Autodesk Blinks, Keeps STEP File Export In Free Version Of Fusion 360

Good news, Fusion 360 fans — Autodesk just announced that they won’t be removing support for STEP file exports for personal use licensees of the popular CAD/CAM platform after all.

As we noted last week, Autodesk had announced major changes to the free-to-use license for Fusion 360. Most of the changes, like the elimination of simulations, rolling back of some CAM features, and removal of generative design tools didn’t amount to major workflow disruptions for many hobbyists who have embraced the platform. But the loss of certain export formats, most notably STEP files, was a bone of contention and the topic of heated discussion in the makerverse. Autodesk summed up the situation succinctly in their announcement, stating that the reversal was due to “unintended consequences for the hobbyist community.”

While this is great news, bear in mind that the other changes to the personal use license are still scheduled to go into effect on October 1, while the planned change to limit the number of active projects will go into effect in January 2021. So while Fusion 360 personal use licensees will still have STEP files, the loss of other export file formats like IGES and SAT are still planned.

84 thoughts on “Autodesk Blinks, Keeps STEP File Export In Free Version Of Fusion 360

  1. Too bad.

    I had high hopes for a big upswing in one of the OSS tools, probably FreeCad in the hacker./maker/hobbyist/whatever you want to call it community. More users, more developers, more videos, blog posts, shared designs, scripts, etc.. with tools that are free in both senses of the word.

    It would have been a short-term pain for many people but a long term gain for everyone.

    1. I think there will still be quite a bit more support for FreeCAD after this regardless. I know this whole thing was what pushed me to finally taking the time to learn FreeCAD, and I’ll not be going back. Just cause autodesk “blinked” this time, doesn’t mean there won’t be a next time.

      I’ll say the same thing that I said on twitter.

      When people(or companies) tell you who they really are, believe them.

      I’ll not be going back to Decision180™.

    2. I moved to fully OSS for most personal long-term projects as they are not time constrained. FreeCAD, HeeksCNC, and NativeCAM pretty much covers most of my hobbies.

      Solidworks and Mastercam are expensive, but a student license through your university faculty is fairly reasonable. For a production environment, people around the shop mostly stopped using Autodesk stuff 15 years ago, as the part model inventory is worth more than the licenses and botched updates after awhile.

      The whole razor-blade model in software just seems so sleazy.

    3. You really think this will keep people from seeing inevitability?

      The only reason they backtracked any at all is because there had to have been a lot of backlash judging by the post count from the original coverage of this on hack a day alone- it had one of the highest comment counts on an article I’ve ever seen.

      People noticed and I guarantee you a lot of people realize that if they did this once they can do it again and they probably will do it again or worse. their business model as CAD/CAM crack dealers hasn’t changed.

      When people aren’t paying attention they will try this again at some point or something else.

      If you are an intelligent person reading this, whoever you are- just explore FOSS like FreeCAD and LinuxCNC. Hell, even Blender or OpenSCAD for modeling. once you learn something that’s free and open source nobody will be able to take your designs from you at a whim. You can always load an older version of many softwares if you don’t like changes.

      Open your eyes and move to FOSS. No one can take your dreams from you then.

      1. > Open your eyes and move to FOSS. No one can take your dreams from you then.

        I know this article is about CAD software but I can’t help to mention that GNOME took away the dreams of a lean desktop environment from me ;-)

    4. Autodesk holds your data hostage. They are terrorists. Don’t negotiate with terrorists…

      They will try this again, and again and again. Screw them.

      I’m switching to FreeCAD. I need to find a CAM software that supports 3D milling strategies and rapid movements. FreeCAD has only two of them at the moment, and they are experimental….

      1. Wow, “terrorists”? Really? I get you don’t like what they’ve done but, seriously, words have definitions. Not agreeing with their business model doesn’t make them terrorists. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism If someone has actually has attempted to coerce you use their product by means of violence or other act of terror, please share that story. I am sure it would be fascinating.

        We now return you to your regularly scheduled rant, already in progress.

