Blog Published: 05/11/2018

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Fusion 360 - The hidden jewel in the Product Design & Manufacturing Collection

Are you a major user of Autodesk Inventor Professional and would like to get a great product render?

As you know, some materials are harder to render than others. You have tried Inventor Studio and you just don't have the knowledge or time to setup 3DS Max because you are a product designer not a dedicated media specialist. Therefore, Autodesk’s Fusion 360 is a rendering alternative and viable option.

Fusion 360 has been available for a while now, first seen in the Product Design Suites and now with the Product Design & Manufacturing Collection. Easily dismissed as another 3D modelling tool, well if the truth be known, it is. However, it talks with Inventor really well. Once upon a time I might have used Autodesk’s Showcase rendering package which has since been retired. What a great piece of software that was. So, if you like the finish Showcase produced for renders, then you are going to like Fusion 360.

Here is a brief rundown of the tasks needed to get your product rendered, quickly and easily:

1. The easiest way to get started is to simply Pack and Go your Inventor Assembly into a single folder to prepare it for uploading.

2. Start Fusion and upload your assembly using the Fusion Upload Tool. Whilst it uploads in the background you can continue working. Once your model is uploaded, you will see a thumbnail which you can select to load into the graphics window.
3. Next you may wish to select any perspective view to Render as you would with Inventor Professional and save the view for later. The view cube also works in the same way as it does inside Inventor Professional, and it won’t take you long to get the scene setup.
4. Switch to the Rendering environment and navigate to apply some Fusion Appearance materials. It’s worth noting that some of these materials such as solid wood, are 3D textures, so it’s now possible to show end grain which looks great. In this example, I’ve chosen some stainless steel and blue paint.
5. Set your environment. You can choose between a photobooth style environment or use a backdrop, again similar to Inventor Professional’s native graphics real time render.

6. Choose your Render size. This can be a custom size or you can go with one of the standards which will consume anything from 1 cloud credit up to 8 cloud credits, and submit for Cloud rendering.
7. You can keep changing to different views of your product and then re-render your images whilst you get on with other tasks. It saves time and gives a professional finish to your product renders with minimal effort.

To learn more about what’s possible with the Product Design & Manufacturing Collection, get in touch with Excitech’s Manufacturing Team.

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