My work around efforts to use Fusion360 in Linux

I will eventually go into greater detail if there is any interest, but after a lot of trial and dissatisfaction, have concluded that the only way I can inexpensively and reliably utilize Fusion 360 on a Linux desktop is via remote desktop (RDP). I am running a remote desktop client in Linux called Remmina with the RDP plugin that allows it to access a Windows PC…in my case, my laptop which is on the same a network.

I tried the free versions of Virtual Box and VMware and neither did an acceptable job with 3d graphics. Even with their respective upgrades. I had to run in 2d mode and it was still wonky. Dual boot was another option, but it requires rebooting every time you need to switch. Each of those options require a Windows license, so testing required a full reinstall of Win10. Another option was renting time on a remote computer on Paperspace, but I saw that getting costly fast. But the Paperspace idea is what brought me to consider RDP.

Remmina works quite well and allows me to go full screen on one of my monitors, leaving Linux on the other with seamless transitions. You can’t work directly on the guest computer (laptop in my case) while accessing it remotely, but disconnecting and reconnecting is quick and easy if you need to switch.

I have 4 raspberry Pi’s doing various tasks on my network so Remmina also allows me to access their desktops as well.


I’m working on learning FreeCAD. I’ve successfully drawn a rectangle, extruded it, and added a pocket. I’ve got about thirty minutes invested so far. Quite a difference from Vectric and SketchUp but not terrible.

If this FreeCAD like SolidWorks?

If you give RDP a try and you have an AMD/ATI video card on your laptop, you might get: " LoadLibrary failed with error 87: The parameter is incorrect." when you run Fusion360 remotely.
I got this error and found a solution on the the following Youtube video along with the tuber’s blog. I DID NOT have to edit my registry, which is one of his methods.
I had to manually download the video card driver and search/install it per the video. I then had to change the name of the file as outlined in the blog. After a reboot, it worked!

I have not tried FreeCAD. I have almost 3 years experience drawing with Fusion 360 and started using Fusion’s CAM function about 6 months ago. I’ve previously used AutoCAD and EstlCAM and although I will likely continue to use EstlCAM for vinyl cutting on my MPCNC, I don’t see me switching from Fusion 360 in the foreseeable future. I design all my 3D prints with it - creating the CAM file with Slic3rPE and I do all my CNC CAD/CAM with it. Fusion 360 is the ONLY reason I have Windows on any computer I own.

The only reason I’m not going with Fusion is I don’t already know it. If I did, I’d stick with it.

I use linux on the PC that drives my shapeoko3, under LinuxCNC. I also looked at options for design on it but in the end just had a separate PC running windows that I use Solidworks, Aspire and Fusion360 on. I currently transfer Gcode with a USB stick but will set up a shared folder on the Linux machine to store Gcode.

The idea of having it all running on one PC is nice but in reality it has been far simpler running two separate machines

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If my laptop screen was bigger, that may have been my route as well.
My Shapeoko is run by a Raspberry pi with CNCjs. I made a shared drive on the pi and made network drives on my other computers. I save my nc programs directly from Fusion to that drive.

Count me in as an S3 owner who would prefer to use Linux for a full CAD/CAM workflow.

I have successfully used Fusion 360 for one small project (pinewood derby cars), but dealing with dual-boot, Windows licensing, plus learning Fusion from scratch and seeing its bugs made me question the path I was proceeding down.

I briefly researched running Fusion under a VM or Paperspace but came to the same conclusion as Tom.

I want a toolchain that I can customize via Python on a Linux system. FreeCAD in theory offers this. What it’s missing… well, perhaps it’s missing enough to make Fusion a more sane choice after all?

Is anyone aware of a CAD+CAM tutorial for FreeCAD with the Shapeoko?

If not, is anyone else interested in one?

There’s a bit about FreeCAD at:

CADquery in FreeCAD ought to afford a Pythonic workflow.

A search for “freecad cad cam tutorial” yields some promising results.

Lots of Python tools listed at:

What sort of work do you want to do in what fashion?

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Sample work I want to do with this setup:

Obtain LIDAR terrain data of a national park. Process this into a suitable model, then carve it into a memento.

A fellow named Andrew Godwin has gone down this path a bit and gave an inspiring talk on it recently. The video is up on YouTube. Description here:

There’s been some discussion of this in the past:

There’s a list of tools for this at:

If you can get an STL, MeshCAM ought to work well.

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