        1. They are holding users’ data hostage, coercing users to use their ecosystem, and pay for it in some cases. They made a social contract with the users, that stipulated they will provide this software for free to any hobbyist and startup that earns less than 100k USD a year. That was the license I agreed to. And I upheld my end of it in good faith. Then they changed it arbitrarily. I can’t do the same and demand payment from them for the distinguished privilege of storing my awesome designs. Until I export my files, I live in fear and terror of loosing access to them due to another license change. Therefore they are terrorists, and I’m facing a hostage situation with no negotiators on my side. And I don’t have any way to retaliate against this unfair situation, other than pirating their software, which would be meaningless gesture anyway…

          1. you made a contract with them? So show us the document you both signed. And show us how much you paid to use the software.

            If you leave your files on someone else’s computer and they ask you to pay to keep them, that’s not holding your data hostage. “Whine, Dropbox are asking me to pay to store my files! They’re holding my data hostage!”

            You have plenty of “negotiation” – cash. Pay for what you use.

            I live in terror of reading your absurd rants. So you’re a terrorist. See. You’ve made the word meaningless.

          2. I have a website. I paid the company that holds my data for the services they provide with their servers and people tending to them. I was informed in advance that I’ll be spending a fixed amount of money for fixed amount of space and services. I don’t expect the company to suddenly charge me more for it before the agreement reaches its end date. This is the way businesses usually operate…

            Autodesk, on the other hand, decided to use loopholes in the agreement I signed with them by signing up for F360 license to screw me over, limit the software and try to get money from me. These greedy bastards abused my trust by use of legalese, so I’m exercising my right as a victim to call them, what they are: greedy terrorists holding my data hostage, shielded behind legalese shield created by some lawyers. I feel abused, victimized and cheated. I have no other way to retaliate…

            In any hostage situation the ones that hold the hostages are the bad guys. Autodesk are bad guys. They are terrorists…

            A contract is a contract is a contract.

          3. The fundamental difference that the replies here seem to forget is that NOBODY ASKED AUTODESK TO STORE THEIR DESIGNS.

            When a contract cannot be negotiated, it’s not a real contract. The “cash” you speak of as a bargaining chip, is bull crap. Sure, go ahead and buy yourself a lawyer that’s willing to try and change that contract in order to better the deal for those on the other side, see how far you get. That’s not how a lopsided dystopia works. It’s a side effect of “we have the resources because we stole them from others” which is exactly what America is based upon. Stealing resources from indigenous people, then leveraging those resources to enslave the population in a pseudo democracy. When you install Fusion they offer you a carrot, the software, you take it, and you learn to like carrots, then they take it away unless you jump through a hoop. You spent all of your resources (your time, because this is all most people have), to learn how to use it and integrate it into your portfolio, and now Autodesk can demand literally anything they want. It’s the same troupe over and over, and over, and over, and over, and over….

            The part that I don’t understand, is how there can be so many idiots out there that don’t get it. How don’t you get it? Have you been living under a rock? Do you like to constantly scrape for the tiniest rewards in life? Do you like being an object? Do you like simply being a means to produce wildly ridiculous wealth for a handful of oligarchs? Sure, keep on suckin on that teat and ruining life for everyone.

            oh, and PS: they make huge deals with the schools and part of those deals state that the school is NOT ALLOWED to teach ANY OTHER COMPETING SOFTWARE. Just another check box in the wrong direction.

            Education and infrastructure should be OPEN and FREE. Actually free, not this “you can use it but we control everything” bull crap.

        2. … hey someone that thinks pulling up a dictionary means something.

          I’m glad you are out of 7th grade now. But it’s time gain common sense.

          Terror can be a sharp stick or pencil at your throat.

          Terror can be a “we will be back to burn your house down.”

          Terror can be “we know where you live and spread rumors, lies and dis-information about you.”

          Terror can be anyone or anything that with-holds or takes something from you that you treasure or care about.

