Fusion 360 (20% off)

As part of the Autodesk cyber week sale Fusion 360 is currently 20% off. Anyone see any better sales for Fusion 360 or is this as good as it gets?

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As a non-commercial hobbyist user I get several notifications per year that there is some, fairly good, reduction if I buy a 1 or 3 year sub now.

I don’t still have the messages but they’re at least 20%.

If you were going to buy anyway it’s a good saving, but I’m not sure I’d buy now because of the offer if you meet the hobbyist or educational license requirements.

I’m in the hobbyist category as well, I guess I was looking at getting a subscriptions for a few reasons such as supported tool changes, rapids, taking models with multiple parts and auto arrange them on a flat plane for machining, etc… Basically looking for the features that are time savers in the CAD/CAM and machining (running a job) steps of the hobby since I still have a young family which competes for time in a day.

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It’s worth checking the price difference between a 1 and a 3 year sub as there’s frequently a better price on 3 year if you have the money now and you’re sure you want 3 years.

I’d also suggest making sure the features you want are included in the basic subscription or if they’re part of the forest of additional fees, things like 4th axis support etc.

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Those are the (only?) two things that were bugging me with the hobbyist license I’m using.

For rapids, I now post-post-process my gcode files using @fenrus optimization tool, and bam, rapids are back in.

For arranging parts flat, sure the Auto Arrange feature is nice, but I found that using joints like the guy mentions in the video below, does the job fairly well.

Two clicks per part, move each part around to arrange them and make best use of your stock, done.


@LiamN, good advice if I do end up buying I’ll make sure the features I’m looking for are included in the standard subscription.

@Julien, thanks for those references I’ll definitely look into those options to see if it’ll get me over the hump, they do look like promising workarounds though.

Edit: any workaround for supporting tool changes/merging .nc files and have it work with the Bitsetter?

Not sure if @fenrus gave that one a shot, it should be a matter of automating the concatenation of individual files, with M6Tx commands in between.

The more experience I get with my machine and look more and more under the hood I get that feeling that scripting skills I’ve picked up along the way seem to be useful and could come in handy with this hobby. I may just look into building a python based tools/utilities library when some extra time presents itself… (command line based) or see what’s out there already doing such things.

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I was going to mention this, I couldn’t remember if you had some programmer-fu.
Scripting skills definitely come in handy for small things like that.

Will the bitsetter go and zero a tool declared at the start of a Fusion CAM file that doesn’t contain tool changes, specifically, can I output a series of .nc one for each tool and have the bitsetter re-zero on each change?

Seems like it pops up a few times a year for 30% off. Possibly more on occasion. I find these subscription discounts irritating.

If you’ve seen it at 30% off combined with the workarounds mentioned above that’s enough for me to pass for now as I explore these other options. If they don’t address the few pain points I have with the free hobbyist license then I’ll reconsider once one of these sales surface again. thanks.

It’s like the stock market, at what point do you buy into the market or do you stay with the really safe investments (free hobbyist license) where you won’t make a killing but you’ll slowly make up some ground.

Using which gcode sender ?

With CM I never tried, but in that scenario as long as you use the “load new tool” to swap tool in between running nc files, there is no reason why it wouldn’t work I think.

With CNCjs…well this is actually my strategy when using Fusion360. Generate one file per tool change, and use Neil’s macro when changing tools between runs (e.g. just like the “load new tool” does).



I am currently still on CM, that and the controller are some of the few original parts I have left :wink:

CNCjs or gSender appear to be in my future then, I got a bitsetter s/h recently and ought to attach it to the machine and use it.


If I download the free version of Fusion 360, do I have everything I need to cut a part in the Shapeoko? (CAD and CAM)?
Or I wont be able to generate the CAM file to load in Carbide Motion?
Thank you,

with the free/hobbyist license of Fusion 360 you will be able to produce CAD and CAM however with some limitations in comparison to the paid subscription. That said many here only use the free licensed copy and do just fine.

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F360 will handle, with some speciality exceptions, pretty much anything. Upload the proper post processor and roll on. It will output file that will need to be uploaded to Carbide Motion, or Sender of your choice. F360 is not a control interface for your machine.

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Try applying for a startup license. I did that this year and it gave me access to all the features for free for this year anyway.

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