New enhancements to Fusion 360 have formed part of Autodesk’s big announcements at its global user event, Autodesk University 2021, with new extensions, tools and certifications looking to package the software as a “one-stop-shop” for designers of electronic and consumer devices, including PCB simulation with Ansys.
Two new Fusion 360 extensions, the Product Design Extension and the Simulation Extension, have been added to bring more robust consumer product design, simulation, and engineering capabilities to the Fusion 360 platform.
Due for official release early in 2022, the Product Design Extension will provide users with tools to automate the creation of complex features like lattices and algorithm-driven patterns that are too time-consuming for traditional 3D modelling methods.
The Simulation Extension will provide users unfettered access to existing simulation capabilities under an ‘all-access’ umbrella. Previously, simulation capabilities were only available on a pay-as-you-go basis. Now, users will be able to choose the option that works best for them to explore more ways to reduce weight, materials cost, and enhance product performance.
The big new addition comes from outside the Autodesk stable, with the news that Ansys simulation technology is to be integrated into Fusion 360, built on the Autodesk Forge platform, to streamline PCB design.
Autodesk and Ansys previewed plans for a fully-integrated PCB design, verification, and validation capacity within Fusion 360 that further increases the software’s already solid circuit design capabilities.
This initial integration will enable users to verify and validate PCB design using Ansys technology directly embedded in Fusion 360.
Autodesk says that this will add the ability to perform enhanced rule checking of printed circuit board designs, retrieving ‘near real-time insights’ into product electrical performance to meet specifications and certification requirements.
In addition, it should help users identify errors so that they can resolve them, which increases efficiency and allows the ability to better products faster with fewer mistakes, making Fusion 360 a one-stop shop for designing and verifying consumer electronics devices.
At Autodesk University 2021, consumer electronics giant Logitech spoke of how it has developed the newly launched G435 family of lightweight, feature-packed gaming headsets (main image) using Fusion 360 for industrial design. Although Autodesk execs were just as keen to point out it was not replacing all Logitech’s existing product development technologies, but working alongside them, with Logitech’s design team “Just paying for what they use”.
“Rethinking how businesses plan, design, and manufacture products is no small task. So, while many companies understand the importance of Digital Transformation, the process of transitioning an entire manufacturing process, and securing the necessary buy-in, is a colossal effort.” said Scott Reese, Autodesk executive VP, Product Development & Manufacturing Solutions.
“A significant impediment is that many digital tools are too complex and too siloed, making change unnecessarily difficult. We at Autodesk aim to change that with Fusion 360, our cloud-based 3D modeling, CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB software platform.”
Elsewhere, four new career certifications aligned with Fusion 360 were launched, completing the course series for Machinist and Mechanical Engineering roles.
Building on the Autodesk Certification Program announced last year at AU, the new certifications back Autodesk’s commitment to helping manufacturing professionals evolve their skillsets with self-paced learning.