          It is also known as using F.U.D. (fear, uncertainty, doubt) and it is used manipulate people into panic, anxiety passing laws that don’t make sense and overall LOWER THE QUALITY OF EVERYONES LIFE DUE TO THEIR unethical and willingly harmful ACTIONS.

          I say AutoDesk did a great job with that criteria. All your files, locked away in a cloud. It’s not the same as a remote/timer & detonator… BUT.. it’s the same thing.

          After all you can say that a building that was razed, burned or demolished is just in the cloud now.

    5. I hesitantly subscribed to Fusion 360 when they made an offer I couldn’t refuse ($100 a year), but I’ll cancel the second they increase the price and I still intend to learn freeCAD and drop F360.

      FreeCAD is rough though, but I keep trying it in hopes of it clicking like KiCAD eventually did. On the 4th or 5th attempt to learn, I just “got” KiCAD and have found it very enjoyable to use ever since. I’m on my 3rd attempt at FreeCAD and it hasn’t clicked yet… but maybe soon!

    6. More user do not mean more developers.
      For new devs the entry level is really high for FreeCAD and the features that everybody miss from F360 (4 axis CAM for example, when FreeCAD is not even true 3 axis).
      Could even have a backslash effect if FreeCAD team is unable to capitalize on new user influx and couldn’t deliver.

    1. Actually, just reread the terms (more comprehensive now than a week ago). You can still use inactive (readonly) files in assemblies, you just cannot edit them without activating them again. And you can always shuffle which files are active. That surely helps.

      1. Why would you even want to read a document about all the limitations they’ve built in?

        Answer:
        You don’t want to read it, but you put up with it because …
        Fill in the dots for yourself. I stopped doing that sort of shit long ago.

  2. As a newbie to this side of the world, I am going down the path of learning freeCAD as I don’t have any skin in the game at this point with any other cad system (other than kiCad for electronics). From what I’ve seen in the freeCad tutorials and trying a few things (learning), it will do the job without having to worry about terms of use, licenses, etc. A learning curve whichever way one goes!

  3. Went to FreeCAD last week. IMHO the basics are easier in Freecad but i havent got to the more difficult bits yet. Not going back though as you don’t know what more restrictions are likely.

  4. I’m still looking at switching to something else. The bone of contention for me wasn’t .stp export, but the 10 document limit, which was put in for no other reason than to be annoying. Plus, they’ve continually lowered file import and export options and I feel like it’s only a matter of time before file export isn’t allowed in any format other than .f3d. I’ll probably be switching from Eagle to KiCAD as well. I know Eagle better, but at this point I don’t feel like Autodesk can be trusted to keep anything they offer for free useful without annoying the user unnecessarily.

    1. If Autodesk buys S3D, I kinda expect to hear them say in a couple years that they’re removing STL export because “F360 has a built-in slicer now, and its better than having choice.”

      I’ve been switching to KiCAD from Eagle and its been pretty easy, surprisingly. With F360 adding EDA, it seems like the writing is on the wall for EOL of Eagle and that Eagle users will be forcefully migrated to F360 where they then have to deal with the 10 doc limit (and it seems that a board and schematic pair are 2 docs towards the 10 limit).

        1. I think their goal is to make it an all-in-one solution which is fine. The propulsion they have gained in SEO right now was probably worth it from a business perspective. “Bad publicity is publicity” as they say.. but as with any tool, it’s going to wear out and not work the same after a while. I take it for what it is at this point, because to be perfectly honest it’s cloud software in which one should never assume that software will just be the same experience months or years later. Just saying while it’s frustrating they did this whole shebang in one month notice, it’s just how these things go. I still wish they just made an offline version that could be purchased ONCE. If they improve on it, then sell a new version separately. Call me old school :)

    2. I did switch to KiCAD a while ago after Egale kept crushing. I was also used to spend a lot of time creating new components while in KiCAD these are easier to create and has a larger built-in library.
      The workflow is different but after you get familiar with it the overall usability it’s way better in my opinion (from beginner perspective). Really glad I did the move few months ago. Now time to move to FreeCAD

  5. As a indie software developer who is sensitive to the whole economics of product management/development, I have a simple rule, If you make money then pay for the licenses. If you are not making money then go with a Open Source solution and hack away. I believe that there are a lot of people making money off the free version of F360 hence the changes … don’t kid yourself AD knows who is abusing the free tier. People need to take issue with people abusing the free tier, not AD.

