10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know Fusion 360 Can Do

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One of the best problems we have on the Fusion 360 team is making sure you all know about the shiny new features and functions we put into each update. Oftentimes since so much gets packed into each release (here’s proof), features can easily get forgotten about or overlooked. I work here, and it even happens to me from time to time! (Editor’s note: is that just your bad memory, Paul?). To help add to your Fusion 360 toolkit, improve your workflow and perhaps even spark some new ideas, we’re kicking off this series of things you (probably) didn’t know Fusion 360 can do.

1. Replace an appearance material by dragging a new material onto the existing material

You’ve finished the model, you get the render going, and then the client calls you: “We want to go with a different finish.” Your heart drops. That’s over 30+ components to reconfigure, right? Wrong. Replacing all instances of a certain texture with a different texture is much easier than you think. If you need to replace a texture, just drag the new one over the old one in the model: 


This leads us neatly into…

2. Custom textures

We’re going to show this one in 2 stages. In my live streams, I typically describe the texture pack that comes with Fusion 360 like the “kit lens” that comes with a DSLR. It’s good, it’s functional, and it will yield great results, but once you get to a certain skill level, you want an upgrade. Rendering in Fusion 360 (and in any other rendering package out there,) is no different. 

Depending on the texture you are applying, the edit options you have available to you are different. In the screenshot below, you can see we have a translucent plastic (ABS) texture. You can modify the refractive index and absorption distances as integers, but it goes even deeper than that.

Key for above image: 


Roughness: surface texture, you will see the material go from rougher to smoother as you slide this

Reflectance: exactly what it sounds like! How glossy is the finish? 

Translucency depth: this determines how far the light will penetrate the material before it becomes obfuscated. The larger the number, the further into the volume you will be able to see! 


Deep absorption distance on the left, the color is drained as more of the black background can seep in.

When looking into advanced settings, you’ll notice some common options that will enable you to modify the textures. You can dive into applying your own custom tessellation patterns, using textures to emulate light sources, and more.

Want to turn any texture or body into a light source? Emissivity has you covered. Want to add a custom texture? Bump mapping to the rescue. Cut out any tessellation with cutout. Ready to get really intense? Try out the advanced highlight controls.

3 – Create a direct model sandbox in history modeling with “Create Base” feature

Everyone loves the parametric functions. Heck, your parents probably love the parametric functions, they just don’t know it yet.

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