and something we hope to see continue. This will continue to exist as well.
While these changes make for tough decisions, I can attest that there isn’t another product that compares to what you get from Fusion 360 for the money. It really is the best deal in CAD/CAM - we have no stake in this claim, this is just my opinion.
If you are Thinking of Upgrading
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Lastly, providing direct feedback in the Autodesk forum is probably the best way to be heard if you’re not happy with these changes. Fusion 360 is open to feedback; I’d suggest respectfully proposing solutions or voicing your concerns.