    The price they are charging for a license is pretty minimal and in most cases less than the cost of the printer. My rub is why are people ok paying for hardware but not software. Just because software is not tangible, doesn’t mean it mean it has no value. I have seen all the comments about only wanting to pay once but when you design a software product to be “continuously” developed or “evergreen”, it’s harder to make a non-subscription version because the philosophies are radically different.

    A lot of people are ok with purchasing a new printer every year but not paying for a software subscription. Makes no sense to me. Yes will changing the subscriptions to a monthly payment make a difference but it is an additional overhead.

    No matter what choice you make, there will always be issues/concerns.

    1. @Osmosis, I fully agree with your comment. Software is the glue that enable all the hardware to work. That does not make it more important, per se, but it is a critical part of the chain. When I look at what features they have provided and the massive investment in the community to help it grow, their fee seems like a very small price to pay. I’m an educator and hobbyist but even at that, I do not have infinite time to save a few dollars. I appreciate Autodesk for making so much available, and little or no charge to hobbyists, educators, and startups. I’m happy to recommend them.

    2. I don’t want to pay continuously for something that inevitably gets updated against my liking.
      Which is the core of SaaS, I only want security updates and critical usability fixes, the rest should be version bumps.
      Because that way I can still use a not gimped version as long as I like.

        1. No. not ‘simple’. Many of us are happy to pay for professional tools, but find the subscription model problematic for numerous reasons. If you want to equate the expenditure on software to hardware, I’m 100% with you – let me pay for a product, pay for it once, and have unrestricted use of it. I don’t want constantly evolving features, didn’t ask for them, and am not interested in paying for them.
          Companies like McNeel will continue to get my money for tools like Rhino. Tools I know I can use on a plane without worrying that it’s going to decide it’s time to phone home to make sure I’m worthy of it’s use, and just refuse to go further if it can’t (looking at you Adobe). And if they want to up their prices for the next version, that’s fine – If I decide not to buy it, I still have the tool I already paid for.

          1. I believe the reason many companies in this area went to subscription model was twofold-

            First of all they can get a regular known stream of revenue from a mostly captive audience they hold in their software grip

            Secondly and more importantly they don’t have to worry about fixing things or actually adding usable new features with as much seriousness behind it because they already have a captive audience who has to stay subscribing anyway.

            The second one is key because actually fixing features or adding new useful ones when the software is already so developed is very difficult and often the combination of these two things was something that made shops upgrade once they saw that the company had done their part and fixed issues or added real functionality.

            The incentive to fix things properly or actually add useful functionality that makes someone switch is in large part lost when they don’t really have to do anything- it’s like a business holding your money hostage rather than having to earn it with regular effort and that’s the most insulting thing to me.

          2. Replying to @Drew –

            The main motivation for subscription models is to have a steady income flow. Companies that rely on annual or biannual releases have to save money in the release years to pay staff on the other years. This doesn’t work well – makes accounting more complex, and makes forecasting more difficult.

            All that said, I still don’t _like_ the subscription model. I prefer the model to pay big $ and get a perpetual license with free updates for a year. I can then choose to keep getting updates, or to stick on my current version.

            But I understand why companies like autodesk and Adobe do it.

            Piracy is obviously the other issue. Perpetual license with no phone-home is impossible to prevent piracy (a dongle or similar may make it more difficult, but not impossible). I’ve worked on a previous version of Autodesk’s security platform, so I know the challenges in preventing piracy. And sadly even big companies will cheat and not pay what they should.

