Fusion 360 subscription changes

Just got an email.
You knew it was going to happen, seems the free subscription iwill have “limited functionality”. Not clear exactly what is limited though.

From the email
Thanks for choosing Fusion 360. We need to let you know about two new subscription types, Fusion 360 for personal use and Fusion 360 for startups.

This does not impact your free access to Fusion 360. However, at the end of your existing term, in order to continue your use of Fusion 360, you’ll need to choose one of the three subscription types below:

  • Fusion 360 for personal use - Limited functionality for non-commercial, personal use only. For more information go here.

  • Fusion 360 for startup use - Includes all existing Fusion 360 capabilitiesfor the design and manufacture of new or innovative products. Approval is required. For more information go here.

  • Fusion 360 commercial - Includes access to all current and future capabilities. For more information go here.

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I’d imagine things like generative design and collaborative work capabilities will not be available to the personal users. Hopefully just features not important to most of us Shapeoko users.

Sad, and it goes against my understanding of what has been said in the past — guess the stockholders were getting concerned.

Relieved I managed to resist the temptation to try it — makes learning FreeCAD look better and better.

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Typical of the moves AD has made in the past.

I like several of their products, use a few others because I must for work. I pay as little as I can for the products I use for work (commercial), and do miss features that I can use via my other (education) license in a couple products. But it isn’t worth the $$$ to get those features, or I would have. (note that the paid license and the ed license versions are on different hardware to avoid mixups and conflicts… I really do miss some features, especially in the CAM module)

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The change shouldn’t really affect CNC users.
I confirmed with my friend at Autodesk.

Fusion 360 for personal use (new) – For non-commercial use only. You’ll have access to everything you need for personal projects including all the design, engineering, documentation, and manufacturing capabilities included in a current Fusion 360 commercial subscription. Access to collaboration, data management capabilities, and commercial software translators (NX, Catia, Solidworks, Creo, and Inventor) is not included.


What Autodesk product are you missing CAM on an educational license?

None. It is the paid license I don;t have CAM.

Don’t usually have the need for much in the way of CAM features on the paid license (majority of my commercial work that requires machining is pretty simple, and usually done on manual machines), so when the rare occasion comes up where I need it, I deal with it using other tools. I don’t even have the CAM module installed for Inventor on that machine.

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I have a “Startup License” and have not received any notification about changes. Maybe yours was a trial and they want to pay up or get a free “Startup License”

Or maybe they just havent gotten to me yet.

I have the startup license. I went ahead and followed the links in the email I received and applied for the new license. It was pretty painless. I got a new email stating that I was being reviewed. I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be approved. It just seems to me that they want a better grasp on what their product is being used for and have a little better tracking of it. No big deal to me.

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It will be a big deal when we find out what the reject rate/criteria is for the startup license and people start getting pushed between personal and commercial.

What’s Autodesk’s determination of how long a company is a “startup”?

We already had this sort of “Thoughtcrime” license forbidding commercial use with SketchUp “Make” which Fusion 360 was made “Free” just in time to take advantage of — wondering if this will be OnShape’s second big chance.

According to AutoDesk, the criteria for “startup” is the same it has been. image
The willingness to share thing maybe different.
I’m just hopeful that with Fusion, AutoDesk is making things right. I know their past, but it has lead to Fusion, which I’m hoping stays their pillar for the little guy. I’m hoping the "Willingness to share"clause is a sign that they want to promote Fusion further to small business. I could be completely wrong, but I am hopeful.


I got the email a few days ago, but am not worried about it… It actually makes me feel better about the future of the software as many people would rather apply for start up hobby software than to pay the annual fee. Which I’m sure there are quite a few ppl doing this… imagine just 50 people do this and make 100+K a year… this equates to around 100k a year alone in lost revenue for Autodesk. Now imagine how many ppl in the world are doing this… could be losses in the millions very easily… So if I have to send in a tax return or my business bank statements to save some $ until I get to that point… so be it… it’s actually one of my goals to HAVE to pay for the software…


will definitely be a bummer if they begin rejecting startups left and right, but if the pricing is very cost effective given how mature the program is becoming i don’t think it’s a bad thing. it may even help fund polishing the program down the line.

F360 is incredibly powerful and fairly well received as of late and while i love me some freeware I can tolerate a subscription plan that is fair. I know some of us pay for Netflix/Spotify/etc without a second thought. Where it gets a little absurd is Onshape pricing that breaks down to $125/mo for the most basic plan beyond their trial/free option. I’m sure they are missing a large market by having a high starting monthly fee for most users that would be tempted otherwise.


I need to root out the difference but I couldn’t figure out the specific differences between the personal license and the startup license other than commercial vs. non-commercial work.

Aside from the thoughtcrime provision of no commercial work, the big difference is the personal use is cloud-oriented for a single person, with no access to export formats.

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What about import formats? I’ve imported Solidworks and Inventor files into F360 in the past. It would be a shame to lose that functionality in the personal use version.

Apparently it’s import/export formats which are not in the personal version.

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They also put a specific dollar value on what a hobbyist can earn with the program over a given year:


Will you fighting the good fight with the ‘thoughtcrime’ drops. Appreciate making an effort to push the free open programs/applications. (Again, who doesn’t like free? aka F360 up until recently?!?.. TBD)

As much of a ‘bad’ thing you seem to be painting F360 for not being an open source(?) option it has pushed the hobby arena forward considerably. If F360 is no longer a sensible hobby option in the next coming years it did have a huge positive impact on the community and I for one greatly appreciate what it had going.

If/when the time comes to replace F360 with a cheaper/free alternative I’ll be asking ya whats the lastest in the open source world. Hopefully a reliable powerful longstanding alternative will be coming to fruition.

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The problem here is that it is a commercial program, which was made freely available, with the explicit intent of taking the oxygen away from other free, and esp. opensource programs.

Yes, I’m a bit hypocritical on this since I work for a company which makes Carbide Create freely available, but given that the latter is mostly marketing for the machines, I believe this may be excused.

FreeCAD has seen remarkable advances of late, and I’m seriously considering it for developing the next round of parametric designs which I work up. Unless of course, I can manage to cobble together a system which allows one to use OpenSCAD as a front-end, and yet which elegantly generates files for cutting in some fashion.

For basic things which may be represented in 2D, OpenSCAD works pretty well on its own:

Unfortunately, things are far more difficult for anything which requires any sort of 3D modeling — still working on the files for: