Autodesk changing hobbyist terms of use

Uh, don’t you mean Google? And they didn’t do anything but sell it back to Trimble as Will said. And now its gone to subscription based, too.

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I thought it was Autodesk, but that is what I get for posting without checking first. Still frustrating that they took really useful “free” software and moved most of the features to a subscription basis.

That “no rapids” bit might ruin this for me. Does anyone know exactly what that means?

No G0 rapid moves seems to be the consensus — presumably the tool will only move at the feed rate defined for the one cutting tool.

Perhaps pair it w/ @fenrus’ nifty tool for dynamically recalculating feed rates?

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Yeah, I’ll have to see how they deal with the “No automatic tool changes” and “no rapid feed”…

They’re really trying to make it as much of a pain in the ass, to make people buy it, as they can…

Knew in the back of my head something along these lines would come… hook you in until you become dependent and fluent with the software, then make it hard/impossible to use without forking up the bucks… I know too that it won’t stop here; eventually they will restrict even more features until there is no more free use. Just like they try and do with “gun registration” in the US…

in concept we can fix up gcode afterwards…
(including translating G1’s into G0 when it’s safe… that kind of thing is within scope of a post processor)


In this same vein. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for C3D here…

Would it be crazy for a Hobbyist level machine manufacturer such as the S3 and C3D to come with optional licenses for F360? I would gladly pay C3D a discounted license cost and I assume someone at autodesk would be interested in a teaming relationship assuming that you could funnel 100s? 1000s? of users to their platform.

food for thought masters. @Jorge @robgrz @edwardrford

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This is really unfortunate - I hope they’re thinking about an option for a “hobby plus” paid subscription with more features. $25/month isn’t terrible, but I’d be a lot happier with a $10-15 cost with the features I’ve got.


I looked at the costs to re-enable the fourth axis stuff a month or two ago when they moved that feature into the “cloud credits” bin and that was a warning sign.

However, with the various 40% off discounts etc. and the base price it’s not much more than MS Office subscription. This sort of continuously updated software with cloud storage etc. is really not comparable to single license purchase models. It will all depend on how many of the features get moved into the “we can charge $$$$$ for these!” buckets.

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Does anyone complaining about software that isn’t “free” actually work for free?

Hey, its their business model. They can do with it what they please. In their area of expertise, we all have to admit that they have an edge.

If you want free, then you’ll have to start looking; which is what you were doing before you found F360. Right?


I ran a software company for over a decade, I also contribute individually to open source projects and we contributed company code back to open source projects which we had benefitted from. The division between free and not free is a lot more blurred than it used to be.

The frustration with Fusion, as Will says, is that Autodesk made what seemed to be fairly clear statements of intent that they now appear to be backtracking on.

There is a viable commercial incentive for Autodesk to provide educational and non-professional versions of Fusion for free or cheap in order to produce a lot of pre-trained users and establish market dominance (this is why MS products are so cheap for education). This assists in closing the market to competitors who might start to take real market from them. The ‘free’ or cheap from commercial organisations is rarely done for social good.


I quickly did a run around to check out pricing of onshape, inventor, carveco, Solidworks and aspire, and I think that for the features you get in fusion $300/ year is VERY fair. However I have no question that this will likely increase In a year or two, and the restrictions on the Hobby license will get tighter.

Bad news for the PocketNC guys who need the multi-axis features


Still, there persists this effort to project this “free” marketing idea onto the plans of companies that none of us have a controlling interest in. That’s ludicrous. The company has a plan, and they have a way to measure it. We, as users, can only vote with our wallets; nothing else.

A sign I keep around for just such occasions. :smiley:

Indeed, thus the discussion about likely future changes in cost to use the product.

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Yes, but there’s another consideration here — a former Autodesk CEO is on record in an interview indicating that Fusion 360 would continue to be freely available and many folks made decisions based on that.

Not quite as far a bridge, see the discussions here:

Where there is no indication of mercurial licensing, just a promise of on-going availability.

The bottom line as I noted in a comment on Reddit:

(Autodesk has) extracted all the beta-testing which w(as) wanted for free out of naïve users and are now taking (thei)r game over to the other field where (they) can charge admission.

To add to the beta-testing, the didactic content folks have created is impressive — and consider that that energy and effort was taken away from any other products folks might have used — the bottom line is this “free” product took up a great deal of the oxygen in the room, starving other tools for users, see the CAD usage surveys on the CNC Cookbook site:

It’s worth looking at the surveys in-between esp. and watching various well-regarded applications drop below the 1% threshold for inclusion.