            I’m still gutted that F360 is going this way; I was about to build a 4th axis, and now I can’t get any CAM software to run it. I may pay for a month of F360 occasionally to do so (assuming there’s a monthly option). I’d prefer an option to hourly rent some of these tools for hobbyists; I can’t really justify an annual cost for it.

    3. Personally I wouldn’t really mind paying for software. However the bigger drawback of SaaS is that you are fully dependent on the manufacturer to continue using your files.
      Imagine Autodesk goes bankrupt or just kills of fusion360. Suddenly you are left with a bunch of project-files with no means of accessing them.

      To use your analogy that would be like my 3D-Printer just stopping to work one day bc the manufacturer decided they don’t want to run the servers for keeping legacy hardware alive anymore. Nobody would tolerate such a behavior from hardware.
      However with software it suddenly becomes acceptable, but why ?

      (On top of that fusion never ran natively on Linux)

    4. If you get to the point where you are making money using OSS, then make a contribution to the development. Most projects have a way to request new features for a contribution. Improve the tool and pay it forward!

      1. That’s the thing there’s all this talk about people only making money with commercial software as if there are no businesses that make money with anything FOSS.

        This continual implication by people who think that Parts can only be made cost effectively with commercial software is kind of laughable to me.

        If you know whst some of the free alternatives can do especially if you only make simple flat 2D parts (which is being generous to the software that can still do 3d milling free) it’s absolutely possible to make money with FOSS stuff.

    5. Most seem to be missing what I believe is the main reason software companies go to subscription models: It’s much harder to pirate, and even if someone can hack up a local only version of a subscription service, it’s likely going to be frozen with those features and issues and likely to have most features broken and unusable. It’s likely to be the only way to stay profitable and keep from watching all your potential profits get siphoned off by pirating.

    6. You are forgetting at least one other option.
      Start with FOSS software, and when you start making money with it, make a fair donation to the projects that benefit you to support them, and your own future with better software.

      I’ve got my suspicion that these “free” versions of commercial applications would not even exist if there was no alternative in FOSS software.

  6. Time is money. The license cost of Fusion 360 with Eagle is great value if you are using it commercially. $300 a year if you buy a 3 year license during one of the regular sales. That works out to 6 hours of time per year of a $100k salary. 12 hours of a $50k salary.

    It’s difficult to beat that. The issue isn’t cost for anyone using it productively in business.

    The issue is the unpredictability of the whims of a company whose mandate is to make a profit, and design lock in, especially when applied to the free versions. The intended removal of STEP export from the free version is evidence of that problem. The good news is that Autodesk are trying to be transparent about feature changes, and appear responsive to feedback too – as evidenced by the reversal of the STEP export decision.

    As a paying customer, I’m not overly concerned – at this point in time. That could, of course, change, but you could say the same about any product. I’d think that any event requiring a transition off of Autodesk would be either be well-planned, or prevented through injunctions and litigation brought by larger commercial customers.

    As a long-time free Eagle user (since v4), I found the 2 layer limitation the worst limitation. I tried KiCAD, but just couldn’t make the leap. I also found FreeCAD easy to learn and use, but it’s a long way feature-wise from Fusion 360. If KiCAD and FreeCAD work for your needs, more power to you, but for 6 hours a year, they don’t do it for me.

    1. “Time is money. The license cost of Fusion 360 with Eagle is great value if you are using it commercially. $300 a year if you buy a 3 year license during one of the regular sales. That works out to 6 hours of time per year of a $100k salary. 12 hours of a $50k salary.”

      Yes, if you’re making money like that, no problem! Nothing is ever a problem.

      Go be a teacher for 30k a year and get back to me.

      1. 7-8 hours, a full workday, aren’t worth it to you? It sounds like the real problem is that you’re using Fusion 360 for projects with too limited of a scope…you’re not getting enough value from the program. Maybe TinkerCAD is better suited.

        1. The CAM in Fusion is really good. I haven’t seen an open alternative that can match it.

          For the CAD step, you have a ton of choices on the open side. Some are better here, others there. All export and import whatever file types you need, so compatibility with other PCB design softwares, or whatever, isn’t an issue — you can use the best tool for the job, whichever that is.

