Hello all and welcome to the blog post for the first CAD Workshop on Autodesk Fusion 360. This tutorial will go over the basic interface and tools needed to get started with making objects and designs in Fusion. We will be looking at how we can design our own coffee mug coaster, which we may 3D print later.
First off, let’s open Fusion and create a new file. Make sure to press “ctrl + s” to save your file before we begin.
Here we have a blank workspace. Before we start designing our coaster, let’s set ourselves up to do so, by entering some basic dimensions of the coaster into our parameters list. Using parametrises to define our geometry is an extremely efficient way of modelling. It allows us to define geometry in context and will allow us to change the geometry of our model with minimal post-processing. This is especially useful if you would like to quickly generate variants of your model.
Now that we have defined the side length of our coaster and its depth, we can start to create the physical geometry of our coaster. Let’s click create sketch and select the x,y plane.
Select the rectangle tool and draw a rectangle, we will dimension it later.
Let’s fix a corner of the rectangle to the origin by using the coincident tool.
Let’s dimension the sides of the coaster. Note that when a line is black, it is fully constrained and when it is blue it still has undefined elements. A good way to see how your geometry is still unconstrained is to click and drag an unconstrained element and see how it moves. This usually gives you a good idea of how you need to dimension/constrain it further. Since we have already defined our dimensions parametrically, all we need to do is use the dimension tool and click on a line and type “length”.
Pressing enter will confirm the dimension and we should end up with a nice square. We can now click “Finish Sketch.” This will pop us back into the design space again.
A good practice is to name our features and sketches as we go along. This is to keep everything organised. To do so, head over to the tree on the left side and double click the sketch that has just appeared.
Cool! Let’s give our coaster some depth. We need to extrude this square face upwards to give it some depth. Click the extrude tool. Note that we have already defined its height parametrically and can simply type “height” for this dimension. Also note that we would like to create a new component.
We now have a 3D component! It’s time to add some personal features to it! Lets create a sketch on the top surface. We are going to use some construction lines to help us define some shapes on the plane. Construction geometry is there to help us dimension other features.
Next, let’s define our rectangle in which our text will go. We will define the rectangle as a proportion of the length of the coaster, so that if we decide to change the length of our coaster, our rectangle will change shape with it. Note that the parameter “nameBoxProportion” has no units. Dimension the rectangle as shown. I have decided to use a 1.5x factor on the half-length of our rectangle and a 1x factor on the half-width of our rectangle (dimensioned from the centre construction geometry). You can choose to use any factors you like if you want a smaller or bigger box. We will be able to change these proportions later. We can also copy dimensions by just clicking on a previous dimension and you will see “dxx” appear in the field.
Let’s define an offset to give our box a border. Let’s define our parameter and use the offset tool, clicking on the outer border of our name box. In the dimension field, you may have to use a minus sign to put our border on the outside of the box.
We want a border on our outside edge too. Press the “p” button on your keyboard to bring up the projection menu. Select the face of the coaster and press “okay”. Offset the outer edge.
Let’s define some splines. Create some lines and draw them as shown. Create some parameters and name it “splineWidth1” with a value of 4mm. Dimension the splines as shown.
Let’s make our text. Drag a box from the internal corners of the name box to constrain it. Then write your text and set it as a proportion of the length of the coaster. Experiment with different divisors to get a nice looking text e.g. “length / (4.5 / nameBoxProportion)”.
We can now come out of the sketch and begin extruding the faces. We want to cut halfway into the coaster body and can use the dimension “height / 2”. You may find that the sketch disappears after we have “used” it. You can unhide it in the tree. Next you can extrude the text to join the surface of the coaster by using “to next” in the extrude settings and selecting the coaster face.
Let’s refine our model with some fillets. Select the internal edges and add a fillet radius to your liking. Make sure to make this a parameter and not just enter a number into the field! Below are some ways you can fillet the model. (in the quadrangles, on the name box edges and on the external side).
And that’s it! I have created some renders and added a coffee cup of my own to demonstrate the coaster. Hope you have enjoyed! You may change the material and appearance of the coaster using the following menus and dragging dropping the item onto the coaster.