Reading the post on this topic does not surprise me. Just a bit of perspective is needed here I think. Does AutoDesk owe any of you anything? Do any of you think free use does not come with cost? Do any of you work for free? Granted they made promises and now they are changing the terms, anyone really thinks it would last? Heck, some of you sound like Marxists. The only reason many of you are upset is now you might actually have to pay for something. I know I’m going to catch heck for this but needs being said.

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I’ve never used Autodesk Fusion 360 and have been leery of Autodesk ever since a really bad experience as a computer reseller trying to get an Autodesk Reseller certification.

I contribute quite a bit to opensource applications and efforts where possible — my complaint here is that by making a commercial application freely available Autodesk managed to divert efforts and energies which might have otherwise gone to opensource projects which were then essentially used for beta-testing and documenting a tool which is no longer usable by the folks who did said testing and documentation.

One such opensource project which has gained a bit of traction recently (the website got a nice update) is the venerable BRL-CAD which was opensourced by the U.S. Army:

Politics is off-topic, so we’ll drop any further discussion in public — anyone who wishes to discuss politics is welcome to do so in direct messages or on some other forum.


After letting this sink in for a day… some thoughts from someone who had finally decided to start figuring Fusion 360 out.

–I am on the very beginning of just starting to get the hang of doing some basic stuff as this news comes out, inspired in part by some of Winston’s recent videos about parametric boxes and cyber spoons.

–As a low-end user then, it appears that few of the new restrictions announced by Fusion are going to impact me–or they are taking away functions I might have been using if I were more advanced. In other words, I won’t miss what I never had.

–It’s not unreasonable to expect to have to pay for sophisticated, capable software. If you’re using Fusion professionally, then paying for software is a cost of doing business, the same way you pay for materials, electricity, routers bits, etc. The problem for hobbyists is that the cost of professional grade software often is a bit much for a hobbyist–$25 a month is reasonable if you’re on the program a couple times a week, but what if work/life/family conspires to keep you out of the workshop all month?

–My main concern at this point is the not the current restrictions coming up on Fusion, its the realization that Fusion can make any changes they want in the future.

Other posters have already detailed at length many of the other options out there and the pros and cons of each. I think the decision that Fusion is putting on many of us is not so much whether we should pay for Fusion, but rather, which CAD program should we invest in and commit to.

To put it another way, as a hobbyist, I can’t justify paying for Meshcam, Fusion, Vectric, and Carbide Create Pro (when my free year is up). I am going to have to decide which of these solutions makes the most sense for my workflow and my budget and commit to that.


Nothing surprising here and I’m only worried slightly about the rapids, a claim above that multiple tools aren’t possible (though that has to mean within a single gcode file, right, vs meaning in Fusion??), and I wonder if 10 active file limit will be annoying.

This reduces from some previous bar to a lower bar… but is there another bar that’s now much better to compare to? Other options generally charge already, or they are severely less useful/capable.

Offhand, I can’t think of anything that started as free, became super successful, and stayed free, particularly from a company that is already monetized (publicly traded at that), and thus on the hook to continue making money.

I found a speculation from 2017 that predicted the gist of what’s happening, so someone appears to have been on to them for a while, granted it didn’t explicitly predict how and when they’d limit the free tier to push paid signups.

@LiamN , re:

The frustration with Fusion, as Will says, is that Autodesk made what seemed to be fairly clear statements of intent that they now appear to be backtracking on.

… do you have a quote from Fusion or @will on that? With respect to “as Will says,” I only see this where he cited high level promises about usefulness in response to you suggesting they might abandon the free tier completely. Let me know if you meant something different. I’m intrigued by the allusion to past promises and subsequent backtracking.

If memory serves, it was in an interview w/ Carl Bass — not this one:

but that is interesting for an examination of the underlying financials.

But c.f.,

…for hobbyists, enthusiasts, makers and startups—in fact, anyone using Fusion whose business makes less than $100,000 per year—Fusion is free.

We think the process of building tools should include those who are to going to use them so we’ve built Fusion hand-in-hand with the Fusion community. We’re doing it out in the open and as transparently as possible—no private betas, no secret handshakes. Sharing ideas and direction is critical to building the best tools. Our tools come alive in the hands of some of the most creative people on the planet and we know they are integral to what gets built.

By many measures, Fusion is not complete today. We have a lot more work to do, but together we’re building something really great.

Somehow he left out that once all that work was done, folks would be locked out so it could go behind a pay wall.