          Anyone know of a good open CAM? That seems to be the last missing piece.

          1. Exactly this. We have been using Inventor at work for CAD and only after we got a CNC lathe did we start using Fusion for CAM. Thought about switching from Inventor to Fusion but I just can’t stand the Fusion modeling workflow coming from Inventor. Plus it’d mean thousands of files needing to be switched to .f3d files and that’s just a PITA. We don’t even use F360 that much – once every few months to CAM something up and that’s it.

      2. I would gladly pay them twice that much if I could keep it as a local exe on my machine that did not need to attach to the cloud. I’m not arguing the price I’m arguing the contract. The unilateral contract is a horrible idea.

        1. disgusting business model, the exact one drug dealers use… ‘the first hit is always free’. I am ok with this between consenting adults, but to do this to children is a disgusting practice. there is no reason FreeCAD couldn’t be used in schools.

    2. I have no problem agreeing with the price that is charged a year for what Fusion 360 does.

      I have used it and I have used plenty of high-end commercial software in the industry as a skilled machinist.

      The problem is there is simply no cost I or many other people consider something you can’t put a price to- the ability of that company to completely restrict your ability to access your files if you decide you don’t want the subscription anymore.

      I don’t care how much money I make if I start my own shop which I hope to do within the next few years no amount of small cost upfront is worth giving anyone else the power to restrict my designs from me if I choose not to pay.

      I simply don’t like the idea of people having power to do that regardless of how impractical it would be to not have the money to pay for it if I am regularly making business.

      1. This is why we elected to stick with Inventor. It’s an older version (2015) so it’s all offline. Has everything we’d use in Fusion except CAM. We use Fusion for that but only a handful of times a year.

  7. I think they backtracked because they realized they were about to kill their whole “give it to people learning for free and when they make money, they buy it for work” model. It looks like everyone was about to abandon ship, and then they’re back to no user base with people using other software for work in the future.

  8. I think it shows a lot that they took this part back, they took the community complaints to heart and reversed direction. Sometimes, in the pursuit of the bottom line it is easy to forget why they released it free in the first place, this shows they were willing to at least listen to user complaints (ones who pay nothing at that). If I had to guess the reason they were going to remove it in the first place was so people didn’t just use fusion as a file converter (I know several machinists who had it for just that reason since it could import and convert just about anything) which wastes online resources and overall adds cost to them.

    I started paying annually last year when they restricted the startup license so you could not work on other people’s stuff. To be fair…I used it for free for 5 years and made enough to be worth the money for the subscription. Nobody else is offering this much to hobbyists/students/startups for free, even if it is limited for the fully free version. It was never an OSS project so I am not sure why people had any illusions of that.

    Not all the changes were reversed…but I think limiting the 5 axis and simulation was not a big deal for free users. Seeing as you can easily spend as much for one cutter on a mill than fusion costs for a year.

    1. The price is not the issue. The issue is that you are entering into a unilaterally negotiated contract where you have NO power and no guarantee that the tool, (at whatever the price today) dose not triple next year… and that the features you rely on today will not disappear tomorrow with out you having any ability to stay at the current version that you have invested your time and your money learning.

      1. I am aware they can lock me out or raise the price. Just look at what Adobe did recently to Venezuela https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/7/20904030/adobe-venezuela-photoshop-behance-us-sanctions
        ITAR and different embargoes tend to put software (and hardware) companies in a difficult position. How do you make a product but ensure it never gets to a restricted country. I believe (IMHO) this is part of the reason for going to web based storage/logins. Although, I have no direct evidence of that.

        I also have no illusions about the fact Autodesk is a commercial company…if they raise the price I will export my stuff and move on. I hope that there will be an OSS replacement by that time but I doubt it. If you are looking for software that you can “own” look into solidworks and such for a much higher price.

        It bothers me that the only tool in my entire chain that isn’t OSS/OSHW is the CAD/CAM and the MCU on the Smoothieboard…but I deal with it because currently there isn’t anything better.

        (Sidenote: I have worked primarily with OSHW projects. Reprap, Smoothieware, etc. for the last 10 years)

        I fully support more people working on Freecad…I think that is the closest thing we have to what fusion is. If everyone put in a bit of time on coding, documentation, support and promotions it has a good chance of being a replacement….but those things are exactly what Autodesk does…and the OSS community often lacks.

  9. The best way I can explain it is this:
    cloud based applications are the computer science is equivalent of the public restroom glory hole.. You would be a damn fool to use either.

    Death to autodesk. (This is for you Eagle!)

    1. The universe contains many tools.

      The biggest ones are in management.

      Sure a “gift” of over $20 bux is not allowed… but there are many, MANY, MANY.. ways kick-backs and favors work.

      Exclusivity into places, free food, numerous up on numerous “it’s on the house..”

      Remember “no one ever got fired for buying IBM” except the person that says it.

      I have personally be give task to create a report on “alternatives” for management. 2 particular incidents at 2 separate companies come to my mind. Long story short? My name was removed from the report.. managers name was placed on it.

      They proceeded to be courted by a ton of vendors and ultimately.. went with the vendor solution because?

      “Mac’s and Windows is what people know..”

      Same shit with this… “It’s what I used in school.”

  10. TBH, I am sick of the free version of paid software. Especially software that is subscription or cloud based.

    Everywhere i look it is either a free version that i cannot use for artificial reasons or a subscription that is waay to expensive for hobby use. I cannot justify paying 300 euro year after year after year after year for this software when I don’t make money out of it, when my 3D printer was 300 euro and when i spend 30-50 euro per year on filament.

    But come up with a version that i pay once and use for as long as i want with decent limits and I might pay something like 100 euro. Pay once and keep for as long as this is enough for me. Because the software is good, it’s better than the 100% free alternatives.

    But you are making me choose between a free crippled and moody version or one too expensive to justify paying.

    1. Same opinion here. As a hobbyist I do not use the software every day. Sometimes I just launch it after of couple of months. Subscription model does not work in such cases and there are multiple other similar examples (e.g. Adobe Lightroom).

      While I won’t be very affected by limits Autodesk is applying here, eventually I’ll need migrate to some other software. I regret a bit invested time to learn Fusion 360. From the other side – that enabled me to understand how proper modeling software should look like.

  11. Rhino3D and BRICS cad BOTH have licensing for “Perpetuity” (a.k.a. lifetime updates as long as the company still makes software) BUY IT NOW. Tell AutoDesk and SolidWorks to F Off.

  12. This is yet another case of a company shootiong themselves in the foot. Autodesk of all companies ows their existance to pirated software. Back when their only product as “AutoCAD” it was the most pirated software in the world. THis means that almost every CAD user was an AutoCAD user even if they never paid for it. But then when they were in a position to pay, they bought the product they knew and liked.

    If it were not for these Pirate users Autodesk would never have meade the big time. What they learned was that pirated copies were not “lost sales” as those users do not have the means to pay. But when they do have money they don’t want to use pirated software.

    You would think that on all companies Autodesk would want to make their full version available to everyone. But now greed set in and they lost a huge base of potential users. Me and I’m sure many others will never trust them again.

    Also once you start looking for alturnatives to Fusion 360, you find them.

    Notice that Fusion 360 is now on sale for just under $300/year. I suspect they are not making money and in a panic to increase revenue and they THOUGHT these restrictions on hoby users would cause many of then to convert to paid users. Their greed backfired and their user bolted, left and most will never come back.

  13. Onshape is another “free for hobbyist” great option. It’s browser based but is great for simple parts and assembly. I know people don’t really like cloud service but it’s good sometimes to have alternative

  14. I think it’s high time we all put a good effort into developing some of the already great open source software to just beat the crap out of Fusion.

    I honestly don’t use Fusion any more for a variety of reasons:

    one of the biggest reasons is that they literally take longer to render jobs than I can do on my local machine because they want to force you onto a subscription model,

    they don’t support linux,

    they are literally locked into a single threaded operation which, in turn, means that they are really not motivated AT ALL to develop their software in a user friendly fashion.

    They have had since 2004 (when the first dual cores hit the market) to develop their software to run with more than a single thread, BUT THEY HAVE NOT. That is them literally taking a huge dump right on your chest. “Pay us with uncertain terms and conditions, and oh, we can crumble your entire business at any minute if we so decide, oh and you can only use one thread out of 128 on your pc to run this”.

    This type of model is literally garbage, and not worth the trade off.

    If they made a great software, and the next iteration was actually better and afforded more functionality, then people would buy it. Subscription models on the other hand just say ‘you have to pay us no matter how bad we get or how much control we take over YOUR intellectual property’.

    Fusion is a bag of crap. A literal bag of crap.

    And it’s not “Free” for hobbyists, because they are gathering all of your models, your usage data, and they take complete ownership over all of your intellectual property by forcing you to literally give your work to them. Not to mention the fact that if they even get wind of you making any money at all, they’ll either revoke your right to use the software, or worse yet, litigate and use your own works as evidence against you. And since they already have all of your work, they can potentially just sell your work, presumably to a rival, negating your rights to patents simply because you used their software. And if you don’t have the money to defend a court case, you basically just sign over all of your hard work. THIS is why fusion is garbage, because the business model is more about enslaving their users rather than making a solid product to sell. THIS is why you shouldn’t participate in “free” *see not really free* software. The entire business model is set up to screw you and give you a complete lack of choice. Hence why they don’t want you exporting your designs for use in other software. It’s all about making you an indentured servant via your wallet.

    SCREW YOU AUTODESK!

    /rant

    1. That made me more angry than I would have been. Autodesk claims that they are trying to prevent commercial misuse….so they remove features from those of us that are following the rules. If they see commercial misuse, why not go after those licensees which they have certainly shown the capability to do. If they have data that shows commercial misuse, they should challenge those accounts and possibly disable them if they have sufficient evidence to prove a violation. I would like to know how they actually determined misuse and how widespread they think it is.

      1. I think a major problem with all software vendors is equating advanced features with commercial use. Makers and inventors are often pushing the limits more than commercial users. Just look at the origins of additive manufacturing where hacker 3d printing fed back to commercial additive machining. Also, export format limitations only serve to lock you into a single software vendor which kills makers who often use a hodgepodge of software to get things done. Manufacturers can afford vertically intergrated application stacks for everything.

  15. I think Autodesk is hurting themselves. I prefer Fusion 360 because it was full featured and none of the OpenSource alternatives were adding features at the speed or stability that Fusion 360 offered. I like Open Source but there are almost too many alternatives that are all lacking in different aspects. I have also had a lot of Open Source choices that become unsupported and leave you hanging as well. Autodesk can certainly change their terms since they are not charging you anything there is no contract (no consideration). However they have created a promise to the maker community and the problem they have is that if you change your promise once, we expect it will change again. I would actually be much more comfortable with a full featured version at a nominal fee because that does create a contract of sorts. Makes it more difficult for Autodesk to change terms. I am wondering what triggered the decision, was it a problem of widespread usage with no resulting profit or was it related to perceived abuses of the free RTU. I am really concerned with export formats and the CAM features. The CAM in particular is hard to replace with other options. The export formats I find important because they are what cripple the low cost version of Solidworks when it comes to 3D printing and CAM.

  16. The problem everyone has with this is not so much that they changed the terms a bit. Its the fact that they showed they are willing to change the terms at all. Didnt hurt much this time but shows they are capable and willing to do it to you in the future. They of course have the right to charge whatever they want, they just have to realize how this affects their relationship to the maker community which previously was not very good. Fusion 360 was definitely appreciated and created lots of good will. I would ask Autodesk is the loss of this good will is worth it to them. To all of those with the shrill Autodesk is evil remarks, that is a bit over the top and shuts down reasoned discussion with Autodesk.

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